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Posts Tagged With: poise

Fifty percent

One of my favorite commercials running right now features this guy (see below).

I know of no woman with this kind of confidence; in my experience, we’d be so busy wrapping, slathering, buffing and hiding … we’d likely miss the outing entirely.

This summer maybe I’ll get a “whatever” flag and put it in my drink, too!

Happy Friday, peeps.

“Sex appeal is fifty percent what you’ve got and fifty percent what people think you’ve got.”  – Sophia Loren

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Categories: Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Family, Fashion, fear, Joy, Life, Men, Random, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Reflections

There will come a time when you will catch your reflection in the mirror and  stop to really see yourself.

You will see … you.

at 48, I finally accepted my naturally curly hair.

You will see a person who’s made their way in life, who has caused hurt, been hurt, laughed, cried, stumbled, loved and been loved.

You will see you as you really are and you’ll notice … when you lean in to look closer … that the creases around your eyes and the lines near your mouth …only go where the smiles have been.

You’ll notice the shape of  the body that carries you every day and maybe you’ll take a moment to be amazed at all it does .. and tries to do … when asked.  You’ll feel sorrow for the times you’ve taken it for granted and not rewarded it for hard work.

You’ll contemplate the many thoughts and ideas that cross your mind every day, every hour, every minute and you will realize who’s in the reflection; you’ll finally see your spirit living inside.

This moment may cause you to step back.. but then … you will take inventory of those who occupy the warmest spaces of your heart; those who love and support you and those whom you love and support.  And you will begin the eviction process for those who’ve wounded you and left marks upon your soul.

You will realize that the time has come; the time has come to accept all that you are and to finally see all you bring … to the world.

The time has come to be thankful, to be accepting, and most of all,  to be loving.  For if you cannot do this for that person in the mirror, how can you pretend to do it for anyone else?

We are more than the sum of our parts; join me and give thanks for every step of life’s pathway.

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Forgiveness, Friendship, Growth, Joy, Life, Life Lessons, Patriotic, Personal, Random, Relationships, Self Discovery, Share, Uncategorized, Wisdom, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

When you say nothing at all

A skill I’ve learned from hubbs has been put in play of late.

It’s powerful and one that takes practice, because it goes against my learned methods of communciating.

 But every time I have to pull it out of my bag of tricks, I am reminded again of its power.

What is it?

It’s the art of not engaging.

Example:

When someone is spinning out of control and tries to drag you into their negative vortex … step quietly to the side, and let their momentum take them elsewhere.

When a harsh words beg for commentary … refrain.

Let the ugliness hang in the air; let the person who dealt them watch their poison fall to the ground.  They’re counting on sucking you in.  Don’t. Go. There.

Not engaging.  Powerful stuff.

Sometimes … the most influential words are those left unspoken.

Categories: Attitude, Determination, Life, Opinion, Personal, Relationships, Thoughts, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

The first real taste of life

image from onlineseats.com

Over time, most of us have found ourselves drawn into shaky scenarios, usually when we were quite a bit younger.  Me?  I’ve had many.  One that comes to mind is joining Columbia Record House at 14. Yep, for only a PENNY I got an incredible music collection!!  12 – count ’em – 12 brand new 8-tracks for just a penny!! (just buy a predetermined amount later at “regular Club House prices.” )  What a deal!    Yeah … not really.

Recently, our youngest found himself facing an “opportunity” that, to me, sounded a little too good to be true.  Kind of like winning a sweepstakes that you never entered. Hmmm…let’s just say that my “Spidey-Senses” were a-tingling.  I tried talking him through it and I tried talking him out of it, but to no avail. He believed.  He looked at me, with those eyes, so full of trust and youth ….so I agreed to go along and find out more information.

Ahead of our outing, the hubbs and I had several side conversations that went a little like this:

“You do realize this whole thing is bogus, right?”

“Of course I do.” I replied.

“So … why are you going?”

“Because sometimes kids just have to learn on their own.” I replied.   “I have talked to him till I’m blue in the face; he’s heard me but he’s not listening.”  

Now Hubbs and I agree on many things but sometimes we just parent differently.  He’d have said “No, it’s stupid, it’s a waste of time and you’re not going,” and that would have been the end of it…  in his mind.

Me?

