Advertisements

Posts Tagged With: romance

Strong Women, Grey Ties & Valentine’s Day

As a girl, Valentine’s Day was celebrated with a school party, card boxes, ice skating and moms visiting our classrooms.

google.images.com

google.images.com

As a teenager, Valentine’s Day was celebrated with a boyfriend if I had one and avoided if I didn’t.

google images

google images

As a young married woman, Valentine’s Day meant cards and flowers – for a while, anyways.  As our relationship evolved, romantic gestures were replaced by thoughtful ones.  Things you can’t buy in the store: taking out the trash; filling my car up with gas on a snowy day.  Running his vehicle through the car wash then detailing the inside myself. Folding the laundry left in the dryer; bringing in the groceries.   It’s the little things  ~ but they’re helpful and kind and nice.  And there’s a flow and a comfort to it that I love.

In my 50’s I don’t wait for someone else to make me happy ~ I make myself happy.

get-your-happy-on-quote-1You see I learned it from her:  My mother was a strong woman and my role model  – 100lbs of dynamite ~ she calved calves, trained horses, wrangled 5 kids, a husband, a 1/2 acre garden, 2 dogs and 14 cats.  She rode in trail rides, taught 4-H and Sunday School, balanced the books and Chaired the Board.  She always got out to vote, once taking the tractor to the highway to catch a ride to the polls. No muddy roads were going to stop her!  Not much ever did!

Mom wrangling a Thanksgiving turkey in 1963 - mother of 5, do-er of anything she set her mind to. An Emjayandthem(C) photo

Mom wrangling a Thanksgiving turkey in 1963 – mother of 5, do-er of anything she set her mind to. An Emjayandthem(C) photo

Like she did, I go to bed when I’m tired,  take a nap if I need one and I stay up late when I choose to.  I make room for the things I love – books – and never apologize for the space they occupy.  I have learned how to say “no thanks” to stuff I don’t want (or want to do) and “YES please!” to the ones I do.

Years ago Mom bought my sister & I that novel about the guy with the grey ties  ~ She made it clear she had no intentions of reading it and quipped “you can handle it” with a snort.   The two of us traumatized our grown kids by leaving it out on end tables.  The comments of horror from my nieces and the looks our boys shot my way were so worth it.  That was her point, to stir the pot and to remind us we always have a choice.

I chuckle remembering how Mom and I joked that if a good looking, rich man came near us with a grey tie, he’d find himself in some deep do-do.

God, I miss her.

So this Valentine’s Day I wish you this:

  • I wish you the courage to make the leap you’ve been pondering,
  • I wish you dreams in technicolor,
  • I wish you the conviction to change what’s not working, to stop worrying about what others think and to do the things that make your soul sing.
  • Time’s a-wasting and, per the wisest woman I’ve ever known, the only hero we have is ourselves.

 

strong-women

 

 

 

Advertisements
Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, fear, Fun, Gratitude, Grief, Growth, Holidays, Humor, Joy, Love, Mom, Personal, Romance, Uncategorized, Wisdom, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Love stories

Mom’s settling into the nursing home and my sisters have started the long haul of cleaning out the house.  Sorting, stacking, settling, packing, throwing, reading, crying.  60+ years of living in the home Mom shared with Dad, the same home he grew up in.

I’m not there, I’m thousands of miles away, and the guilt is palpable.  But, so is reality.  I could stop what I’m doing and take a week off and dig in too, and guess what, a week is not enough. They work too, so they’re fitting this in as they can.  One sister gets it, the other grumbles, and I understand and appreciate both.  Again, the guilt …

There are the books, the pots, the pans, the dishes, the china, the crystal, the photographs, the note pads, the junk drawer, the sock drawer, the paper drawer, the plastic drawer.  The Christmas ornaments, the treasures, the junk, the furniture, the appliances, the you-name-its. No, a week would hardly be enough.

But, as my sissy has said more than once, the journey has brought moments of awe – a trunk we never knew about, tucked away in a spot we’d long forgotten, filled with our baby outfits – in pristine condition.  Shorts, caps and vests for my brothers, yellow and peach dresses for my sisters, and this frothy pink confection for me:

baby MJ in this pink dress. An Emjayandthem(C) photo

baby MJ in the pink dress. An Emjayandthem(C) photo

I don’t own pink, haven’t in years.  But seeing this photo again let’s me see myself through their eyes.

