“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!
A dog’s attitude is a great reminder on how to live: play, play, play, sleep.
Being and staying healthy makes me happy.
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?
It’s been a weird summerseason year. Yes it sure has, and that’s putting it mildly.
I have read your blogs but not been blogging myself. So here are some of my thoughts on a random Tuesday ~
1 Birthday cake drive-bys- To celebrate Hubbs’ birthday, we had our boys & their girls +our grands over for a get-together this weekend. After much deliberation – and out of all choices offered – a Texas Sheet Cake is what he chose for the celebration. I get it, this cake is hard to beat. See there are 4 sticks of butter and many cups of sugar/powdered sugar in this beauty. 8 or 10 tbsp of cocoa, and all sorts of other goodness.
You don’t get a sheen like that from margarine, no sir-eee-Bob. Some was devoured, some went home with the kids but the one enjoying it most of all is Hubbs … you see, near what remains is a fork. His fork. A drive-by fork. And I laugh every time I pass it by!
a before shot of the Texas Sheet Cake with overflowing frosting
2 ) September Skies –We’ve been enjoying the most beautiful weather – sunny, warm days, cool nights and, my favorite – BLUE SKIES as far as the eye can see. Today it’s overcast and cold, but blue skies are coming back, per the forecast. MY*FAVORITE! There’s just something about a September sky …
Our Walnut tree and hubby’s head. Oops.
3) Closet clean-outs. I’ve been on a health kick for years. But this year, between intermittent fasting & my daily walks, I’m seeing changes – big changes. Most of my clothes no longer fit. I took the advice of the experts and if it didn’t a) fit, b) flatter or c) make me want to wear it RIGHT NOW, it’s gone. Pictured below is one of 3 piles that went to a) the consignment shoppe, b) donation drop-off or c) garbage bin. Anything sagging, bagging or dragging is G-O-N-E. And I was ruthless- tried on everything (that’s a workout, holy smokes!) and now, a week later, I can only remember 2 of the 100s of items that went. I kept 3 pairs of jeans, 2 are too big and should have gone, too – and I’m sure I kept them out of a sense of security. Funny how we think, isn’t it?
every color under the sun & I won’t miss any of it. Never wore that plaid shirt once!
4 ) Fat loss – working on 6 of these, see picture below. Since 1/1/20 I’ve lost 27lbs & 39.2″ – I’m 5’2″, 39inches is more than half of my height. Yes I am slowly shrinking — inward — Intermittent Fasting (time-scheduled eating) for the WIN! for more information visit Gin Stephens – Books on Intermittent Fasting.
5 ) Chaos – I don’t know about you but every time I go out I think, “why did I go out?” I get it, it’s a trying time. But folks have forgotten their manners, forgotten how to drive, how to park, and what to do. I think I’m staying in for the foreseeable future. Coffee up!
* I’ve not counted how many books I’ve read this year, but it’s safe to say my “Quarantine” pile is tall enough to topple over. I’d guess between 50-60. My favorite this year has been “The Authenticity Project”by Clare Pooley.
It’s the New Year and I’ve been (mostly) absent from this blog. I’ve read yours (thank you for continuing to post while I’ve been away). You see, I’ve reconnected with an old friend ~ my books.
I’ve read, and read, and read some more. Yes I’ve also cooked, cleaned, socialized, worked, and worked out .. yes, all that. But I’ve mostly leaned in and cozied up through this cold, dark January ~ So far Grand Rapids has had zero sunny days, 10 days with a little sun and 17 entirely cloudy days. Until I read that article I hadn’t noticed! You see between this little gadget shown below (used every morning) and all my delicious reading, I’m too content to care 🙂
This should be a national holiday .. with paid time off .. with cozy chairs and coffee/tea for anyone interested. 😀
I’ve written before of my love affair with books .. and it hearkens back to being a very young girl. Cozied up next to Mom while she read me a story, I remember the heat of her body on mine as I leaned in wide-eyed and wondering.
Mom took me for my first Library card before I started school and I still remember the joy felt filling the book bag up to the top, the weight of it necessitating a drag to the Oldsmobile. Sorting through my choices, the smells filling my senses, I lined my books up in order of priority.
I remember a similar thrill when the Book Fair came ’round each school year ~ bringing home the paper-thin order sheet and circling choices, then handing my list over for her review and approval. She always encouraged us to “read up,” and we discussed choices and our reasoning behind them. Looking back, I can see she favored intelligent choices and those fought hard for. And if you couldn’t defend it, you didn’t need it.
Another one of her life lessons right there!
And, as I’ve grown, books remain a comfort to me ~ a place I love to belong.
A summer read takes me back to our backyard canvas tent, reading my sister’s “Valley of the Dolls” or “Love Story” before moving on to “It” or “Roots” or other intriguing plots.