Sometimes I am that abrupt but this time, something inside told me that it was less convoluted to tag along and let the proverbial chips fall where they may.

So, off we went. 

Arriving at our destination, I watched his eyes as he scanned the room of other young hopefuls nervously clutching the same paperwork as he.  I saw the look on his face when he realized that everything he hadn’t wanted to hear – was spot on. 

I kept my trap shut.

Whispering, he asked if I wanted to leave.

“It’s up to you,” I replied, “but there’s no harm in hearing what they have to say.”

He grinned, we stayed; turned out, it was way bogus, as in really ridiculously-cornball bogus and later, he laughed.  What started out as a chuckle grew to tipping his head back in a full-out holding onto-his sides with laughter.

That afternoon, over cheeseburgers and a shared shake, we talked about the day and laughed over the absurdity of it all. Suddenly he stopped, looked me straight in the eye and said, “Mom … you were so right. How did you know?”

Smiling, I gave him a one word answer, “Experience.”

I never said “I told you so” and I didn’t poke his wounded pride by teasing him about it.

We shared the moment, he learned yet another life lesson, and that was that … with that.

.::.

“Kids … they learn more from their own mistakes then they do from ours” – My Mom

Categories: Confidence at any age, Determination, Family, Home, Life, Life Lessons, Men, Opinion, Personal, Random, Relationships, Self Discovery, Share, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Be yourself

Sometimes we can feel that we are just a number, just a face in the crowd.  It’s at those moments that we need to remember how less interesting the crowd would be without us in it.  Everyone brings something to the table.  Below are a few quotes that help me remember this very lesson:

Judy Garland image from filmmusicsociety.org

Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.
Judy Garland

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.
Dr. Seuss

This above all: to thine own self be true.
William Shakespeare

He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away.
Raymond Hull

The best you can be at any given moment is yourself.
Elizabeth Alraune

About all you can do in life is be who you are.
Rita Mae Brown

What you are will show in what you do.
Thomas A. Edison

Embrace your uniqueness. Time is much too short to be living someone else’s life.
Kobi Yamada

All the knowledge I possess everyone else can acquire, but my heart is all my own.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Do you have a quote that inspires you to be your very best?

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Determination, Fashion, Friendship, Gratitude, Humor, Joy, Life, Opinion, Quotes, Random, Relationships, Seasons, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Wisdom, Women | Tags: , , , , | 7 Comments

The Significance of Date Night

image from israbox.com

It’s “date night!” 

The hubbs & I schedule regular “date nights” and have since we met 20 years ago.  You see, we became an instant family when we married (more here) so we’ve never have had time that was just “ours.” We’ve always been parents and that’s OK – that’s the life we chose and neither of us would change it. Our way to navigate some time together has been to schedule it, as a way to reconnect and reaffirm what we already know.   As mentioned before, many times we didn’t have the money for a sitter or to go out; we still made time for each other.  More here.

I’m glad we have prioritized this because:

  • Date nights mean “I hear you.”
  • Date nights mean “I love you.”
  • Date nights mean “I’m here for you.”
  • Date nights mean wearing something other than “Mom & Dad” clothes, a whiff of cologne, cleavage, a buttoned-down shirt, a swirly skirt and lipstick.
  • Date nights mean “You are still it for me.”
  • Date nights mean singing our songs, telling our work stories, and being in the moment.
  • Date nights mean comfort, warmth, passion and love.
  • Date nights mean “In spite of everything around us – jobs – kids – family – I still choose time with you over everything – and everyone – else.”

I love that he schedules tee times early enough so that he can come home, shower, change and spend the night with me. What girl wouldn’t love that in her man?

He loves that I use my time to do what interests me and, when he returns, he’s greeted by a warm and willing companion who looks nice, feeds him and wants to spend her night with him.  What guy wouldn’t love that in his girl?

At the January “State of the Union” Presidential address, a rather large fuss was made about how “both sides of the aisle” abandoned their polar positions and sat together, effectively inter-mixing the powers that be.

It’s startling that this was news.  Grown-ups acting civilly towards each other. Really?

I can’t speak for Congress but, for us, date nights have always been the buoy we swim to against the undertow of daily living.

How about you?  How do you maintain the state of YOUR union?