They also found letters – from Dad to Mom. She had been away visiting a sister and he missed her is all, and “Scout” the dog wasn’t much of a companion.  He used words like “my darling,” words I don’t remember hearing him say.   I expect he was about this age, or younger, when he wrote to her.  And the love and longing in his words transcends time and miles for all of us.

Dad riding

Dad wrangling a horse in spring. An Emjayandthem (C) photo.

So when I think of them, I think of their date nights, his taking her hand on the dance floor, holding the door and her giggle as she stepped through.  I think about the farmer and the teacher who met on a blind date, fell in love, and built a life and family together.

Mom and Dad with one of their winning horses - and a date night. An Emjayandthem(C) photo

Mom and Dad with one of their winning horses – and a date night. An Emjayandthem(C) photo

 

Mom & Dad dancing (and singing) at our wedding

Mom & Dad dancing (and singing) at our wedding, an Emjayandthem(C) photo

Dad’s been gone 11 years; Mom’s carried on and accepted this new phase in her life.  There were many great times, and some that weren’t.  But their love stories – those are the keepsakes that remain with me.

 * * * *

“As long as you remember the person who loved you, and whom you still love, then you’re making love endure.”  ― Guillaume Musso 

 * * * *

Have you been far, far away as major life changes took place?  What keepsakes are worth keeping?

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Faith, Family, Grief, Growth, Love, Men, Personal, Relationships, Romance, Seasons, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Random Five Friday – Lessons

It’s Friday. It’s Random. Let’s go!

1. I’m off work today for the 4th time this month. One word?  Ahh.  That extra day smushed up to the weekend has allowed me time to breathe, relax and lean in.   One extra day and I’m rested and smiling more.  Lesson learned?  Listening to yourself is as important as listening to everyone else. Maybe more.

2.  Back in March, a conversation with a customer began by her shouting at me.  Since then, I’ve worked with multiple teams to fulfill her request (to get my company’s services at her new home) and we spoke often as I kept her updated on the construction progress. This week she got the news she’d waited to hear – a day later I received a “thank you” card in the mail. From her. The shouter.  Lesson reinforced?  Treat others the way you want to be treated and things usually work out in the end.

3. Four years ago I was in another job and working hard on a corporate project. The project lead joined us for dinner one night and I took the opportunity to get to know her better.  She is a woman my (male) boss had dismissed and labeled as cold. I found the opposite to be true.  Three years ago she became the Department head; two years ago I made it to the fourth of four interviews for the position I hold today. My interviewer?  That gal.  Tough, smart and thorough, she didn’t loft any softballs, but I still nailed it.  Lesson there?  Competence is great but when you invite people in that’s where the bridges are built.

4. Hubbs is off today, too.  Like me, he’s putzing around, not paying attention to his  smart phone, sipping coffee and enjoying a lack of schedule. He has a few errands to do, as do I, but later,  we’ll step out for dinner.   We’ll laugh, we’ll listen, and we’ll enjoy our time together.  Lesson:  Make time for romance and romance will make time for you.

5. Five years ago today our own Royal princess was born!  She’ll be with her Daddy and brother tonight and tomorrow a bunch of us will gather for cake and presents and bowling.  She’s an impish, lovable and smart little one and we’re so glad she’s ours.   Lesson:  Don’t blink.

 

What’s your Friday have in store?

 

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Faith, Family, Friendship, Growth, Home, Life, Life Lessons, Love, Men, Personal, Relationships, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Women, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Guess what day it is? (Hint: It’s Friday .. and it’s random)

Nope, not that day.

Actually, I love Caleb the Geico Camel

Actually, I love Caleb the Geico Camel. Google.images

It’s Random Five Friday which … when you think about it .. is perfect for a Friday. Why?  Because maybe it’s the best we can do at the end of a long, long week.  🙂  Here we go!

