Posts Tagged With: kindness

On Choices

“Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.” – Roy T. Bennett, “The Light in the Heart”

Autumn makes me happy. Of all my seasons to choose from, this is the one that makes my heart sing ~ the colors, the sights, the smells. I love Autumn!

My favorite neighborhood tree!

A dog’s attitude is a great reminder on how to live: play, play, play, sleep.

Sully with a stick = happiness

Being and staying healthy makes me happy.

And grateful.

Every day I choose to put myself on the “to-do” list I’ve carried for 40+ years.

I choose movement, engagement, discernment, nutrition, and sleep.

I choose by turning off the “news” & smart phones and reaching for a book instead.

I choose by tuning out the voices who blather on with opinions on issues or choices they’ve never lived, researched, or attempted.

I choose to walk outside even if that involves gloves and long johns.

I choose to go to bed sooner and get up earlier to savor the sacred stillness of a quiet morning.

I choose to honor my body with real, whole foods made at home by yours truly.

I choose me.

What are you choosing? Have you put yourself on your “to-do” list yet? If not, why not? If not now, when?

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Confidence at any age, Determination, Elections, Faith, Gratitude, Growth, Home, Life, News, Opinion, Personal, Politics, Quotes, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

What Mom wants for Mother’s Day

Every year ( well, maybe not every year) my kids ask me the same question. After thinking about it, I decided I’d give them my real answer:

What do I want for Mother’s Day?🌹

:: I want you ::

I want you to keep coming around, I want you to bring your kids around, I want you to ask me questions, ask my advice, tell me your problems, ask for my opinion, ask for my help. I want you to come over and rant about your problems, rant about your life, whatever.

Tell me about your job, your worries, your kids, your fur babies. I want you to continue sharing your life with me as you do.

Come over and laugh with me, or laugh at me, I don’t care. Hearing you laugh is music to my ears. And laughing together is the best! 💖

I’ve spent the better part of my life raising you the best way I knew how. Now, give me time to sit back and admire my handiwork.

Raid my refrigerator, help yourself, I really don’t mind. Hungry? You know I’ll make you something good. In fact, I don’t want it any other way.

Spend your money making a better life for you and your family, I have what I need. I want to see you happy and healthy and loved. So when you ask me what I want for Mother’s Day and I say “nothing” it’s because you’ve already been giving me my gift all year.

I want you. 💖

If you’re a Mom who feels the same way, feel free to copy and paste… I did!

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people sitting and child

an Emjayandthem (C) photo

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, child

an Emjayandthem (C) photo

and Happy Mother’s Day to my Mother in Heaven ~  She was the lead Kid-wrangler, barn helper, cake baker, costume sewer, 4-H leader, farm Treasurer, horse racing Secretary, shower & wedding organizer, party planner, master gardener, chief cook & bottle operator, farmhand, piano teacher, chauffeur, dog trainer, baby chick nurturer, horse breeder, speech preparer, Sunday school teacher ..and more.

She was something else. In her kitten heels & red patent purse on date nights, or with curlers in her hair off to town to get groceries.  She took no guff, imparted quips and wisdom daily ~ She was hilarious,intelligent, well read and loving.

Man, I miss her. Not sure how she did it all but she did – and with flair!  my Mom!

that’s me on Mom’s knee; an Emjayandthem (C) photo

and one more:

said over her shoulder in the Oldsmobile!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms out there!    

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Food, Fun, Gratitude, Growth, Holidays, Love, Mom, music, News, Opinion, Wisdom, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Positive obsessions

for more, click on A test in self-worth

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Confidence at any age, Faith, fear, Forgiveness, Friendship, Growth, Joy, Life, Mom, Quotes | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

On first days

Today is a big day.  Big day!

I had a full schedule planned and was supposed to be at an important breakfast meeting along the Lake shore. Up with the birds, driving in the dark, greeting importants and making everyone feel welcome.

But in the middle of all that, I made an offer of employment to someone I’m very excited about “on-boarding” (corporate words for hiring/acclimating an employee).

And to complicate things, my team and I are off to a conference next week. She needs to come, too. So HR said “she needs to start sooner.” As in today. Friday.