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Confidence at any age, Family, Forgiveness, Friendship, Fun, Gratitude, Home, Humor, Joy, Life, Love, Men, music, Opinion, Personal, Relationships, Romance, Self Discovery, Share, Thoughts, Traditions, Uncategorized, Women | Tags: , , , | 23 Comments

In order of importance

The six most important words: “I know I made a mistake.”

The five most important words: “You did a good job.”

The four most important words: “What do you think?”

The three most important words: “You go first.”

The two most important words: “Thank you.”

The one most important word: “We.”

The least important word: “I.”

-Anonymous

Categories: Attitude, Charity, Faith, Family, Fun, Gratitude, Home, Joy, Life, Love, Opinion, Personal, Relationships, Share, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Wisdom | Tags: , , | 11 Comments

A Milestone

 

image from kaboodle.com

Windercella got her shoe on!

OK – it’s just a running shoe … but it’s not the big, heavy orthopedic boot I’ve been sporting since my foot surgery 6 weeks ago.

It’s not a high heel.  It’s not a sandal. It’s hardly fashionable.

But it’s a shoe and, to me,  it‘s a start.

It’s a start of a return to my normal life.

I expect to be going back to work within the next week and being able to wear two shoes that match?  Wowza!

Don’t ask me which work ensemble will look all right with Nike’s…I have to savor one milestone at a time. 🙂

In the meantime, I’m walking … slowly and carefully and, as a result, I’m feeling like a million bucks.

And you?

Anything earth-shattering happen in your day today?

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Determination, Faith, Gratitude, Joy, Life, Opinion, Personal, Random, Seasons, Share, Thoughts, Women, Work | Tags: , , , , | 18 Comments

Acquiring some Horse Sense

This is not my Riley: this is a Welsh pony photo from evans-welshponies.com

Good instincts usually tell you what to do long before your head has it all figured out – Michael Burke

I recently found myself in a situation that made me think of my horse, Riley.  Riley was an Arabian-Welsh cross that my Dad bought  for me when I was 9. I’d been riding for several years by then but had never had my own horse.  I rode JJ and Queenie, my cousin’s horses, as often as I could, and our draft horses Tony and Bruce,  but that wasn’t the same as having my own.  When you’re a full-time cowgirl you need a full-time horse! So when Dad asked me if I wanted to go with him to deliver a load of hay, I answered, “sure,” figuring that, at the very least I’d score a pop and some candy. That’s what you get when you take a trip with the Candy Man.

Slipping on my jean jacket and hopping into the cab of the truck, I never even noticed the horse trailer behind us.  Flipping through the AM stations, we shared peppermints and listened to the farm reports.    Arriving at a farm I didn’t recognize, I helped Dad as he offloaded the bales.  I noticed an older man, the farm owner, approach the truck.   I half-listened as they talked about grain costs and hay availability but, truth be told, I wasn’t paying them much attention because it was around that time that I spotted a dark grey horse looking at me intently.  He, with the most beautiful and inquisitive face, stared at me from a cow-filled corral and with cow pies up to his knees.  I abandoned the hay and sloshed through the barnyard muck, my rubber boots making a squirsh squirsh sound as I rushed to meet him.  Slowly and deliberately, he approached the fence but maintained a 3 foot distance from the rails.  Hardly daunted, I scaled the fence and, perched on the top, and reached out my hand so as to pet him. He snorted, stamped a foot, and backed away.

From behind I heard an unfamiliar voice ask, “So I hear you’re in the market for a horse?”

“Huh?” I said, looking in confusion over to my Dad, who stood at the truck grinning.

“What do you think all this hay is for?” giggled Dad.

Still confused, I looked from man to man and realized what was really going on:  they were trading hay for a horse – MINE!

I could hardly stand the ride home and I barely heard Dad as he explained, “You do realize he’s at least 5 years old and not even halter broke yet. He doesn’t know anything. You will need to work with him every day and teach him. You know that, right?”

Did I?

I spent nearly every day with Riley, after school, all weekends and every summer that followed.

So I brushed him. I spoiled him. I told him all my secrets. He greeted me with a nicker , ears up and one step forward, every time.  I laughed at his antics as he stole treats and opened gates for other horses but he’d redeem himself by obediently gave rides to small children who visited.  When he misbehaved while we were out riding, and he often did, I’d have him back up in straight lines.  Doing so won us both ribbon at the local 4-H show because, unbeknown-st to me, backing through an L corner was part of the “Western Trail” class competition. That horse could back a perfectly straight line the entire length of the arena.

