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Posts Tagged With: road trips

The Road to Shambala

I’m heading into the holiday season with the last of my scheduled corporate travel behind me now – Yippy Skippy!  I’ve not had much free time so this blog has lagged but I still think about writing, just as I think about many other things on my “to-do” list.

Epiphanies that took place this week include:

1 )  Music is therapy.    Road trips are better with handsome men singing harmony. 🙂   And hearing this song took me back to my summer trip with my sister and a concert we enjoyed featuring the music of Three Dog Night.  Front row seats – great music – and stellar company was simply awesome.  No matter what I’m thinking about, when a good song comes on I just have to crank it up and sing along.

2 ) Decisions that continue to bear fruit –  ahead of one of my many trips, I sent a note to a group of girlfriends I’d met at a workshop in May of 2015 ~ vibrant, intelligent, wonderful women.   Several quickly responded that – yes – they’d love to meet for lunch this past Friday! As the date drew near a few had to drop out but still 3 of us met — we enjoyed delicious food, the camaraderie that comes from being around others who “get us” and laughs galore. We shared our hopes, our dreams, and our plans.  We encouraged each other.    Boy, what one hour of positive company can do for you!

3 )  GPS boondoggles are often just what’s needed – when the system takes me off the beaten path and down a country road, I often am grateful for the diversion.  I am not sure exactly where I was when I snapped this picture but that’s the point.  Friends commented “but what if you’d had car trouble?” and my thought was “what a better place to be if I did.”  – Surrounded by fields and farms and trucks driving down those roads – all drivers waved.   Me – tunes on, windows cracked, smiling wide.

Snow’s a-coming. Somewhere in MI; and Emjandthem (C) photo

 

Wash away my troubles, wash away my pain

With the rain in Shambala

Wash away my sorrow, wash away my shame

With the rain in Shambala

 

Had any epiphanies lately?

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Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Blogging, Growth, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, music, News, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Seasons, Self Discovery, Technology, Thoughts, Women, Writing | Tags: , , , , , | 9 Comments

Random 5 Friday – Cancelled Subscriptions

It’s Friday – whew!  The past 3 weeks have been a blur but I’m home now (smile) and have the day off today (big smiles!).

1. The birds are chirping,  the sun is shining and coffee tasted especially good in my happy place this morning:

MJ's happy place (An Emjayandthem (C) photo)

MJ’s happy place (An Emjayandthem (C) photo)

2.  Had an appointment yesterday to have a spot on my forehead looked at lopped off.  The freezing hurt more than the biopsy. But, Skin Cancer has already made itself at home in my fair-skinned family and I’m not taking  any chances.  That little old(er)lady with the big floppy hat?  Yep, that’s me!

berry nice hat

3. Speaking of fruit, only two weeks till our Michigan cherries are ready!  I remember the summer that Mom and Dad took us (5) kids to visit our cousins in British Columbia.  The drive, through the Canadian Rockies and the Lower Okanagan Valley, took us right through orchard country.  Mom bought several cases of sweet Cherries and put them in the back window of the Oldsmobile where 5 Hooligans promptly took turns swiping them. Gulping them down secretly, thinking no one would know, would never suspect our cherry stained faces or fingers. Suffice it to say the road trip was delayed by frequent stops and stomach aches.  As an adult, my cherry-stained fingers take me right back to that summer. 🙂

Can't wait!

Can’t wait!

4.  Tomorrow we’re treating my Father-in-law to brunch.  We’ll be joined by our boys and grands.  4 Generations gathered together over French Toast, Ham and eggs.  Multiple conversations, laughs, abundant cuteness and love.  Can’t ask for more.  ❤

Fathers_day_Special

5. Read this quote and it reminded me to cancel a few subscriptions and continue to seek out battery chargers!

“Let go of the people who dull your shine, poison your spirit, and bring you drama. Cancel your subscription to their issues.”  – Steve Maraboli 

rocking horse warrior

Rock on, Warriors!  Google.images.com

And how was your week?  What summertime fruit takes you back to your childhood?   What subscription do you need to cancel?