Add another layer of complications, an important agency asked for a meeting mid-state.   She’s on the East side, I’m on the west, the agency office is in the middle.

Decision made.

A few other employees were scheduled to appear with me at the breakfast meeting so they’ve got it covered.

I will leave shortly, take the meeting and then boogie on over to where her office is. Coffee up!

Why?

I remember my first day: I had a cubicle, a pen and a note pad. No computer. No guidance. No agenda. No direction. No colleagues (in meetings).

I did what I do best: I made a list.

Eventually someone hauled in a computer, a few days later it was up and running. In the meantime I met my office mates, asked questions, learned about the company and started figuring things out.

My first day, week, month weren’t great but they were definitely memorable. And a learning experience x 10!

You only get one first day.

One.

And I want hers to be memorable … but for all the right reasons!

day-one

“In most cases being a good boss means hiring talented people and then getting out of their way.” ― Tina Fey, Bossypants

 

Do you remember your first day at work? What was it like? Did you feel like someone prepared for you or were you “tossed into the mix” like I was?

 

Categories: Attitude, Determination, fear, Gratitude, Growth, Life, Personal, Thoughts, Wisdom, Work, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Random Friday Five ~ a Bushel & a Peck

It’s Friday –  it’s random – here we go ~ Yippee Skippee! 🙂

1.  Took a road trip Wednesday and most of the route I spent dodging construction cones. It was in one of those slowed-down jaunts that I noticed the sign for a farm market.  And it was the “Honey Crisps”  (middle baskets) that drew me off the highway.  Perusing the apples brought a smile to my face and a small bag back to my car

Fall means apples here in Michigan ~ an Emjayandthem (C) photo

Fall means apples here in Michigan ~ an Emjayandthem (C) photo

2.  The apples are sold by the peck ~ which equates to 2 gallons or 10-12 lbs of apples.  They are also sold in 1/2 and 1/4 pecks.  On our farm wheat and barley are sold by the bushel.  When I hear the words “bushel and a peck” I can’t help but think of this song that Mom sang to us when we were little:

I love you a bushel and a peck, a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck …

3. Before I left, I turned the corner and caught sight of this cupboard:

Jams and Jellies as far as the eye could see!  An Emjayandthem (C) photo

Jams and Jellies as far as the eye could see! An Emjayandthem (C) photo

No, I didn’t buy any – for I still have some of my sister’s jam brought from home. Her pantry, while not quite as fancy, can easily rival the professionals!

A bit of her jam makes a piece of toast stand up & dance!  An Emjayandthem (C) photo

A bit of her jam makes a piece of toast stand up & dance! An Emjayandthem (C) photo

4.  We’re heading north tomorrow to visit my Father-in-Law … the colors are turning and the nights are getting colder.  As much as he says he doesn’t need any help, the delight in his voice when we asked to come visit .. was palpable.   We’ll stop in., he’ll show us around, point things out, go out for lunch, and I’ll leave behind his all time favorite – peanut butter cookies.  It’s the little things, right?

image: pinterest.com

image: Pinterest.com

5.  Speaking of little things – a sense of humor is always welcome.  The meeting I headed south for?  This sign, in the ladies restroom, had me chuckling all the way home.

And I did :)  An Emjayandthem (C) photo

And I did!  An Emjayandthem (C) photo

And how was your week?  Seen any crazy signs lately?  How’s  your jam supply these days?

 

 

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Food, Fun, Home, Joy, Life, Men, music, Personal, Quotes, Relationships, Seasons, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

On being loved and cared for

Here’s the thing about Facebook: you can re-connect with people who once upon a time were your schoolmates, pals, neighbors or cousins.  You can also connect with new ones.  This story is about the new ones.

Hubb’s Aunt kept telling me, “You should connect with Jerry, that’s me and your late-mother-in-law’s cousin. He writes daily posts that are so uplifting and hilarious. You would really enjoy him, Marilyn.”

And so I did.

And I found myself looking forward to his daily words celebrating sunshine and lollipops and looking for the good in every sunrise.  Of being thankful. Of praising our Creator.

