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Posts Tagged With: milestones

Random 5 Sunday ~ Spring, Weddings and Anniversaries

Good morning and Happy Sunday to you!   Time for 5 Randoms from my world.  Ready?  Let’s go.

1 )   Spring.  I’d been away from the office for several weeks, returning last week to a stacks of mail and Spring  outside my window.   After (what felt like) a 10 month winter, Spring seems even brighter this year. And overdue.  Yes, it rained all weekend, but the rain washed away the pollen and, for the first time in a week, my eyes no longer feel gummy.    Farmer’s daughters have a hard time wishing away rain anyways.

**Hello Spring! **

2 )  Travel ~ as fun and adventurous as it was to be away ~ including staying an extra night because of flight delays (in a hotel, not the airport, yay), it’s wonderful to come home again.  With 3 days in the office last week and 1 more tomorrow, I’m nearly caught up.  On Tuesday I’m off again for a couple of nights and back home in time to slide into the long weekend.   This is the kind of travel I love~ by car, with stops along the way, the schedule is (mostly) all mine, structured enough to accomplish my objectives but with enough free time to take in the sights.  I’ll be winding my way north along the shores of Lake Michigan and back again.   And I won’t miss my desk one bit.

**Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.**

3 ) Companions– While visiting city officials and town halls I’ll have Dad with me.   See Dad, in addition to being a full-time farmer,  served his local Rural Municipality (R.M.) as a Councilor for 30+ years and this girl went with him much of the time.  I’d straighten the paperwork and make sure the coffee pot was full, watch how he listened, interacted, and worked the issues.  I learned from him how to relax and stand confident in what I know.   Although my present day role is much different from his, there’s much of what he did that comes with me.  And I still  experience a child-like wonder as I walk into a century-old City Hall, seeing the grooves in the floor from so many before me, smelling furniture polish and the must that exists in those cavernous old rooms.     I can easily spot the radiators still hugging the walls and, before long, enjoy a relaxed camaraderie with present day staff.

**A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.**

4 )  Anniversary –  This week marks 10 years as a U.S. Citizen.    10 years! Yes, 10 years ago I raised my right hand and, with 78 others (from 34 countries) took the oath of allegiance to the United States of America and stepped forward as a new American. It signified the end of one journey and the beginning of another.   It was one of the proudest and most emotional  moments of my life.  (more about my journey here.)

You see, someday I will be a citizen for 15 or 20 or 35 years and I’ll still choose to tell folks that I’m a “new” citizen. Why?  Because I don’t know how else to communicate the significance of it.    The choice of it.

We’re not perfect, this country, we’ve got our flaws.  Like most families, there’s bickering and divisions and  always someone willing to point out what’s wrong with us … but still … there’s a heart and soul about America that continues to inspire people to imagine a life here.

That’s me, holding the flag, during my swearing in ceremony; An Emjayandthem (C) photo

“The first requisite of a good citizen in this republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his own weight.”

 

3) The Royal Wedding – Unlike past events, I didn’t set my alarm, instead I set the DVR.  Snoozing till 8:00 I hopped up out of bed, poured a large cup of coffee, and turned on the TV.   For whatever reason, I just didn’t have the same interest in this wedding as I did for Diana and Charles in 1981 or William and Kate in 2011.   Maybe I was still trying to learn about the gal who’d bedazzled a Prince and, let’s be honest, some of the attraction was the hot mess certain members of her family had been, too.    The day was dazzling, the sky glorious, the hats large and the dress fancy.   Having the DVR recording allowed me to fast-forward through the speculative coverage by “new” Royal experts and get to the good stuff.  Yes, I cried when I saw the two brothers walking so confidently together.   I giggled at the cuteness of the little page boys and flower girls.   I teared up watching Prince Charles join her on her lone walk in, when the two of them said their vows, shared a kiss, and hopped into the Carriage to be swept off to their future.   I’ve cried at this and every wedding I’ve ever witnessed.  This was no different: in the end, it’s all about love.  I wish them well.

image from Delish.com

**All you need is love … ** -Paul McCartney

So, how was your week?

 

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Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Faith, Family, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Love, News, Opinion, Personal, Politics, Relationships, Thoughts, Traditions, Travel, Women, Work, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Random 5 Saturday- Radiators, Revolutions & True loves

Here we are at Saturday again and this week felt like four-in-one.

1.       Attended a meeting in an ancient City Hall recently and noticed steam radiators at the back. They took me back to grade 6 in our tiny prairie school.  That’s where we defrosted (homemade) wool mittens and, in a stroke of pure genius, my cousin and I convinced Mom and Aunt Irene to pack us grilled cheese sandwiches wrapped in foil. Why? About 30 minutes before noon you’d find those same foil packets set amongst the wet woolies and we’d guarantee ourselves ooey-gooey goodness for lunch.  I still remember the hissing and clanging sound those things made … and being cold most of the time.