There were many things that he was not: he was not tall and he was hardly lanky, but he was as dignified as an Arabian desert racer and as smart, stubborn and dependable as a Welsh working horse can be. He was perfect for me.

Riley.

He did more than listen: he provided therapy to a girl with a head full of dreams trying to find her place in the world.

He taught me more about trusting my instincts than any person ever has.

Once, on our way home from a horseback adventure with the cousins, he kept stopping every 20 feet or so.  Growing impatient, I urged him on. Finally, he stopped firmly, planted his feet, swung his head and bit me on the foot.  What?  He got my attention, and as I spun him around there, about 15 feet directly behind us, was the largest male coyote I’d ever seen.  Clearly he had sensed the danger behind us but could not see it clearly.   The coyote, no threat to us, locked eyes, looked down and loped away.   That day, I learned to listen to what he had to tell me:  I know better than you kid, and you might just want to pay attention.

What brings me to this tale?

A situation presented itself to me recently that just didn’t sit right with me. I tried to brush it off, to no avail. I finally spun around and stared it down for what it was. I recognized it, I dealt with it, and I moved on.

Thank you, Riley, for teaching me to trust what my gut’s telling me long before my head’s figured it out.

What have your animals taught you?


Categories: Animals, Attitude, Beauty, Forgiveness, Gratitude, Home, Joy, Life, Life Lessons, Love, Opinion, Personal, Relationships, Self Discovery, Share, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Good-bye… Violet Eyed Vixen

image from classicmoviekids.com

I am saddened to learn that screen goddess Elizabeth Taylor has passed away.  

Elizabeth, so beautiful that, even as a child actress, she didn’t just ignite the silver screen, she comandeered it. The violet eyed brunette with the kitten voice and multiple marriages is gone from us now.  

“I was taught by my parents that if you fall in love, if you want to have a love affair, you get married,” she once remarked. “I guess I’m very old-fashioned.”

To me, and many others, Elizabeth Taylor was the very essence of what is a movie star.

Beautiful. Fashionable. Interesting. Persued and desired.

The very essence of glamour and beauty.

Let us not forget that she was also a humanitarian; a woman who used her fame to help others battle AIDS and she did so long before it was popular for stars to lend their status to any cause.   Receiving a special humanitarian award for her charity work  she declared, “I call upon you to draw from the depths of your being — to prove that we are a human race, to prove that our love outweighs our need to hate, that our compassion is more compelling than our need to blame.”

Stunningly beautiful actress and winner of Oscars, yes, but, most importantly, she was a woman who tried many things and above all .. survived.   And let’s not forget that she was a Mother, Grandmother and Great-Grandmother who leaves behind a family who will mourn her absence.

Rest in peace Elizabeth. You’ll be missed.

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Determination, Fashion, Gratitude, Life, Men, News, Opinion, Romance, Thoughts, Wisdom, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Be

A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly.  You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.  ~Roald Dahl

Happiness is an attitude.  We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong.  The amount of work is the same.  ~Francesca Reigler

So often time it happens, we all live our life in chains, and we never even know we have the key.  ~The Eagles, “Already Gone”

The only people who find what they are looking for in life are the fault finders.  ~Foster’s Law

Every thought is a seed.  If you plant crab apples, don’t count on harvesting Golden Delicious.  ~Bill Meyer

No life is so hard that you can’t make it easier by the way you take it.  ~Ellen Glasgow

Misery is a communicable disease.  ~Martha Graham

A loving person lives in a loving world.  A hostile person lives in a hostile world; everyone you meet is your mirror.  ~Ken Keyes, Jr.

Some days there won’t be a song in your heart.  Sing anyway.  ~Emory Austin

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Determination, Faith, Forgiveness, Friendship, Gratitude, Humor, Joy, Life, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Relationships, Romance, Self Discovery, Share, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , | 16 Comments

What’s in your Relationship Basket?

image from countryliving.com

Lately, several different people have asked me for relationship advice.  Me! (I know, that’s what I thought, too).  The problem with me is that if you ask me my opinion, I assume you really want to know.

