Posts Tagged With: Happiness

Random 5 – Sisters, Books and Summer’s arrival

It’s Sunday! Back to work tomorrow ~Cooking, Laundry and random 5 today. Here goes!

1 )  My sister and I vacationed together last week ~ she lives in Canada, where we grew up, I live in the USA so – instead of traveling to each other’s homes – we met in the middle – something new for both of us.  No cooking. No cleaning. No bed-making.  No organizing. No wrangling. No Scheduling.  We loosely followed the “no plan-plan.”   Meeting in Minneapolis then flying to Kansas City together we laughed and we cried and we laughed again.  Navigating the rental car through the city and down to the interstate to Branson, MO, we sang along and talked and talked.  We had purchased a few show tickets ahead of time but left the week open to the possibilities.  Lying by the pool. Shopping in cute little boutiques, artisan markets and outlet malls.  Dining out, being waited on and, in some cases, sung to (the Singing Diner was so fun!)  Our trip was glorious!  Sister time – talking in the morning, talking at night, talking by the pool, talking in the dark.   On our last night together, out of the dark a small voice whispered,”I’m sure going to miss you, you know.”  “I know,” I said, “as will I miss you.”    A knowing look – finishing each others sentences – laughing at our stupid jokes.  For as much as we talked – sisters don’t need words.  

Sisters! An Emjayandthem(C) photo

2 ) Heat – arriving back home I was surprised to find the weather much hotter here (northern) than where we’d been (southern).  How did that happen?  80s up to 90s with little rain. It’s hot and dry.  Birds flitter happily through the sprinkler.

3 )  Taking a (leave-your-house) vacation is an excellent reminder that all of the stuff stressing me out is just that … stuff.    I work hard and do my best to stay on top of everything but every once in a while I need to step away from it and breathe.  Live.  Laugh.  And re-connect.

and there it is

4)  Books — Read one and bought another — one of my favorite things to do on a plane is to dive into a new story.  This one was well worth the dive:

… great read .. right to the last page!

And I bought this on the recommendation of a fellow passenger – next up on my summer reading list.

5 ) Summer’s here and another favorite just arrived — the Farm Market is open again!  I have to pace myself and remember that, for the most part, I’m the only one eating all these yummies.   Ooh … deliciousness abounds!!

What’s on your summer reading list?  Have you had any adventures lately?   What are you grateful for?  Are you a fan of toasted ‘mater sammiches, too?  *(GF for me!)

Toasted Tomato Sandwich ~ ahh, Summer!

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Confidence at any age, Faith, Family, Food, Friendship, Fun, Gratitude, Growth, Holidays, Home, Life, Love, Personal, Relationships, Thoughts, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Saturdays, soup and happiness


The house is quiet and the ambience lazy.

Chicken soup simmers on the stove.

Windows open, a cool breeze wafts in.

The dryer hums in the basement.

Hubbs and I refill our coffees and look towards the day:

  • No plans.
  • No schedule.
  • No particular place to be.


I feel it seeping in.

“October knew, of course, that the action of turning a page, of ending a chapter or of shutting a book, did not end a tale. Having admitted that, he would also avow that happy endings were never difficult to find: “It is simply a matter,” he explained to April, “of finding a sunny place in a garden, where the light is golden and the grass is soft; somewhere to rest, to stop reading, and to be content.” ― Neil Gaiman, The Sandman, Vol. 4: Season of Mists


Categories: Family, Food, Home, Joy, Thoughts, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

On saying Yes

I’ve been thinking a lot about a workshop coming up this weekend — a women’s retreat, so-to-speak, and time away to be with like-minded individuals in a supportive, creative environment.

Thinking about the questions posed to us ahead of time (loosely translated): 1) what’s the greatest risk you ever took and how did it turn out? 2) How do you define passion? and 3) What’s your big “Super Hero” dream – i.e. what does “next” look like?


