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Posts Tagged With: school

Survey says 11-11-11

My blogging friend, Dianna, at These Days of Mine tagged me in this challenge recently.  As Dianna said, this one’s a bit long so you might as well make yourself comfy now.

The Rules:

1. Post the rules.
2. Post a photo of yourself and 11 random facts about you.
3. Answer the 11 questions given to you in the tagger’s post.
4. Create 11 new questions and tag new people to answer them.
5. Go to their blog/twitter and let them know they have been tagged.

Since I’ve been blogging since 2010, it was challenging to come up with 11 random things that I haven’t shared before.  So here goes nothing!

this is me .. 28 years ago

this is me 28 years ago. Wonder where that red Zebra shirt went?

1) I never wear red. The photo above is an exception as I’m partial to blues and purples.

2)   I am a light sleeper and find it hard to sleep in hotels because I hear everything and am afraid of missing the alarm.  So, I  go to bed extra early to make up for all the hours I don’t sleep at all. Ugh!

3) Not long after I came along, Mom got very sick and I had to go live with her parents in B.C., 2 provinces away.  I lived with Nana and Grandpa for a year and didn’t learn of this until I was a parent myself.

That's me as an infant with my parents, brothers and sisters. Mom was so tiny. I wore that dress as part of a costume for a play; I was a size 2 at the time and that dress was tight on me!

That’s me as an infant with my parents, brothers and sisters.

4) I performed a Wheat-ectomy 4 weeks ago; no more joint pain, no more hypoglycemia, -7lbs down, and feeling snazzariffic. For more read http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/

5) I never watch horror movies or anything demonic. Ever.

6) Elvis was my first crush. I might have shared that before. Hee Hee.

Hello, Handsome!   google.images.com

Hello, Handsome! google.images.com

7) I grew up at the racetrack. I’ve written about that before, too.

In the Winner's circle with Mom & Dad, 1982.

In the Winner’s circle with Mom (front) & Dad (right behind me in green), 1982. That’s our hunky horse trainer, Bill, far right. He was my 2nd, 3rd and 4th crush.

8) I choose listening to music over watching TV every time.   I love to sing along and don’t care who’s listening!

9) I once went 2 years without eating candy bars. Didn’t miss them but I could never give up pie.

10)  I care less about what someone tells me than what they do.

11) In my heart of hearts, I’m still a farm kid.

getting ready to hit the dusty trail!

getting ready to hit the dusty trail with my cousin Kathy. I’m on Riley, my Arabian/Welsh pony, and she’s riding Queen, cousin Deb’s Pinto/Palomino mix.

Here are the 11 questions Dianna asked:

1) What’s a favorite summertime memory from your childhood?   Playing cops & robbers on horseback in the coulees around the farm.

2) You and a close friend have an afternoon to spend together. What are your plans?  Have lunch somewhere cozy that allows for plenty of raucous laughter. Maybe on my patio.

3) What dish can you prepare without using a recipe?  All of them. I mostly cook from memory and that’s why no two dishes are ever quite the same.

4) What image is on your mouse pad?  Family photos

5) Do you have a nickname?  MJ but Mom calls me Jeansy.

6) What is your favorite way to exercise?  Dancing.

7) Do you play a musical instrument? Yes, piano & guitar

8) Were you named for someone? If so, whom?  My middle name is Jean and that’s for Nana Jean

9) What is your favorite type of music?  A mix between Classic Rock, Country, Disco and Elvis of course.

10) When is your birthday (month and day)?  6/21 or as Hubbs likes to tease, “the longest darn day of the year!”

11) What’s the closest you’ve ever been to a natural disaster?   Do mountains of snow count?

And lastly, my 11 questions for you are below:

1) Coffee or tea?

2) Who mentored you in your career/job?

3) If you could go back in time and right one wrong, what would it be?

4) It’s your birthday and everyone important to you is gathering to celebrate:  what type of celebration do you prefer? (large/small, type of food, inside/outside, at home/restaurant, etc)

5) What’s the last book you recommended?

6) Think about your family growing up – what role did you play and do you still? (Organizer, peacemaker, etc).

7) You’ve been given 2 tickets to anywhere … where do you go and who’s going with you?

7) Finish this sentence: I’ve always wanted to ____________. (Please keep your answer P.G., thanks!)

8) What smell makes you think of summertime?

9) What do you wish others knew about you?