1.  The weather. Still crappy. The end.

credit to http://www.mlive.com/weather/index.ssf/2014/01/michigan_is_in_the_bulls-eye_f.html

Michigan wins the coveted title of “most snow covered” State.  Miss Congeniality was awarded to someplace more habitable, like Mars. credit http://www.mlive.com

2.  Hubbs flew out Tuesday and promptly got stranded in, you guessed it, Atlanta.  The guy who is afraid of heights and loves hates to fly.  He made it to his destination, eventually, but around hour 14 of his travel day, it obvious the anxiety was mounting. For more on my kind-hearted but control loving Virgo, read Virgo and the Circus.

3. Every workday morning, I turn on a small radio that I keep in the bathroom and listen for traffic and weather updates as I get ready.  I had grown fond of the two goofy guys hosting the morning show: their teasing, bantering, and wise-cracks. They were funny, not mean, and they were easy to listen to, and laugh along with.  They got the axe about 2 weeks ago and I still listen, hoping they’re coming back, but last night I found out that’s not the case.  My other choices? Shock jocks, all sports, political rants, or easy-listening bland-as-toast fodder.  I don’t know why this bothers me as much as  it does.  It’s like the end of an era, and I’m none too happy about it.

4. Yesterday I had a tough work situation to wrap my head around. It wasn’t anything that can’t be resolved, but it was a perfect storm — everything that could have gone wrong .. had .. and it was right around then that the entire matzoh ball landed in my lap for resolution. I read through the email trail, collected my thoughts, picked up the phone, and apologized.  Not because I had done something wrong, but because it needed to be said.  The customer and I had a good conversation, and I listened more than I talked.  This is not something that always comes easily to me, but I’m glad I followed my instincts to do just as I did. Waking up this morning, I don’t know what the fix is, but I know I’ll be part of the solution.  And that, well, that makes me smile!

5.  God-willing and the weather cooperates, Hubbs comes home tomorrow.  I’ve missed him, and he’s missed me.  And after nearly 23 years together, I still giggle like a school-girl just thinking about that. Tonight, I’ll cook up some of his favorites and he’ll come home to a clean house, a full fridge, and a wife who’s happy to see him.  Looking back, loving him has been the best risk I ever took.

google.images

google.images

What’s on your Random 5 list today, peeps?

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, fear, Growth, Home, Life, Men, News, Personal, Random, Relationships, Romance, Share, Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

On house-building

“An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family.

He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could get by. The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end his career.

When the carpenter finished his work and the builder came to inspect the house, the contractor handed the front-door key to the carpenter. “This is your house,” he said, “my gift to you.”

What a shock! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently. Now he had to live in the home he had built none too well.

So it is with us.

We build our lives in a distracted way, reacting rather than acting, willing to put up less than the best. At important points we do not give the job our best effort. Then with a shock we look at the situation we have created and find that we are now living in the house we have built. If we had realized that we would have done it differently.

Think of yourself as the carpenter.

Think about your house.

Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall.

Build wisely:   It is the only life you will ever build.

Even if you live it for only one day more, that day deserves to be lived graciously and with dignity. The plaque on the wall says, “Life is a do-it-yourself project.”

Your life tomorrow will be the result of your attitudes and the choices you make today.” – Unknown

A friend shared the words above with me recently.  Little did she know how much I needed to read them.  Serendipity, yes, I think we could say that.

And to that end, it’s time.

Time for an absence of schedule. Time for a little less obligation and a lot more recreation.

It’s time to say “no” to phones, socks, clocks and conference calls.

It’s time for shared glances, twirly skirts, golf dates and date nights.

Every summer, hubbs and I take a “time out” to do all the above …and this year?

It starts …. tomorrow!

 * * * You are the carpenter. Your life is the house. How are you building it? * * * 

"Choose the guy who ruins your lipstick, not the one who ruins your mascara." -Unknown.  Me & Hubbs, an emjayandthem photo

Me & Hubbs: we sure have fun together.  (C) an emjayandthem photo

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Holidays, Home, Men, Personal, Uncategorized, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Yellow roses

So there was a time, many years ago, when hubbs was not in my life.

We met just after I’d formally given up on love; at a time when I assumed that being alone and a single Mom was just the way life was meant to be for me. I’d even announced it to friends (like that made it official – ha!).

Yep, I thought I had it all figured out. I was a divorced mother of a 5-year-old and he was a well-traveled businessman from the Midwest. I had a child. I did not date. I worked and took care of my son.  But a relentless girlfriend dragged me out one Friday night and that’s where we met. He chatted her up (I thought he had a thing for her) but, little did I know, he was making his way to me.