 Radiator

2.       Went through a Starbucks drive-thru on my way back into town the other day. Now I don’t love Starbucks, as their coffee is a bit strong for me, and I’ve never adapted to their haughty sizing conventions. Venti-Grandayyyyy-whatever. I ordered a medium mild coffee with lots of cream and waited my turn in line. Well apparently we all waited too long because a gal behind me tooted her horn to get everyone going. Looking through the rear-view, I gave her what Mom always dubbed, “the look.” You know the look – you likely learned it from YOUR Mom. The look can turn someone into a pillar of salt. Anyways, confusing my acknowledgement for something else, she waved and offered what could politely be called a “hurry up” gesture.  Quietly and deliberately, I took my foot off the brake and put my car in park.  For a minute.  Or two. Maybe three? Who knows?  Just long enough to see her wave her hands and lose her you-know-what. Just long enough to send a message of, “Hey Honey, don’t mess with old(er) people.  Ta-wanda!”

 3.       Speaking of Tawanda, a bowling acquaintance told me I remind her of Kathy Bates in “Fried Green Tomatoes.”  I adore Kathy Bates but haven’t wrapped myself in Saran Wrap or hatched plans to smash some chick’s car in the parking lot … oh wait. See # 2. Ha!

I do love this movie!

I do love this movie!

4.        Next week oldest boy turns 30.  2 minutes ago he was this little.  Sniff, sniff.  He’ll always be my first true love.

That face! My boy. My first true love. An Emjayandthem (C) photo

That face! My boy. My first true love. An Emjayandthem (C) photo

5.       Yesterday marked 60 days grain-free.  60 days!  I’m feeling good, sleeping well, and no longer complain about aches & pains.  My skin’s happy, my clothes are looser, and I’ve found what works for me.  Social events are a challenge, travel can be as well, but you know what? I’m worth fighting for.  I’ve finally put myself on that d*mn to-do list I’ve carried around for 30 years.  Whoop!

TODOLIST

What’s random in your world this week?  What revolutions have you inspired in your mind?  Did you have alternate uses for heating appliances as a kid?  What’s the last kind thing you did for yourself?

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Family, Food, Growth, Humor, Joy, Life, Love, Men, Personal, Rants, Relationships, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Useful Information, Wisdom, Women, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Random 5 Sunday – 5 years

It’s a beautiful sunny Sunday (yay!) so here are 5 randoms from my little corner of the universe.

1  Cooked yesterday and doubled everything. Why? I’m dropping off half to oldest boy and the grands later today.   The work/school/homework schedule is just nicer when you have “extras” around.  Homemade soup, sloppy Joe’s, Game day brownies  and more.   To quote Mom, “Love is Groceries.

food ina garten

2 It was Mom who taught me the significance of caring for others.  On Mothering is just one of many posts I’ve written about her. She taught me so many things but, most importantly, she taught me how to mother.  And, like her, I’m fierce — no apologies.  Because of that, I can’t wrap my head around that our grand children’s mother left them like she did.   But it was my wee Mom who reminded me He gave our boy big shoulders for a reason and sometimes Mom & Dad are the same person.

smell the color 9

3  Stopped the other day to take this picture – October will end soon and all of this will pass.  Don’t miss it.

Country Club trees

4  I write as means to formalize my thoughts, connect-the-dots and express myself.  Through this experience I’ve connected with many of you, and one I’ve even met in person (lucky me).   When I write what I know – posts about life, relationships, personal growth, faith and home – you chime in and I love that so much.

m151be-yourself-unknown-posters

5 Going back to Mom, she was moved to Nursing Home placement this week and, when asked how things were going, her response made me laugh.  “I’m doing the best I can and managing to stay out of trouble… so far!”  This center is small, 17 beds, and in a rural setting, which is much more her style.  Both my sisters are certain she’ll get more personalized care and that’s of comfort to us all.  Thinking of her it hit me that 5 years ago today I published my very first blog and, not surprisingly, I wrote about  another life lesson learned from Mom.      5 years, 824 posts,179,273 visitors, still writing.    Thank you for reading along.

yes i can

Happy Sunday to you!  When you look back over your blogging lifetime, what do you see?