I’m no therapist, but I’m a fairly good listener and I have a good amount of life experiences.  I’ve also been lucky to have witnessed two very strong marriages: my paternal grandparents, Ausser and Pearl, who were married over 70 years, and my parents, who were sweethearts for more than 52.   The hubbs & I are celebrating year 19 next month. But, unlike them, when we met, we’d both been married & divorced.  He grew up in a traditional household and later became a child of divorce;  I grew up watching my parents go on date nights and speak softly to each other.  He witnessed fights and stress and matured too soon; I saw dancing and kindness and hand holding.    When we met, we brought our own unique basket of experiences to the relationship, but it’s what’s IN our baskets that has been so vastly different.

We’ve had our share of joys and our share of sorrows.  We’ve had regrettable moments when we were sharp and unkind with each other … but we’ve worked through them and moved on.  Asked recently what’s your secret, I replied that “there is no secret” – follow the Golden Rule http://www.teachingvalues.com/goldenrule.html and you’ll be just fine.   But, thinking about it further, I’ve assembled what’s worked for us:

1.     Remember that you chose each other.  Don’t save your best manners for strangers. Please and Thank you go a long way; speak kindly, and give credit where it’s due.

2.     Don’t keep score.  Well if he got to do ___ then I should get to do ____.  This is a relationship, not a video game.  It’s not always going to be equal; someone is always going to carry more than their share and who that someone is changes. 

3.     Embrace each other’s friends & family.  When you make it easier for them to be in your lives, everyone’s happier. Learn to laugh at their stories because you’ll hear them many times.

4.     Be honest.  When you’re tired, say so. When you’re lonesome, speak up and ask for more time together. Never assume your partner can read your mind. I don’t have that superpower, although it’d sure be handy on occasion! When you’re wrong, remember these three important words, “I was wrong.”  

5.     Try not to go to bed angry but, if necessary, agree to disagree.    That old saying “pick the hill you want to die on?” It’s true.  Many issues are just not worth fighting about, in my opinion.  But if I believe in something? Oh yeah, you better believe it will be discussed.

6.    Find a way to pursue your passions and feed your soul. The hubbs and I enjoy our time together because we  give each other time to ourselves. He loves to compete and is an avid sports fan and team player. I like to read, write and play with music and technology.  The point is that we don’t need to be alike nor together all the time to get along. And when we are together, we’re interested in each other because we’ve both had the time and space necessary to pursue what intrigues us. 

7.    Forgive mistakes and move on. Don’t keep a list of false starts.  No one’s perfect, including you.

8.     Listen: try to do so without interrupting.  When you give someone your undivided attention, that in itself is a wonderful gift.  The hubbs is an attentive listener, and that’s really good for me because I love to talk!   He’s taught me to be a better listener and I’ve taught him it’s ok to open up.

9.  Laugh. Often. At each other. At yourselves. At life.   We can’t always control what goes on in our lives but we can control how we react to it.

10. Do nice things for each other. I know he likes casseroles (and he knows that I don’t) but I make them because he works out of the house and these are easy for him to warm up at lunch.  He does sweet things for me, like filling my car up with gas on wintry days and making extra trips back to the grocery store for items or brands I prefer.

11.  Be each other’s biggest cheerleader.  Applaud successes and be kind with failures.  Support each other’s interests. An appreciated spouse makes a joyful partner.

12.  Make regular time together a priority by scheduling it.  When our boys were little, we didn’t have much extra money or trusty babysitters.  We’d bathe the boys & tuck them into bed, and spend our evenings together out on the patio. Singing. Talking. Listening. Laughing. We still do this today.   Our boys have grown up seeing us prioritize our time together, guard that time together and relish our time together. Date nights are scheduled regularly and they don’t always require that we leave the house.  As a result, we’ve given our children a wonderful gift; knowing what a loving, supportive and fun relationship looks like.

How about you? What are your tried & true relationship rules?

Categories: Attitude, Determination, Faith, Family, Forgiveness, Friendship, Gratitude, Home, Joy, Life Lessons, Love, Men, Mom, Opinion, Personal, Relationships, Romance, Self Discovery, Share, Thoughts, Traditions, Uncategorized, Women | Tags: , , , | 35 Comments

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