The evening was fun and the conversation was great. He was easy to talk to and even easier to look at. I recall settling back into my seat when he asked me if I had any kids. Shyly I told him a little bit about my little boy. I’ll never forget his face lighting up and him saying, “Really? I love kids.”    But still, caution ensued and when he asked for my phone number I had to say, “I’m sorry I don’t give that out.” I’ll never forget his confident reply, “If you’d at least tell me your last name .. I’ll look it up.”  And he did.

Before we even had our first date, my employer announced they were relocating us from Connecticut to Texas … 6 states away in 4 months.  Still, summer arrived and, cautiously, we spent time together – the 3 of us – how’s that for romance?   Seeing that big shouldered man play with a tow-haired boy softened my wounded heart.

But the movers came anyways, and we found ourselves having long talks about a future together. It was me who kept chiding, “You know we’re moving; I have to go with my job. I’m the only provider…”  And his reply was always the same, “I know but I’m just not letting you go that easily.”

Letters were written, phone calls exchanged, and visits were often.

It was on one of those weekend visits that he asked me to marry him. Again. And again I shyly gave him my pat answer of “maybe.”

When we said our tortured good-byes at Houston’s Hobby airport, I could sense his frustration.

Driving home, my boy heard me cry out loud … “Oh no.”

“What’s wrong, Mom?” he chirped from the back seat.

“Tomorrow’s his birthday and how could I forget, oh my God we didn’t even get him a present to take home with him!”

I felt like a heel.  A total idiot. A terribly thoughtless person caught up in a romance that my heart trusted but my head had said no to.

And then it came to me, a voice as clear as any I’ve ever heard. One that said, “You know what he wants.”

And I wanted it too.

I couldn’t wait to get home and get on the phone.

Calling information, I found a shop located near his New Rochelle office. Desperate and breathless, I tried to explain the situation to the gal on the other end of the line.   Sympathetically she said,”No problem, sweetheart, we’ll take  care of it for you.  Good luck to you!”

And the next day, in front of his all female staff, that big shouldered Michigan man received a giant bouquet of yellow roses on his birthday.  Why? Because we were in Texas and he wasn’t.  And the card?

The card said Y-E-S.

Happy Anniversary, Hubbs.

me & the hubbs at our wedding

“Choose the guy who ruins your lipstick, not the one who ruins your mascara.”  An Emjayandthem (C) photo

21 years.  7,665 days. No regrets.

I smile when I see yellow roses.

I still smile at yellow roses.

Related:

Categories: Faith, Home, Joy, Love, Men, Personal, Relationships, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Women | Tags: , , , , | 65 Comments

What she said

I believe in pink.

I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner.

I believe in kissing. Kissing a lot. 

I believe in staying strong with everything seems to be going wrong.

I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls.

I believe tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.” – Audrey Hepburn

 * * *

Some say that it takes 41 muscles to frown and only 17 to smile.   Why overwork yourself?

*Google images

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Faith, Friendship, Fun, Gratitude, Personal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

The first brick

I remember the first time that I knew, really knew, that Hubbs was the one for me.

It wasn’t the way he showed up early for our dates or the thoughtful way he listened when I had something to say.

It wasn’t the flowers that he’d sent, although he’d sent them often.

It wasn’t the tender way he played with my (then 5-year-old) boy, although that surely melted my wounded heart (and still does, just thinking about it.)

It wasn’t even the way he kissed me good night or how he always added an anguished growl as he left us.

No, it was all of those things and more: It was doing what he’d said he’d do.  Calling when he said he would. Showing up when he promised to be there.  He taught me, in his own quiet way, that before me was a real man, an honorable and dependable man,  a man with a deep voice, broad shoulders and a tender heart.  A man a girl could set her clocks to .. forever.

“Here’s something else to think about: calling when you say you’re going to is the very first brick in the house you are building of love and trust. If he can’t lay this one stupid brick down, you ain’t never gonna have a house baby, and it’s cold outside.”
— Greg Behrendt, “He’s just not that into you.”

*and I can’t write of bricks without adding in this classic Commodores hit!

How about you? When did you know that someone had built a foundation for you?