 

 

 

 

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Food, Growth, Home, Life, Love, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Seasons, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Random 5 Sunday – Coyotes, silence and Carpe Diem

It’s Sunday and I’m still in a bit of a fog after being “away” on vacation.  I went home to the family farm in Saskatchewan – to visit Mom, attend a wedding, and catch up with family.  Here are my random 5 thoughts from this past 10 days:

1. Lessons. Other travelers sure were chatty.  On 3 out of 4 flights I had someone older sit next to me and once they learned what I was up to every single one spoke longingly of their departed family members.  Some had a parent or sibling remaining, others had none.  It was not lost on me, as the youngest of 5, that time marches on and there will come a day when I don’t have them anymore.  Coincidences are just His way of remaining anonymous.

2. Time.  I found myself wide awake before 5:00 a.m. most days (that’s 7:00 a.m. in MI) and outside soon there-after. Hitting my 5 mile daily walking goal was a breeze. Most days I walked 6 miles before 9:30!  That time gave me the opportunity to visit with my brother & sister-in-law, chill with the farm dog & kitties, and drink in the intoxicating fragrance of freshly cut hay.  Ahhh.

Stevie the dog and the road to home.  An Emjayandthem (C) photo

Stevie the dog and the road to home. An Emjayandthem (C) photo

3.  Silence.  I hadn’t realized it until I was there but opportunities for meandering conversations with Mom don’t happen as frequently as they used to.  She doesn’t hear as well now and it frustrates her to miss out on things.  And as busy and restless as I tend to be, it was challenging to sit in the stillness with her.  But I’m glad I did because opportunities still came.   Case in point:  The day we left for the wedding city, a 2+ hour drive, I could feel her anxiety and sensed she might pull the pin on our plans.  It took several hours for me to get everything loaded up and once I had her buckled in I asked, “You ready, Thelma?”  Her response? “Let’s do it, Louise!” That – and a fist bump from my 85-year-old Mom – and we were off.   Traversing roads she hadn’t traveled for years I laughed when she chatted and commented the whole way there.  She told me, more than once, that she never could have gone without my help and thanked me time and again for making it so much fun. Priceless!

Me, Mom and my Sissy, Mother of the Bride.  An Emjayandthem(C) photo

Me, Mom and my Sissy, Mother of the Bride. An Emjayandthem(C) photo

4.  Milestones.  We had fun at the wedding but, as we suspected might happen, the excitement and schedule left her a bit weary.  Plans to go out for a birthday supper were changed to a gathering at home instead.  She got into her comfy chair, surrounded by kids and grands, and smiled all afternoon. We enjoyed take-out Chinese food and my sister’s delicious home-made chocolate cake with Opal’s Caramel Frosting .    Between the pictures taken and the smiles shared we all felt a pinch wondering how many more times we’d get moments like this. Not one to dwell on such seriousness, she polished off her Caesar (aka Bloody Mary) and asked that we move outside — it was too hot in the house and she wanted to visit where it was cooler.  In the dusk of twilight, we listened to the yips and yelps of nearby coyotes and Mom had her own “Carpe Diem” moment right there.

Mom's 85th 2015

Mom’s comment: “I’m glad there are 2 big candles instead of 85 small ones!!” An Emjayandthem (C) photo.

5. Appreciation.  Being away from Hubbs made me appreciate him even more. How I missed our daily conversations and comments and humor.  How I missed being able to chat with my boys and get regular updates on their lives. I looked around my childhood bedroom and laughed to myself that the same types of things “saved” there are “saved” in my MI home.  I am my mother’s daughter in a very big way! My first morning back in MI youngest boy commented that he’d always known I did a lot (around here) but he didn’t know how much until he had to do it.  “All I did was clean and tidy up and take care of things and water your plants and look after the pool and … wow you do a lot!”  So as much as I love going away, hey, it’s good to be back home again.

 

*I’ve missed all my blogging friends and am way behind on reading your posts. I’ll catch up as soon as I can – in the meantime – how’s your week been?

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Beauty, Faith, Family, Fun, Growth, Home, Life, Mom, music, Personal, Relationships, Seasons, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Time changes everything

We never changed our clocks where I grew up. Never.  So it was weird for me when I first lived in other places.  What is this you speak of?  Fall back? Spring what?

Now I live in the western-most part of the Eastern time zone and our summer nights seem to last forever. But once we do the “fall back” the days feel like they’re about 6 hours long.

It will be nice to wake up to sunlight tomorrow but it will be dark when I get home from work. ~sigh~

funny clock

On that note, one of the many nuggets I picked up at the conference last week was this one — A.A.R.P. is launching their own tablet geared for technology fearful seniors.  Check out the Real Pad here.

I made a note in the margin of my papers and explored the site later on. It was in watching the demo and finding myself excited by the features and the price ($189) that I realized, at 51, I’m one of the seniors they’re targeting.