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Faith, Family, Food, Fun, Home, Humor, Joy, Life, Love, Men, News, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Relationships, Thoughts, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Random 5 Friday ~ TV dinners, road trips, community and common sense

Random Five Friday pic

It’s Friday and here are 5 random happenings and thoughts from this week:

1.  Hubbs and I talked about this a couple of days ago but who else remembers when TV dinners were good and something to look forward to?   I remember, on special occasions, Mom coming home from town with some of these.  Our excitement was palpable as we placed our foil trays into the oven and, later, peeled back the cover and attacked the fried chicken, potatoes, vegetables and little apple or cherry dessert.  It was even better if Mom and Dad were going out for the night and my cousin and I had an Elvis movie coming on at 8!   Haven’t had one of these in 35 years but I still smile at the memory.

tv dinner

Oh yes!

2.  Road trip Wednesday crossing three counties and at least 3 weather bands.  Several times I drove through freezing rain or flurries.  On my way to my last appointment, I rounded the bend on a country road, and spotted something odd.  It took me a few moments to realize what I was looking at: newly shorn sheep shivering in the snow.  (Say that seven times – ha!)

sheep-thumb

Dude! It’s way too early for us to be naked!! Google.images.com

3.  Stopping for gas yesterday morning, an older gentleman was filling his van up just ahead of me.  As the wind blew my hair sideways I looked up, his eyes met mine, I smiled and commented, “So much for Spring, hey?”  He laughed and replied, “I know, we just got home from Florida yesterday, and I told the wife next time we’re staying there!”  He chatted a bit more about their trip there and the snow on the ground at his home here and what a crazy year it’s been weather-wise.  He paid his tab, wished me a good day, and off he went.  And as I left the gas station, there he was at the next intersection, giving me a hearty wave good-bye.  I smiled, waved back, and gave thanks for living in a place where weather is always a safe topic and more people than not are friendly and nice.

4.  I’ve been out of the office a lot lately and something I’ve had reinforced again is a simple rule of business etiquette.  When I’m away, I put the “out of office” message on ~ I let internal employees know how to reach me and my team and external contacts know I am away until X time or date.  I do the same with voice mail.  This helps manage the influx of requests, keeps inquiries and tasks moving, and lessens the “Hi it’s so and so; call me back please” messages — simple, effective, and irritating when others don’t do it, too.   Yes I know we live in a 24/7 society and instant everything but there are times I’m in meetings or out of range.  I’m not a Fireman and managing expectations has become as important as meeting deadlines.

out-of-office

5.  Saw this recently and laughed out loud.  I’m pretty sure our dog Frankie would have answered to these names, too!

stop that dog

Do you remember having TV dinners on special occasions as a kid?  What’s the most interesting thing you’ve seen on a recent road trip?  Does it make you happy when random people comment on the weather to you?  What rules of business etiquette work for – or annoy – you?  And what other names do your pets answer to?

Happy Friday, peeps!

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Family, Food, Fun, Home, Humor, Joy, Life, Mom, music, Personal, Random, Seasons, Thoughts, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Destinations, Karma and Ooga Chackas

I missed Random Five Friday because I was away on business so I’ll start today with some thoughts from this week.

1.  I attended a town hall meeting Thursday night. No big deal as I my job requires I do this from time to time.  I know my business and tend to over-prepare.  But it’s always daunting to walk through the doors of a place you’ve never been and feel a sea of eyes turn your way.   I met the folks who’d invited me, shook hands, passed out business cards and took a moment to steady myself.  As the meeting was called to order, the council did something I hadn’t experienced before.  Ahead of the “Pledge of Allegiance,”  the leader said an invocation.  The invocation was a prayer, and the person leading it asked for guidance and wisdom as they conducted the community’s business. He asked everyone to remember that while they’re community servants, they’re His servants first.   A steadying presence was with me and any worries I had just melted away.

sometimes you just have to close your eyes and go for it!

sometimes you just have to close your eyes and go for it!

2.   I was also asked to attend a Friday breakfast meeting with an influential Congressman.  Of course I said yes.  Up long before the 5:00 a.m. alarm, I couldn’t contain my excitement.  You see, we’ve met before, and we have a nice, easy rapport.   Walking into the meeting, I ran into a fellow I’ve been helping for some time now.  He and I had never met and while his circumstances are complicated, he’s pleased with the help I’ve provided and that experience changed his opinion of our company.  I beamed as he relayed that story to the Congressman.