And then he got sick.

And as a man I’ve never met recovers in a hospital bed a whole group of us rallied around him.

Posts appear on his “wall” about someone taking time to enjoy coffee on their deck that morning.

About reveling in the glory of a morning songbird’s trill.

Posts about finding sunshine and lollipops in unlikely places.

Posts about being thankful.  Posts of prayer – for him and his family.

Posts that he’s now able to read from his hospital bed when he’s allowed to peruse his Kindle.

And in his own way, that community he created, rallied together like a virtual church pot-luck.

Connections.

That’s what being loved and cared for is all about, isn’t it?

“You and I are being guided, of this I’m certain. I no longer doubt that the Universe is constantly looking for ways to communicate with us and lovingly guide us to our highest good, our purpose, and our happiness. But we must pay attention – we must be open to listen with our hearts and to trust the synchronicities, chance encounters, songs on the radio, and random thoughts that gently cross our paths, knowing with bold assurance that we are always being loved and cared for. If you pay attention, you will soon come to realize that there’s a loving intelligence that seeks your highest good and happiness. Listen. Listen and trust that you are being guided. Listen as if the Universe itself were about to reveal the most wonderful secret; because it is.” – Frankie Perez

thankful morning

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Faith, Family, Growth, Joy, Life, Life Lessons, Personal, Quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

The fight

“A fight is going on inside me,” said an old man to his son. “It is a terrible fight between two wolves. One wolf is evil. He is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other wolf is good. he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.

The same fight goes on inside you.”

The son thought about it for a minute and then asked, “Which wolf will win?”

The old man replied simply, “The one you feed.”
Native American proverb

Who are you feeding?wolf cubs napping

Categories: Animals, Family, Growth, Holidays, Home, Personal, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 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

I saw her

The past two days have been an adventure, to say the least.   After the news in Boston and Texas, it felt good to get out for a road trip on Thursday. Except for the driving rain.  And the flooding. And the difficulty doing simple things … like seeing where I was going!

But, eventually, I drove out of the storms and found myself enjoying the ride — the winding roads, the hills, farms and fields.  Arriving at my destination, I was met by the smiling face of one of my employees.  Our meetings went well, we enjoyed a wonderful lunch in a quaint Northern town and then, off we went again, driving through the rain and the hills and the snow to another city I’ve never visited before.

Wrapping up yesterday, we soon realized that I couldn’t go home the same way I’d came in.  You see, the city I live in has a large river snaking through it and the banks were already compromised; every river north of here is swollen and spilling over.  I decided to reroute and travel south along the Lake Huron shoreline and then make my way West from there.

Lake Huron .. from inside my car, way too cold to get out and stand!

Lake Huron .. from inside my car, way too cold to get out and stand!

Just before a stretch of open road, I noticed something I hadn’t noticed: the gas gauge was low. A lot lower than it should have been for the distance I still had to go.  I took an exit off the highway into an area I’ve never been and, driving along, it seemed to take forever to see any signs of gas stations or … civilization. My nerves kicked in and I felt my hands shaking just a bit.

Oh geez, I thought. Wouldn’t this be just perfect? I muttered.  C’mon gas station where are you? and then a chime-chime-chime of the gas alert.  Oh Lord, here we go.

Coming around a bend in the road, I saw it: a little country stop called, “Gas N Go.”   Let’s hope it’s open. 

I pulled up, filled up, and walked inside to pay.   As I opened the door, here she came: a little (and I mean tiny) old lady in a rain hat and boots, looked me straight in the eye and asked, “Do you know the roads?”

Holding the door, my hair flying in the wind, I replied, “I’m sorry, I don’t. I’m not from around here.”  She put her head down and started to walk away when something made me  ask “Where are you headed?”

Looking up, her bright blue eyes peeking out from under her plastic rain hat, she said, “Well, I’m headed to Belding; you see my sister died and I need to get there.”   I touched her arm lightly and said, “I’m so sorry; you know the roads are bad and it’s flooding and are you sure you should be going?”  Again those blue eyes, “I have to” and off she headed to her truck.