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Growth, Quotes, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

What I would tell her

What I would tell her, that curly haired teenager .. is that love, real love, doesn’t exist anywhere in the vicinity of hometown boys with pickup trucks.

What I would tell her, that determined college girl … is that love, real love,  is rarely found after 2:00 a.m.

What I would tell her, that young wife with a roustabout husband and a child to raise, is that real men will take any job they can to care for their own and that this one .. this one is not real and never was.

What I would tell her, that newly single parent .. is that those chubby three year old arms offer plenty enough affection and that being alone is far better than what came right before it.

What I would tell her, that 20 something woman with a career and a grip on life, is to trust her instincts when she meets someone wonderful.

What I would tell her, that gun-shy girl, is that when she meets someone who feels like home, she’ll know.  She’ll know when she realizes she can be exactly who she is when they’re together. Not changing a thing. And that he loves her just the way she is.

What I would tell her, is that when real love finds her, she’ll watch her five year old fall in love first.  Then she’ll know it’s safe for her to do the same.

That’s what I would tell her, if I could have a chat with my younger self; I would tell her that butterflies are worth waiting for and to never, ever settle.

For more, read  It Had to Be You.

 *  *  *

“Some people are settling down, some people are settling and some people refuse to settle for anything less than butterflies.” – Carrie Bradshaw,  Sex and the City.

image courtesy of welovebutterflies.com

Categories: Faith, Joy, Life, Love, Men, News, Relationships, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , | 52 Comments

It’s Friday night, baby …

… Get ready, set .. go.

It’s date night :). Whee ….

Hope you’re having fun on a Friday night, too!

Categories: Attitude, Fun, Joy, Love, Personal, Relationships, Traditions, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 9 Comments

It had to be you

me & the hubbs.  An Emjayandthem (C) photo

Happened across this song the other day and it took me back.  Back to living in Connecticut  where I met the Hubbs.  I was a divorced single parent of a 5-year-old boy; he was a well-traveled businessman from the midwest. I had a child. I did not date. I worked and took care of my son.  But a relentless girlfriend dragged me out on a Friday night and that’s where we met. He chatted with her (I thought he liked my friend) but, little did I know, he was working his way to me.  (foxy loxie that he is)

From the start, we had every obstacle in our way. Before we even had our first date, my employer announced we were relocating 6 states away.. in 4 months.  But summer was nearing and, cautiously, we started spending time together – the 3 of us – how’s that for romance?   Seeing a big shouldered man play with a teenage-mutant-ninja-turtled little boy softened my wounded heart.

One night we wrangled a sitter & decided to see the movie we were hearing a lot about, “When Harry met Sally.”  Understand, Mr. Hubbs doesn’t like movies.  Doesn’t go to movies. Didn’t know it then but he accommodated …me.

Can’t hear this song without thinking of him and that summer we fell in love .. over playdates with a 5-year-old, and day trips to New York City.

Update: we moved, he moved too, we married, had 2nd son, lived, loved and laughed together. And here we are … 19 years later.. and tonight’s “date night!” Think I’m gonna dig out our Harry Connick cds for later … And our 5-year-old boy? He’s now a grown man, married to his love who brought a 5-year-old boy to their marriage. That little boy.. you guessed it .. he loves Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, too.

Categories: Family, Gratitude, Life, Love, music, Personal, Random observations, Relationships, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.

Happily After Retirement

- Loving where I am right now!

Makeup Connection

The best cosmetics on the web

A Little Wild Farm

Planting roots on our little wild farm.

3bones

Laugh. Dream. Dare. Inspire.

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...Isaiah 60

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

The View Out Here

A view in pictures, from me to you

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

Grace and Life

Looking for grace notes in life's journey...

When I Ride...

How life coaches me as I ride...

RICH RIPLEY

EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS...

Happily After Retirement

- Loving where I am right now!

Makeup Connection

The best cosmetics on the web

A Little Wild Farm

Planting roots on our little wild farm.

3bones

Laugh. Dream. Dare. Inspire.

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...Isaiah 60

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

The View Out Here

A view in pictures, from me to you

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

Grace and Life

Looking for grace notes in life's journey...

When I Ride...

How life coaches me as I ride...

RICH RIPLEY

EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS...