Posts Tagged With: friendship

Random Fall Five ~ Benefits, Passages and Christmas Trees

Here we are – we’ve set our clocks back (blah) and turned the page to November.  Time for 5 random thoughts:

Benefits:  In comes November and along with it 2020 Benefits enrollment & Holiday planning, just like that.   For the first time we’ll only have hubbs & I on our insurance ~ feels weird and suddenly I feel old.  Or maybe it’s that Daylight “Savings” experience!

2    Home: The later the season, the more I want to be home.  Yesterday the weather brought us a rainy/snow mix, it was cold, windy and dark, most of the day.   A “good day for a house,” Mom used to say.  After errands and leftovers I settled in with a good book and read till I couldn’t anymore; I woke still thinking about the story and the characters in it, eager and happy for another day to finish it.  I have to pace myself because I read quickly and this story is one worth savoring:

engrossing!

Passages: When we got the news of our friend’s Dad’s passing 2 weeks ago, I started cooking.  Soup on the stove, placed an order for deli sandwiches, and baked up a fruit cobbler.  Later, I texted his wife and asked if we could drop off food for them ~ she gave me an affirmative and a plan was set.   See I’ve been that friend who’s offered to help saying, “just let me know what you need,” and then never heard anything further.   And I’ve learned that you don’t wait to be asked to help by someone in shock and grieving – you just do it.

Christmas trees – Yesterday Hubbs and I spent 2 hours in our local Hardware/Home goods store ~ he had a list as long as his arm and we ping-ponged from one side of the store to another to find all items: Rock Salt, Bungee Cords, WD-40, Tub Caulking, you name it.   We found ourselves among the Christmas Trees and shared a look:  our tree is beautiful but takes up too much room in the smaller home we down-sized to.   We left the store with 2 trees ~ a tall slim tree for the family/game room and a small “frosted” tree for the living room.    Our big tree will be gifted to one of the boys – or Goodwill – and we’ll enjoy putting up our smaller ones in a month or so.

Holiday plans – Work teams are busy putting in for vacation time off but I’m holding back and trying to stay nimble ~ why? We have a grandbaby due in early December!  I could be hosting/cooking for Thanksgiving or loving on the new baby & his parents with a dish-to-pass.  We just don’t know ~ so we’re staying flexible.   And for this life-long planner, that’s hard to do … maybe I’ll prepare a batch of TLC Chicken Spaghetti now & freeze it, just in case!

chicken spaghetti; google.images.com

 

  • How about you?
    • What passages are you experiencing?
    • Does Fall make you want to be home even more?
    • Do your Holiday decorations fit your space?

 

Categories: Beauty, Blogging, Family, Growth, Opinion, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 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

Clan, Tribe, whatever, we need it

Thinking about a recent conversation with Hubbs, I’ve realized who my tribe is:  those whom I can speak openly with. You know the ones: the friends/colleagues/family members who do for you what you’d do for them: accept you, ask your opinion because they want to know, listen, stick up for you, check in on you and cheer loudest when you grow. Those ones.

tribe

There’s been a lot going on of late, Mom’s health is a little more stable but she has been hospitalized for several weeks and we’ve had some very close calls where we thought, “this is it.”  She came through that, thankfully, and now we’re starting to talk about next steps. She’s not strong enough to go home, at least not right now.  And that’s a tough reality to face. On a positive note, she’s bright and “with it” and knows what’s up: she’s still got a say and that’s comforting to me.

Little ones are adjusting to their Mom moving away. They’re with their Dad now, our boy, full time.   They’re adjusting but I know the whole household will have some challenges ahead.   We help where we can .. but still, this Nana’s heart is with them always.

First day of school and Daddy did her hair. An Emjayandthem(C) photo

First day of school and Daddy did her hair. An Emjayandthem(C) photo

Our nephew was seriously injured in a fall, he’s healing and will be OK, and we thank God he’s young and healthy.  It was the kind of accident that could have left him permanently injured or dead and just thinking about it makes us shudder.

Still, I look around, and while my tribe isn’t big, it’s good.  It’s cozy and healthy.  And when I’m with them – Hubbs, the boys, a few good friends, certain family members, and you, dear readers, I am reminded that the only answer most of us are looking for is the knowledge that we can live in our truth and eventually things will be just fine.

speak the truth

Who’s in your tribe?  Are you able to let your tribe in when you’re struggling? 

Categories: Determination, Faith, Family, Friendship, Grief, Growth, Personal, Quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Don’t forget to live

So, like you, we’re busy.  Busy, busy, busy.  Work- busy. Kids-busy. Social life-busy.  One big bunch of busy buzzing bees.   And I don’t know about you, but I’m a little sick of how busy we are.  Just talking about it is getting boring.