Chance meetings?  They’re never chance and Karma is only bad if you are.

3. Driving to these new-to-me places,  I had the addresses printed out and the GPS tuned in.   But I still turned the radio down as I got closer … do you do that?  Funny.

I always do this.. you?

Yep.

4.  At yesterday’s meeting, a lovely lady in charge of registering commented that she “loved my makeup.” I smiled and thanked her.  I couldn’t help but think that complimenting someone’s makeup is kinda like telling the cook she has a wonderful stove.  Well intentioned … but a bit of a misfire.   People are fascinating.

5. Youngest kid went to see the movie “Guardians of the Galaxy” recently.  He’s a music lover like me and oftentimes finds the soundtrack of a movie as appealing as the show itself. I was prepping dinner when I heard a distinctive sound that took me back to 1974.   “Oooga Chacka Oooga Chacka” will do that to you.

 

And how was your week?  Do you believe in Karma?  Do you turn down the radio so you can “see”better, too?  Does that song make you think of dreamy B.J. Thomas?

 

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Family, fear, Gratitude, Growth, Life, music, Personal, Quotes, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Summer Snapshots

If you captured your summer in snapshots what would it look like?

Here are a few from my summer:

1. My “Hey Now!” Salsa …by the trough.

photo from healt-fitness.au  (This has never lasted long enough for me to capture it on camera)

photo from healt-fitness.au (This has never lasted long enough for me to capture it on camera)

2.  Rainy day naps.

google.images.com

google.images.com

3.  Date nights on patios.

Kitten heels and swirly skirts. google images.com

Kitten heels and swirly skirts. google images.com

4. Time out with wee ones.

Heading to the Zoo with my MJ.  An Emjayandthem (C) photo

Heading to the Zoo with my MJ. An Emjayandthem (C) photo

5. Road trips with stops in new-to-me places.

Deck view from Crosswinds restaurant in Whitehall, MI ... ahh

Deck view from Crosswinds restaurant in Whitehall, MI … ahh

6.  Fresh sweet cherries by the handful.

photo courtesy of Robinette's Apple Haus

photo courtesy of Robinette’s Apple Haus

7.  And laughter.

ha ha!  Google.images.com

ha ha! Google.images.com

What snapshots represent your summer?  

 

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Fun, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Random, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Random Five Thursday

Today’s my Friday! I’m taking tomorrow off work and with many things going on, I woke up early this morning ready to jump-start the day. With that .. here we go:

1.  Took a road trip yesterday to points south. What did I see a lot of?  Road construction, tourists and county sheriffs.  I counted not one, not two but at least 6 vehicles pulled over in a 7 mile span.  Naive me, I didn’t recall seeing anyone speeding … Hubbs filled me in that the route I was on is known for drug smugglers and undocumented workers coming to MI to pick summer crops.    Sometimes I really still am just a farm girl out in the world!  🙂

2.  At yesterday’s meeting, there were a lot of good ideas shared and alliances formed. But the highlight was meeting a most important task force member ~ Layla, the office dog.  Silky soft fur and eyes that could melt butter greeted me after the meeting and as I petted her,  I told her young owner that we had to put our old dog down.  “Aww I’m so sorry,” he said. I smiled and told him that “as hard as that is, and it’s been nearly a year, any day I get to pet someone else’s beloved dog is a really good day, thank you.”  And with that, a bond was formed that couldn’t have happened at a conference table.

3.  Found this picture recently and it seems not that long ago that youngest boy, who now towers past me by a foot +, would wrap his legs around me as I held him.  He’s still got those grasshopper legs!

Summer 1996; crossing Lake Diefenbaker, SK Canada on the Riverhurst Ferry.  An Emjayandthem (C) photo

Summer 1996; crossing Lake Diefenbaker, SK Canada on the Riverhurst Ferry. An Emjayandthem (C) photo

4.  Sometimes I just can’t take watching TV news — it’s depressing.  Yes I stay up on current affairs, but lately, I’ve found myself retreating into reruns of shows from a gentler time.  Just the other night I watched “The Brady Girls get married.” My cousin and I talked about this shift happening in both of us and she confided to a recent binge of  “The Waltons.”   I admitted to watching them, too and we both agreed that, for all her haughtiness, Corbeth Godsey was a minx.   Ike Godsey had it made in the shade!