A winter read can transport me back under the covers of our shared girls’ bedroom, the weight of winter blankets cocooning me into a drowsy state of relaxation.
It’s National Book Lovers Day ~ but I’m celebrating all year long!
“A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.” ― William Styron, Conversations with William Styron
Are you celebrating National Book Lovers Day with me?
If you’re a reader, who encouraged your love of reading?
It’s Sunday, mid-July, and here we are cruising down hill towards August. Time for 5 Rapid Fire Randoms from my world. Ready? Set – Go!
1 Aging apps – friends on Facebook are posting results of an app that ages you by 40 years. Here’s one to try- ha!
2 Dog days of Summer – Our West MI Summer took it’s sweet time arriving. Our first 80F day was June 20th. But now that we’re into July – with more than 3 weeks of warm weather behind us – folks are already CRABBING about it. I was doing fine until that sweltering sweaty muggy stuff landed last week ~ the hot, humid, dank weather that steals your breath away at 6am. The humidity so high that you sweat AFTER a shower. Our local AM radio host cheerfully announced, “The heat index – with the humidity – is already over 90F.” I turned up the fan and suppressed my crabbiness.3 Grand Dames – I read a recent interview with actress Shirley MacLaine. Always liked her. Classy, smart, sassy … takes no prisoners. This quote resonated with me:
“I have what I consider just a perfect life … I eat what I want, I sleep when I want. Not that much bothers me. I think attitudes are a choice. Anger is a choice, peace is a choice, sarcasm – which is what I’m good at – is a choice.” ~ Shirley MacLaine
I wanna be Shirley MacLaine when I grow up!
the incomparable Shirley MacLaine
4 Stopping when necessary – As I’ve gotten older I’ve gotten better at stopping what doesn’t work for me. Try something new but don’t like it? Don’t keep doing it. Order a new food that disappoints? Set it aside. The same goes for books – I LOVE to read, as in l-o-v-e to read. Summer = reading for me. But just recently I started a book with characters so awful – I had to stop. The female character allowed herself to be manipulated by a narcissistic and cruel man, a man who enjoyed the “game,” playing with her emotions and physical safety like a cat with a mouse. I could see where the story was going after reading just a few chapters. Yes, I knew she’d probably become her own kind of hero but I just couldn’t sit through the abuse.
So I stopped reading it.
I didn’t give it away, I didn’t turn in for re-sale or donate it.
I threw it out.
You might be empathic if …
5 Heading to a corporate conference this week ~ practicing self-care now – there – and thereafter!
Ever stopped doing what didn’t work for you?
Does Shirley’s quote resonate with you as well? Why?
Sunday ~ windows open, birds chirping and lawnmowers buzz in the distance.
3 weeks ago ~ snow; today ~ 70F.
Hubbs hurried around earlier as he readied for golf; I slept in, savored coffee and started a pot of soup. He’ll be back later, wind burnt and sore, happy and tired. We’ll visit over soup and smile at the day.
It really doesn’t matter what season it is, there’s something about Sundays that I love most.
It could be the quiet stillness of the house.
It could be the smell of supper lingering on the stove.
It could be meandering phone conversations with my sister or cousin or none at all.
It could be me starting a new book or reading 5 magazines or sitting on the floor sorting .shoes.
It could be towels tumbling in the dryer and fresh warm sheets on the bed.
It could be me that I spend my Sundays doing whatever I choose.
“Spend your free time the way you like, not the way you think you’re supposed to. Stay home on New Year’s Eve if that’s what makes you happy. Skip the committee meeting. Cross the street to avoid making aimless chitchat with random acquaintances. Read. Cook. Run. Write a story.”― Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
How do you “spend” free time?
Do you feel compelled to be productive and get things done?
Are you able to let the day lead you?
When’s the last time you had nothing to do and a whole day to do it?
It’s March 31st ~ Robins hopped in the snow today – their reappearance makes me hopeful even when the weather hasn’t caught up to the calendar.
5 Randoms from my world, here we go ~
1 ) The photo of this bed took me right back to myGrandma’s house ~ to starched sheets, sheer curtains blowing in a summer breeze, and the abject thrill I felt being able to spend the night there. So lucky!
2 ) Someone raved to me about a new bakery that opened and I considered ordering some of their treats for an upcoming event I’m planning. And then I remembered a southern family recipe I’d been given by a Texas colleague – for 7-Up pound Cake – and I do believe that my $6 cake beats a $20 professional one. I might have to triple the recipe.
not my picture
3 ) Saw this and thought, yep ~ that’s been me this winter .. tucked in, books stacked, cozy, don’t bother me 🙂
4 ) Haven’t pulled a muscle but I have fallen over putting on socks. And I draw the line at KALE 😀
5 ) Yes, this, fur-ever and a day ❤
What random thing happened in your world this week?
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.
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