46478-We-Make-Time-For-What-We-Truly-Want

Wah! I don’t have time …

Look around: it’s like a new badge to claim– can you multi-task, what are you missing to be here with me, what else is going on, what? What?  But what are we busy at? Being busy?

I’m not on call. But I feel like I am.  I’ve worked hard at keeping boundaries, doing the job, without being accessible 24/7.  But I still catch myself being one of those people checking emails, responding after hours, and feeling like I can’t ever get caught up. Like trying to stuff 10 pounds of potatoes into a 5 pound sack, the volume just never … slows.

So when I feel the margins of life closing in, I push back and re-assess. Sometimes it takes nothing more than the “mental” escape  a good book can bring. Other times, more drastic action is needed.   So with that, later today, I’m signing off. Shutting down. Hopping  up into the Jeep with my brown-eyed handsome man, cranking up the tunes and headed to points north.  I’m laughing till my sides hurt, kissing my honey, and living in the moment.

vacation next exit

Road trip? Yes!

 

Make time in your day life for:

  1. Situations that make you laugh, including yourself
  2. People who make you smile
  3. Your favorite foods
  4. Music you want to sing along to
  5. Curling up with a book
  6. Loving on the one you love
  7. Friendship
  8. Good company and conversation
  9. Furry friends
  10. Joy

Why?

“In the midst of a busy life don’t forget to live.” ― Marty Rubin

And we might just play this game along the way:

 

Can you relate? When you feel your margins getting smaller, what do you adjust?

 

** Thanks to DM for gifting me with the “margins” reference — Now that I think of it, I always used to draw in mine. 🙂

 

 

 

Categories: Family, Growth, Home, Men, Relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Random 5 – Landmarks, Adventures, Immigrants and Connections

So I’m home for a few days before I blast off again (~sigh).  I enjoy what I do but I miss my home.  However, this is my “Triple Crown” week – the last of three with me traveling, yay! With that, here are my random observations over the past seven days:

1) Flying into Newark a week ago, I looked up from my book to take in a birds-eye view of One World Trade Center.  *Chills*.  The last time I was in the NY metro area, I was on a flight bound for Texas.  Oldest boy and I were moving with my job, Hubbs and I had fallen in love but were still just dating, albeit long-distance.  When I last looked out at that skyline …. our towers were still there.   And then, off to the right, I saw her – Lady Liberty.   And that new tower and her presence gave me comfort.

lady liberty

2. I’ve written a lot about saying YES to things I want to do – experiences, relationships, you name it.  First, I had to learn how to say “no,” and doing that helped me make space for more joy.  My flight got into D.C. early enough on Sunday that I had several hours to explore The Smithsonian Museums or stay in my room and work.  It didn’t take me long to head out into the throngs of people!

the count

Imagine my delight at discovering “The Count” at the Museum of American History? 🙂

3.  During a chat with a Senate staffer Tuesday a colleague and I were given passes to the Senate and House Galleries.   Several layers of security screenings later we found ourselves up in the Senate chamber watching votes being cast.  No pictures allowed and when I began jotting down names of Senators –  Stabenow, Peters, Paul, Franken, McCain, McDonnell, Feinstein and more …I felt a tap on my shoulder and a directive to stop writing.  Oops.  It was kind of like when you go on vacation, sometimes it’s best to just put the camera down and let your mind freeze frame the moment.  Later, as we exited the Capitol, we stepped out into a sea of K9 units, with barriers up and police officers everywhere — there had been a threat called in and the response was immediate.    This is a photos I was allowed to snap – Justice and History.    It’s fitting I think.

History and Justice sculpture_the Capitol

The sculpture Justice and History is located above the Senate bronze doors on the Capitol’s East Front. The draped female figures of Justice and History recline against a globe. Justice holds a book inscribed “Justice / Law / Order” in her left hand; her right hand rests on a pair of scales. History holds a scroll inscribed “History / July / 1776.”  source: http://www.aoc.gov

4.  We took taxis everywhere and I have a stack of receipts several inches high to show for it.  When the opportunity presented itself, I asked my drivers about their lives as I could tell most were immigrants.  I led with the fact I had been an immigrant once and sharing that opened the floodgates to conversation.  The countries they came from (Ghana, Sudan, Ethiopia, Nigeria,  Zimbabwe) were different from mine but their story was not.  Many spoke of previous careers as engineers, scientists, and mechanics.  All spoke of their families, hopes, dreams and happiness at just being here.  If you ever find yourself disillusioned with the state of things, take a taxi ride with a Ghanian engineer who plays classical music while joyfully pointing out landmarks and incredulity at his “most lucky life.” -Direct quote.