Oh Corabeth! Image from The Today show.com

Oh Corabeth! Image from The Today show.com

5. Lastly, a friend reminded me that yesterday marked 6 months till Christmas.  In response, I sent her this photo, taken on the lake we lived at every summer:

image from Lake Diefenbaker Tourism.ca

image from Lake Diefenbaker Tourism.ca

What TV shows remind you of your childhood?  What image to you says “Summer is here!”

 

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Blogging, Faith, Family, Friendship, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Love, News, Opinion, Personal, Relationships, Self Discovery, Traditions | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Random May Friday

1. Took a road trip yesterday!  Every sign pointed to “don’t bother” – my desk was calling, calls were scheduled, but I went anyway.  Why?  Getting out of the office and into the sunshine is good for the soul.  B/c of the respiratory infection I’ve been battling, I had to hum instead of sing, all so I could “save” my voice for the meeting. I joined in, offered a few comments but mostly, I just listened.  Not talking gave me the opportunity to really hear a few who were a bit worked up.   Listening turned the situation around, and by the time I left, they had a new & different perspective on me and my company.  Whoop!

just listen

2.  Called each of my staff last night and told them to plan on leaving today around 3 pm.  Hubbs is golfing, I’m going to stay at the office and finish up some things, and they might as well get a jump on the Holiday weekend.  Not one of them turned down the offer and their reactions just made me grin.

dogs smiling

I grinned like the goofy dog on the right

3.  Our weather in Michigan has finally turned and I think we’ve fast-forwarded through spring and into early summer.

So happy my lilacs are blooming!

So happy my lilacs are blooming!

4. Frankie loved that Lilac tree and was a regular sniffer of it. He sniffed in and under it, and usually came back to the house covered in blossoms.  He also loved the Peonies that bloom nearby. Once those are blooming, we will scatter his ashes throughout that bed.  Ferdinand-the-Frankie dog would have loved that and I think the chipmunks will notice his return.

Can you find old dog in this photo?

Can you find old dog in this photo?

5.  I plan to indulge in a healthy round of NCD this weekend and I hope you do as well!

I hope you get some "no can do" time this weekend!

 

And I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me. -Lee Greenwood

Happy Memorial Day!

image from photos.igougo.com

image from photos.igougo.com

Categories: Animals, Blogging, Faith, Family, Fun, Grief, Growth, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, Quotes, Seasons, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , | 14 Comments

Random five Friday and it’s all right

The last Friday in February! Wow, here we are.  Seemed like 2 weeks ago it was … Christmas.

Here are my random 5’s for today:

1.  A week ago I wrote about Eagles & Crows. The next day, out of the blue, I received a highly complimentary email from a top executive in my company about a project I’ve led and excelled at.  The best part?  The crow was copied on it.   Karma!    🙂

2.  I started to complain about today’s -9F temps when I saw this snapshot from my homeland in Saskatchewan, Canada.  I stopped right then and there.

Yes it's in Celsius but at -40, Fahrenheit and Celsius ARE the same!

Yes it’s in Celsius but at -40, Fahrenheit and Celsius ARE the same!

3.  Today, I’ve loaded up the Jeep with my tunes and coffee and the Garmin and am off to points North for meetings with community leaders and business owners.  Next to solving problems, this is the part of my job I love most.  Why?  It’s different every time. I get out of the office, I meet new people, develop relationships and stretch myself.  It’s good. Real good.

4. Did I mention the tunes?   Road trips mean I can put the Mp3 player on shuffle and see who pops on.   Heard this the other day, and it’s been all right ever since.

5. It’s Friday.  And I’m ready for it!!

amen to that! google.images.com

amen to that! google.images.com

What song makes you want to crank up the volume and sing?

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Faith, Family, Friendship, Fun, Gratitude, Joy, Life, Opinion, Politics, Relationships, Thoughts, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

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