Time changes. Everything.

I feel so fortunate to have seen both Johnny Cash and  Ray Charles perform their music live in my lifetime.   Johnny when I was 9 and Ray when I was 20.  Today, there’s no one touring I’d buy a ticket for.   Time changes. Everything.

source Legacy Recordings.com

Johnny Cash & Ray Charles; source Legacy Recordings.com

 

 

 

 

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Faith, Family, Fun, Growth, halloween, Humor, Life Lessons, music, Opinion, Personal, Random, Relationships, Share, Thoughts, Vote | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Random Five Friday

It’s Friday! It’s random! Let’s go ….!

1.  Our trees are have peaked and with the rain this week many have let go.  There are still beautiful scenes to behold and yesterday I noticed another favorite of fall – that rich  autumn smell. The fresh smell of wet leaves and plants letting go of their summer glory.  The fragrance that reminds us all what Mother Earth smells like and all that she gives us.

Many scenes like this one right now google.images.com

Many scenes like this one right now google.images.com

2.  I’ve taken the past 3 days off.  Why?  Because after leading an 8 1/2 month project while also covering another’s duties for 7 of those same months, I hit the wall. Everyone around me asked the same questions: what are you taking time off for? Where are you going? Are you going away? What are you going to do with all that time???? And my answer was the same: nothing. I’m not committing to anything. I’m going to rest, read, rest and read, in that order.  And I have.  I don’t feel the urge to “fill up” every spare minute with more to do.   You?

3.  Heard this morning of that a friend’s Dad passed away last night.  That’s the stage of life we’re in now-a-days.  Most of us have (mostly) grown children + aging parents and there’s a whole lot of both. Tomorrow I’ll make up some soup & other foods and have Hubbs drop it off to the family.   Good thing I am rested and had that time off ~ see how that works?

4. Tomorrow marks 4 years of blogging. 4 years!  In my very first post “Who’s the turkey” I wrote about things that I still write today – Mom, cooking, traditions, personal, relationships, joys, life lessons, and faith.   Some topics can stand the test of time.

5. And this last photo is for my blogging buddy Dianna who writes at “These Days of Mine.”   She has a pair of wild swans who visit their yard in S.E. Virginia and when I saw this picture I had to snag it for her.  Taken in my home province of Saskatchewan, Canada earlier this fall, I call this one “Seven Swans a  Swimming.”   Millions of birds are very happy to summer “up north” where the world’s wheat basket is located.   And yes, there are only 68 days till Christmas!

photo credit: Owen Lasseur

photo credit: Owen Lasseur

How’s your week been?  Do you ever take time off just to “be?”  Are you seeing migratory birds in your neck of the woods?

Categories: Animals, Faith, Family, Friendship, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Personal, Relationships, Thoughts, Women, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

2 For Tuesday

It’s Tuesday – September 2nd – and just how did that happen?

1. Back to school today and it’s our grand-daughter’s first day of Kindergarten!  I took the wee ones school shopping last Sunday so here they are modeling new backpacks, shoes, hoodies and more.   Those bright neon colors from the Madonna-80’s era are back in force!  And Nana can’t help but notice the photo of our two boys in the background ~ pretty sure that was taken only 15 min. ago!

Grands readying for school .. an Emjayandthem (C) photo

Grands readying for school .. an Emjayandthem (C) photo

2.  Saw this picture on Facebook and had to share it … What does the fox say?

fox selfie

The ultimate Selfie

Have a great week everyone!

Categories: Animals, Blogging, Faith, Family, Fun, Growth, Joy, Life, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , | 18 Comments

Random 700 Friday

It’s Friday! It’s Random! Let’s Go!

1. Perusing old pictures recently, I found a few snaps taken inside the schoolhouse Dad attended as a boy.  In later years, that building was moved a half mile to Grampa’s farm and used as a “shop” (*garage).  I find it beautiful that, 70-some years later, the blackboard and cursive writing are still there.

an Emjayandthem (C) photo

an Emjayandthem (C) photo

2.  Mom’s birthday was yesterday.  Smiling as we talked, I loved hearing how excited she is about her two sisters visiting soon.  When I commented that they’ll be having a “sleepover” she giggled and agreed.  Sisters and sleepovers go together whether you’re 8 or 84.

One of my favorite pictures of Mom & me... having a Killian's in Branson, MO

One of my favorite pictures of Mom & me… having a Killian’s in Branson, MO.  An Emjayandthem (C) photo

3. Remember Jerry, the relative I haven’t yet met but blogged about?  He came home from the hospital yesterday :).

“Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in the One who hears it and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference. -Max Lucado

4. A newer friend asked me along to an outdoor concert this week.   “Yes” I said. “Sounds fun,” I said. And it was.  Keb Mo played some funky fun blues and when he gave us this song, “She just wants to dance,” well you gotta know we did.