The first two were easy to answer: 1) moving to another country with $178 and a guitar .. and here I am, a successful citizen.  2) It’s all that I am and what I can’t ever leave behind – it’s me doing the right thing regardless if anyone’s around to witness it – it’s music and love, family and relationships, hard work, silliness and stability. But #3.  3 has me thinking .. a lot.

On the treadmill last night, I had an epiphany (treadmill walking will do that to you … you can’t do much else, at least I can’t.) I can’t read or watch TV, pretty sure I’d fall off, but I digress.

I thought about how I gave oldest boy some of my sage advice last week on the power of saying “no.”  And, a direct quote was, “No. It’s a sentence.”  He used it and, by golly, it worked and here we are.

And I realized, at a 3.4 mph speed, that the past 5 years I’ve worked hard at saying no.  No without guilt. No without noise.  One word: “No.”

Saying no has opened up room for “Yes.”  And I’ve done a little of that … but last night I realized I already had my answer to #3 above.

I’m saying “Yes.”

Yes to adventures and events, to meeting new people who inspire and get me, yes to delight and wonder and learning and growth.  Yes to noise and yes to quiet.  Yes to order and yes to messy. Yes to love and comfort, joy and happiness.

I’m saying Yes.

“Say yes and you’ll figure it out afterwards.” -Tina Fey

What do you really want to say yes to? Have you made room for it in your life?


Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Family, Forgiveness, Friendship, Fun, Home, music, Personal, Self Discovery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Cover the world with imagination

Maybe we should develop a Crayola bomb as our next secret weapon.  A happiness weapon.  A beauty bomb.  And every time a crisis developed, we would launch one.  It would explode high in the air – explode softly – and send thousands, millions, of little parachutes into the air.  Floating down to earth – boxes of Crayolas.  And we wouldn’t go cheap, either – not little boxes of eight.  Boxes of sixty-four, with the sharpener built right inWith silver and gold and copper, magenta and peach and lime, amber and umber and all the rest.  And people would smile and get a little funny look on their faces and cover the world with imagination.”  ~Robert Fulghum


Maybe ...

Sometimes …

Yesterday I spent a couple of hours finding $.69 and $.99 mp3 songs to download from Amazon. Oh the fun I had as one song took me to another … Yes there were tasks “to do” and no, they didn’t all get accomplished.  The smile on my face and the song on my lips was enough.

When’s the last time you did something that delighted you? What was it?

humming along now.

humming along now.


Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Fun, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, music, Quotes, Random, Self Discovery, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

The Waiting

It’s official.  Summer’s here – just check the calendar!  🙂

Our pool is still cool, but our days are warming and summer, summer has returned.


cherries at the pool .. can’t wait!

The farmer’s market is open, cherries will soon be ready for picking at the Orchard up the road and me, I’m hungry for corn-on-the-cob.

photo courtesy of Robinette's Apple Haus

photo courtesy of Robinette’s Apple Haus

I had a birthday Saturday.   It was a fun day spent answering the phone, opening cards and gifts, reading texts, laughing through Facebook posts ~  you name it ~ I felt spoiled and loved and had a wonderful time.   The festivities continue this week with lunch dates with friends & even more laughter.

When I was a girl, my birthday landed at the end of the school year so my party = summer. That usually translated to us kids running through the sprinkler, sipping an orange float, and enjoying a burnt hot dog with family and friends.

Summer makes me a little more carefree and a little less scheduled. In Summer I’m more likely to wear a skirt that twirls and a pair of kitten heels.

In Summer I let my natural curls air dry and wear the dangling earrings  – the ones that pick up the green in my eyes and set off a sun-kissed glow.

cannot fight the curls in summer so why bother?  an Emjayandthem (C) photo

cannot fight the curls in summer so why bother? an Emjayandthem (C) photo

In Summer I’m more likely to get up early and stay up late, watching the stars dance in that forever sky.

Ah …. Summer.

Thank you for coming back to us again.   🙂



 What’s your favorite thing about summer?