taxi

5.  A highlight of the week was meeting my blogging friend Dianna and her husband, Motor Man, on Thursday.   Last year when I blogged about visiting D.C. she mentioned they lived nearby (a 3 hour drive!) and that she’d love to meet up.  I tucked that comment away and this year, as my trip approached, I made contact and soon plans were formed.  It’s difficult to put into words what our meeting meant to me.  First I have to share Hubbs’ commentary: “You know this is how people go missing and end up dead, right?”  The same man who champions my work successes and pushes me to get in there and “show those boys how it’s done” was convinced meeting strangers was a terrible idea.  I couldn’t believe they were going to drive all that way for little old me!  And, when thinking about it, the only ones who ever had were: 1) Hubbs, 2) my sissy and 3) my cousin.

When I saw Dianna’s smiling face, we both rushed to share a hug and then another and maybe even a tear or two.  Over lunch, and in between a host of stories,  I spoke of Hubbs’ trepidation and her hubby teased “text him and tell him you’re in the trunk!” HA!   The conversation flowed, laughter came easily, and we talked about our backgrounds and updates on our lives and families.

Why did I make the trek to meet with people I don’t know? Here’s the rub: I did know.  I know, through her blog, that she is a loving wife to him and Momma bear to her son and others she cares for.  I know, through her encouraging words to me and others, that she is a kind and caring person.  I know, through our shared experiences and easy camaraderie, that she is someone with whom a soul connection just comes naturally.  Sometimes you just know and this was one of those times.

dbmj3-6-11-2015-12-39-28-pm1

Dianna & me. “Soul connections are not often found and are worth every bit of fight left in you to keep.” -Shannon L. Alder

And how was your week?  What have you said YES to lately?  Have you ever made a soul connection in an unusual way?  When was the last time you took a risk and how did it turn out?

 

 

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Friendship, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

First friends

Growing up, I was lucky to have so many cousins.

I had fun cousins.  Older cousins, bigger cousins.

Girl cousins and boy cousins. Near and far cousins.

Cousins that I knew well, others not as much, but when we got together, we were a rowdy bunch.

We went sledding and skating, played “duck-duck-goose,” built forts, staged plays and played…. hard.

We could play anywhere – in basements, barns and bedrooms.

Our mothers kicked us outside so we kicked the can, played tag in the barnyard, ran around and came back breathless and red-faced to share the kids table, practice our choir songs, tease, laugh and cheer each other on.

So I get it.

I get it how a herd of kids at a family gathering – related through various branches of the same tree – can meet up again and immediately friendships are formed.

Hands are held.

Toys are shared.

Secrets are whispered.

Hugs are given and love is in the room.

Cousins Sam, Olivia, Ayden and Mylee; an emjayandthem(C) photo

Cousins Sam, Olivia, Ayden and Mylee; an emjayandthem(C) photo

At Christmas, cousins are the presents under the tree.”~ Karen Decourcey

Did you grow up with cousins? Do you remember the ‘kids table?’

related:  Thank you for being a friend

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Friendship, Fun, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 20 Comments

See the need

I admit it: I’m a softie for men who share their feelings.

Hubbs does it easily, my Dad, loving and kind, showed it in the tender way he cared for us and all living things.

When a man shares his thoughts openly, there’s a certain level of trust that’s required, paired with the confidence of knowing that sharing their most heartfelt thoughts is possible… and not punishable.

My Iowa blogging friend, Rich Ripley, is a such a man.

His posts are usually crafted with a healthy dose of humor, but every so often, he lets himself go there. 

He goes where most rarely will. He goes deep.

This post, about holidays and loneliness and the true meaning of Christmas, is one of those posts.  Read on….

I distinctly remember Christmas Eve that night. I watched the dinner time news (all the talk was of Christmas events…go figure). The TV shows were (surprise) Christmas shows. I turned the TV off, and took a look outside my apartment window and saw….multicolored Christmas lights glistening off of a blanket of new fallen snow (no lying…north-central Iowa gets snow early and often).

I heard church bells ringing as Christmas Eve services started and ended.

It was awful. I was so alone. I went to bed early…I couldn’t take the depressing heaviness on my heart any longer. Dear God…so alone and sad. Thankfully…I fell asleep quickly.   

Read more here http://richripley.wordpress.com/2013/11/15/theyre-out-there-and-i-aint-talking-about-zombies/

is there room for one more?

room for one more? (google images)

Categories: Blogging, Charity, Family, Holidays, Joy, Life, Men, Relationships, Uncategorized, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

The Window

Take a moment and watch this 4 min. clip.  I promise there is much here to see.