5.  I have a few crowns.  Some of them need to be replaced.  Sigh – I know what that means…  time in the chair and no $$ to spare.   But this cartoon made me laugh.

crown

And how was your week?  

*This is my 700th post in nearly 4 years of blogging.  My how time flies!

Categories: Confidence at any age, Faith, Family, Fun, Joy, music, Personal, Random, Self Discovery, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Vegorama Pizza

 ‘Tis the season again!  The Fall/Holiday potlucks have begun.  🙂

In a quest to eat a bit healthier, I made this dish recently.  For my office-mates.  You know, the team who rarely touch vegetables.

Yep, at our office we have four important food categories:  cheese, bbq sauce, cool whip and chocolate.

If a pot-luck dish doesn’t contain one of those four items (and lots of it), it’s out like a fat kid in dodge-ball.

photo from Allrecipes.com

photo from Allrecipes.com

Make no mistake, this shouldn’t be considered health food.  The base of crescent dough, cream cheese and sour cream is enough to slow a few arteries down.  But the crunchy fresh veggies on top counteract the richness of the base resulting in a creamy/crunchy and tasty appetizer.

Here’s how to make your very own Vegorama Pizza:

You’ll need:

  • 2 – 8 oz packages refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 1 – 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened (I used Jalapeno flavored)
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill (don’t skip this!)
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 package of dry ranch dressing mix  (I use 1/2)

Toppings

  • 1 green onion, chopped with greens
  • 3-4 radishes, chopped
  • ½ red pepper, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large bunch of broccoli (about 1 cup), chopped
  • Shredded cheese

Directions

  1. Remove crescent dough from the fridge and let it sit on the counter while you pre-heat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Coat a large cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Roll out the crescent roll and press it into the pan; you’ll want to “connect-the-dots” as in pieces so you end up with one solid piece of dough.  Pierce the dough with a fork and then let stand for about 5 minutes.
  4. Next, bake for 11 minutes; remove from oven and let cool 20 minutes.
  5. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine sour cream, cream cheese, dill, garlic and ranch dip mix.
  6. Spread this mixture all over the cooled crust.
  7. Top with onion, carrot, broccoli, radish, bell pepper and broccoli  and then sprinkle shredded cheese across the top.
  8. Cover and let chill about an hour.
  9. Once chilled, cut it into squares and serve.  (I made this the night before a pot-luck and simply cut into squares, layered with waxed paper, covered and served the next day.. Results?  Zip. Bang.  Gone!)

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”  ― Ernest Hemingway.

My little blog recently passed 130,000 beautiful readers.  Thank you for riding along with me!

Categories: Blogging, Family, Food, Holidays, Home, Recipes, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Icing on the cake

Looking over the calendar, I was startled to see today’s date: November 5th.

November 5th marks one year in my “new” job.

The one that’s not new anymore.

In the past year I’ve grown a lot.  And the company has changed .. even more.

I’ve lost sleep, gained weight, puzzled through and sorted it out.

I’ve cleaned up, cleaned out, reorganized and restaffed.

I’ve led the team, sought input, and grown the people.

And I’ve been so perpetually busy that I’ve been too busy to take a day off.

One year ago we still had our Frankie.

One year ago we still had our friend.

Time passes.

Seasons come ’round again.

And life has a way of sneaking up on us.

Any milestones sneak up on you lately?

“The first year was like icing. Then the cake started to show through …” ― John Ashbery

 

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Faith, Family, Gratitude, Growth, Life, Personal, Thoughts, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Milestones

Five years ago, Hubbs and I and youngest boy spent the night in Detroit so I could take my citizenship test early the next morning.

Five years ago, I passed that test with flying colors.

Five years ago, I raised my right hand and took the oath of allegiance to the United States of America and proudly stepped forward as a new citizen.

Five years ago, I got my second passport.

Five years.

Five years ago, I couldn’t have imagined that five years later I’d be heading to Washington, D.C. this morning to represent my employer and my state.

Five years.

Only in America!

US.gov

The United States Capitol is the meeting place of the United States Congress, the legislature of the federal government of the United States. Located in Washington, D.C., it sits atop Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the National Mall. http://www.visitthecapitol.gov/‎

…she cried because prejudice outlives passion and because she was sentimentally patriotic.”  ― Irène Némirovsky

related posts:

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Growth, Joy, Life, Patriotic, Personal, Politics, Quotes, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 32 Comments

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