I went inside to pay and felt my emotions get the best of me. That could be my Mom out on a country road. That could be me.

I blurted out my concerns to the clerk: that she shouldn’t be out in this, and couldn’t we do something?  Behind me stood an older man, a farmer-looking kind of man. The kind of man who could have been my Dad or my neighbor growing up.   I heard him clear his throat and put his change on the counter; he stepped ahead of me and went straight to her truck.  In the wind and the driving rain, I saw him pointing forward and telling her road names.

Driving back to the highway, I thought of her. I prayed for her. And yes, I cried for her.

You see, as a girl who lives so far from what’s familiar, there’s much of my life that’s an adventure. But there are also moments like this when I feel the pinch of not living where things are known to me.

Last night, I found myself telling Hubbs about that encounter.  He listened, as he always does, and then said something that resonated with me. “No you couldn’t help her, you didn’t know your way, but you did what you could: you saw her.”

Maybe he’s right. Maybe we’re not meant to solve everyone’s problems. Maybe the best we can do is take a moment and see someone.

Have you had a kindness shown? Pass it on; ‘Twas not given for thee alone, Pass it on; Let it travel down the years, Let it wipe another’s tears, ‘Til in Heaven the deed appears – Pass it on. ~Henry Burton, Pass It On

Categories: Faith, fear, Friendship, Growth, Home, Life, Mom, Personal, Random, Relationships, Thoughts, Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

An ache in a crowded room

Wrapping my gown around me, I stepped into the inner room, the room reserved for women like me. Women about to have a mammogram (the mamm-o-slam, as I affectionately call it).

Chilled, and feeling a bit awkward, I smiled and relaxed when another lady grinned my way.

“Hi.” she said.

“Hi there,” I said back.

“How are you doing today?”

“Oh, good, good, how are you doing?” I asked.

“I’m fine but boy, it sure is cold in here.”

And so on we went with our easy banter.

She motioned to all the ladies magazines laid out for us to read.  I chuckled and said I couldn’t hope to enjoy them without my glasses, the same glasses buried deep in my purse in the locker down the hall.

Laughing, she offered, “I know what you mean, some days I wonder what’s left that I can see.”  And when she tilted her head just so, the image of that coupled with her kind eyes and warm smile reminded me of my oldest sister.

And it was in that moment that I felt it.

A pinch.

A longing for her so deep that I nearly cried.

I didn’t say anything.

I just sighed and sat with it.

I sat there with my ache in a crowded room.

Has a stranger’s kindness ever both uplifted you and broke your heart?

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Hebrews 13:2

me, Pat and Charlie the dog

me and my sis and Charlie the dog

Categories: Beauty, Faith, Family, Friendship, Growth, Home, Life, Love, Relationships, Self Discovery, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 27 Comments

A Valentinian Twist

google images

google images

What’s that?  Don’t have a Valentine?

Valentines Day is for new love and little kids, you say?

Or maybe you’re part of a couple and you’re past all that.

I get it.

It’s winter. It’s cold. You’ve got things to do.

I know.

I say all the same things myself.

And then I read this.  And it made me think:

Wouldn’t that be a fun twist on Valentine’s Day?

No giant teddy bears. No footie pajamas.

I don’t care to match a bear!

No 1-800-whatever.

How about this instead:

Each of us. Take one moment. And do something nice. For someone else.

Clear the snow from a neighbor’s walkway.

Buy some sweet treats for your office mates.

Leave a hand-written note of encouragement for your spouse, child or friend.

Let someone ahead of you at the check-out line.

Smile.

Take a deep breath.

Be patient.

I will if you will.

“Be kind whenever possible.  It is always possible.” –Dalai Lama.

P.S.   Please let me know what you did and, most importantly, how’d you feel when you did it?

** Happy Valentines Day, friends! **

You're the best!

You’re the best!

Categories: Attitude, Charity, Faith, Family, Forgiveness, Friendship, Fun, Home, Humor, Joy, Life, Personal, Random, Self Discovery, Share, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

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Kate's views on life edited by four opinionated cats

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Nancy Roman

She's A Maineiac

just another plaid-wearin' java-sippin' girl

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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...

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...