Categories: Beauty, Faith, Friendship, Joy, Life, Personal, Technology, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Let’s say this together, shall we?

Maybe it’s the heat, I don’t know, but this one made me laugh out loud.

Thank you David Kanigan for the giggle.

Happy “Hump” Day, friends.

funny-prayer-god-quote

Categories: Faith, Family, Friendship, Fun, Humor, Joy, Life, Men, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Women | Tags: , , , , , | 14 Comments

Snapping Strings

Maybe it happened when you had good news to share: an opportunity to talk about or the scale moving in the direction you wanted it to.

Like me, when those moments happen, you want to share them with others – friends and family – and instead, well instead sometimes you found excitement squelched by * crickets *.

But how much time have you spent dwelling on the approval you never got? May never get?

How many times has the stark silence of someone’s resistance dampened the high fives that rolled in … from others?

For me, it’s happened more than I’d like to admit.

You see, as much as I have tried to grow it up and suck it up and push all that stuff aside, it still irks me when I catch myself doing it.  When I realize how much weight I’ve allowed their actions to have.

Is it a control thing?  Is it true that when we allow what someone says or does to upset us, we are really just allowing them to control us?

google.image

google.image

I don’t think that’s it.  I think it goes deeper.

I think it goes back to the little child living in each of us. The one who just wants to be heard.

The one who wants to be relevant, charming, witty and smart.  Who wants to be valued, admired, celebrated and loved. Who wants to be invited back to the big kids table.  Who wants never to be turned away.

I’ve come to realize I might never all the connections I long for but I’ll always have me and that’s a relationship worth cultivating.  It’s probably time to snap some strings while I’m at it.

emjayandthem in grade one

emjayandthem in grade one

Will you join me?

Whose approval are you waiting for?

* * *

“I know what it’s like. I’ve seen it played out a zillion times. You’re waiting for that magical day when someone makes the connection and recognizes who you really are. Maybe they’ll first catch the sparkle in your eye. Or perhaps they’ll marvel at your insights and the depth of your spirit. Someone who will help you connect the dots, believe in yourself, and make sense of it all. Someone who will understand you, approve of you, and unhesitatingly give you a leg up so that life can pluck your ready, ripened self from the branch of magnificence. Well, I’m here to tell you, your wait is over. That someone, is you.” –  Mike Dooley

Categories: Faith, Family, fear, Growth, Life, Life Lessons, Love, Quotes, Random, Relationships, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

On calming the storm

My thoughts are with all of you, my East Coast friends.

Stay safe. Stay calm.

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” – Deuteronomy 31:8

Categories: fear, Growth, Home, Quotes, Relationships | Tags: , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Respect for the dimming

** update 10/22 .. thank you to you  –  my kind-hearted and fur-loving blogging friends – for your sweet words of encouragement and understanding.  Frankie had his appointment tonight and his Vet wants to try long-term pain meds and an antibiotic for his raw old skin.  He’s currently resting comfortably in his condo.  We shared a few tears, as she’s loved and cared for him since he was 9 weeks old. 

Her parting words to me were, “Remember .. they love more than us so they age faster than us.”     Frankie sends a smooch to all of you!

when both the boy and the dog were little

* * *

Frankie, our furry friend, is a Senior Citizen now.  He’s still hilarious, still loyal, and still sweet.  But he’s also a dog who moans more than he barks, sleeps more than he’s awake, and struggles to get up and around.

He still shows up at lunch-time, still greets us at the door, but, lately, we’ve seen a change in him.

A dimming.

Being a Lab-mix, he has always had skin issues; he’s worked “hot spots” so hard they were bleeding. Yesterday morning he lost control and left “presents” down the stairs.  He’s never done that, never had an accident in the house, even as a pup.

I always said that when his time came, that I’d know what to do.  When his time came, I’d not make him stick around just for us.  That we’d do the right thing by him, as hard as it would be to let him go.

It’s coming and I can feel it.

Frankie before he be-headed the monkey; Christmas 2010

We’re seeing the Vet on Monday. I hope and pray that she pats him on the head like she always has and tells me he’s looking good. But, somehow, somehow my heart doesn’t believe that’s the case this time.

 * * *

“He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.”– Author Unknown

Categories: Animals, Faith, Family, Friendship, Home, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 49 Comments

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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!

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Arise, shine, for your light has come...Isaiah 60

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just another plaid-wearin' java-sippin' girl

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Just another WordPress.com weblog

Wordsmith's Desk

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