Categories: Attitude, Family, Fun, Joy, Personal, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Random *cough* Five *cough* Friday

1.  There’s another big storm on the horizon and it’s a fine day to stay inside. (smile).



2. On Facebook, there’s this thing people do called “Flashback Friday” – for you I post this, and I’ve call it, “Flashback Frankie!”

Frankie as a tyke

Frankie as a tyke

That picture was taken in our rented apartment when we relocated ourselves to MI; we were looking for a house at that time, but hadn’t yet found one.  Seems like more than 14 years ago now and yes, I still miss him.

3.  I’m digging the Keurig but, I have to say, the traditional coffee maker makes a better tasting cup of coffee.  The Keurig has more of an “instant” coffee taste.  I guess I favor coffee with a little heart:  the kind that’s sat on the warmer a while.   Takes me back to days at the rink, coming in from the cold, and ordering a “kid coffee” (double cream, double sugar, extra energizing!).

4. The only good thing about having Bronchitis is that it’s in my lungs, not my head. Which means my eyes are OK for reading. Which means I’m halfway through my bag of delights from that recent jaunt to the bookstore! Even when I bought them, I remembered thinking .. if only I had time to read them all!  How’s that for serendipity? 🙂

5. Being sick makes me appreciate being well.

“Sometimes life knocks you on your ass… get up, get up, get up!!! Happiness is not the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with them.” ― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

* * Care to share your random 5 with me? ** 


Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Gratitude, Growth, Home, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Wheels off

Being happy – the ultimate goal, right?

Except that … riding an ever-revolving wheel churning towards happiness is a little exhausting, don’t you think?

It’s good to get off the wheel.  It’s good to take a look around.

It’s good to be happy right where you are.

With who you are.

With what you have.

With all you can do.

What about that?

“The world is full of people looking for spectacular happiness while they snub contentment.”  – Doug Larson

Frankie and contentment are well-acquainted.

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Faith, Family, Gratitude, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Opinion, Quotes | Tags: , , , | 33 Comments

on Joy

The funny thing about Joy is that you only really find it when you’re too busy having fun to go looking for it.

photo from

Today, I’m joyful because it’s Friday. It’s Friday and I have several projects to wrap up and then I get to skip out into the sunshine and enjoy the glorious “Indian Summer” weather we’re having.

I’m joyful because my office is closer to orchards than it is the mall.

I’m joyful because I have Honeycrisp apples in my house and on my desk.

I’m joyful because Autumn’s beauty is starting to emerge and boy is she spectacular!

I’m joyful because 15 years ago I declared that I wanted to live in the four seasons again, with a screen door, a dog and have the boys know our families better. And we do.

I’m joyful because tomorrow brings the Vision Board class I organized … for others but just as much for me.

I’m joyful because our Tigers won last night and, in our excitement, the person we immediately called was my 81 year old mother.  Why? Because we knew she’d be up watching it, too, out of solidarity to us here in Tigers-land. She cheered, we cheered and that win was sweeter because we could share it.

I’m joyful …  because I am.

What’s brought you joy of late?

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Friendship, Fun, Growth, Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Tune it in?

“Happiness does not depend on circumstances… it is an attitude. It’s like finding your favorite radio station, we can tune into it at any time.” – Anonymous

I love this quote and the photo below (from the 1988 film, “Big,” starring a young Tom Hanks and a well established Robert Loggia).

The movie tells the story of a young boy who wishes to become ‘big’ because it seems that everything good can only happen when you’re ‘big.’ (older).   He gets his wish and more… and wakes up in an overwhelming world where nothing is familiar and not much is … fun.

That quote and the photo remind me that how we look at something reveals more about us than it does the issue being examined.

Often we make a problem bigger and more powerful than it is by the attention we give to it.

This quote reminds me to slow down and be more patient .. to push away the petty stuff cluttering my days and embrace the joy that is already there …waiting for me.

    I wonder if my living room could accommodate a giant piano from FAO Schwartz?

image from

Categories: Determination, Faith, Family, Friendship, Gratitude, Humor, Life, music, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Random, Relationships, Self Discovery, Share, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Wisdom, Women, Work | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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