10) Do you have a quote that inspires you?  (I have many but a favorite is “To thine own self be true.”)

11) What one possession from your childhood do you wish you still had?

The rules didn’t specify how many bloggers to name for this so I’m choosing everyone who reads this post. I know it’s a bit involved but hey – if I can do it, so can you.  🙂 But, should you find yourself pressed for time, please feel free to choose just a few of my 11 questions to answer.   Either way, I’ll be right here, ready to readCheers!

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Categories: Animals, Blogging, Faith, Family, Friendship, Fun, Joy, Life, Personal, Relationships, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Work it out

Growing up the youngest of five, there were times that we just didn’t get along.

With 9 years between the oldest and youngest (me) and 3 channels to watch, one of them French, TV shows were often decided on by the (much bigger) boys.   Favorites like “The Carol Burnett Show” or “The Wonderful World of Disney” garnered cooperation from all but  “Hockey Night in Canada” meant front row seats for them and we girls off doing something else.

When Mom heard us bickering over something – the last cookie, the TV channel, etc, her response was always “Oh for Pete’s sakes, work it out.”

The thing is, we had each other and several thousand acres to run around on. We had animals and bikes, ponies and hay stacks.  We made up games and found ways to stay entertained.   And as much as they teased and tortured, my brothers’ schemes and ideas made for great adventures … and usually got us into trouble.

Like smoking in the hayloft.

Maybe not the best idea.

Or test driving the farm truck with three or four of us in the truck bed … headed down prairie trails at 50 mph and no brakes.  It’s a wonder we survived to laugh about it now.

In my experience, being farm raised meant a firm foundation and consistent values sprinkled with a healthy dose of neglect  freedom. We were taught what to do and we did it.  We had chores and responsibilities. We were trusted to figure things out as we went.  And did we ever.

I’ll never forget one hot summer’s day when the boys convinced us to trek a half  mile to the river for a swim. I was 4.   Filling a couple of mason jars and swiping a few cookies, I’m sure Mom assumed we were headed to the tree house, a daily play site.  The five of us took off, making our way through the brambles of the coulee, and down the raggedy hills to that swiftly flowing river.  I was too young to know better but oh-so-happy to be included.

the South Saskatchewan river, view from our homestead; an emjayandthemphoto (C)

the South Saskatchewan river, a view from the homestead. That water is cold and swift and deep.  an emjayandthemphoto (C)

The sun warmed my back as we played and that river sand felt so silky smooth sliding through my fingers. I remember water above me and lights cutting through it.  I didn’t know I was drowning but it was my brother’s arm who yanked me out, sputtering and scared.

A neighbor found us a few hours later and our parents, frantic and panicked, spanked every single one of us, both crying hysterically as they did.   I can only imagine the terror we terrorists caused them.

So when I saw this Mom’s creative way to make her kids “work it out,” I just had to chuckle, think of Mom and Dad and the five of us rug rats, too.   Because if we had been made to wear this as kids, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be around to talk about it.

image from Pinterest.com

“You shut up; no, YOU, shut up.” image from Pinterest.com

How were conflicts resolved in your family?  Did your parents have a saying you remember hearing?

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Fun, Home, Life, Life Lessons, Mom, Personal, Relationships, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Wisdom, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

A Valentinian Twist

google images

google images

What’s that?  Don’t have a Valentine?

Valentines Day is for new love and little kids, you say?

Or maybe you’re part of a couple and you’re past all that.

I get it.

It’s winter. It’s cold. You’ve got things to do.

I know.

I say all the same things myself.

And then I read this.  And it made me think:

Wouldn’t that be a fun twist on Valentine’s Day?

No giant teddy bears. No footie pajamas.

I don’t care to match a bear!

No 1-800-whatever.

How about this instead:

Each of us. Take one moment. And do something nice. For someone else.

Clear the snow from a neighbor’s walkway.

Buy some sweet treats for your office mates.

Leave a hand-written note of encouragement for your spouse, child or friend.

Let someone ahead of you at the check-out line.

Smile.

Take a deep breath.

Be patient.

I will if you will.

“Be kind whenever possible.  It is always possible.” –Dalai Lama.

P.S.   Please let me know what you did and, most importantly, how’d you feel when you did it?

** Happy Valentines Day, friends! **

You're the best!

You’re the best!

Categories: Attitude, Charity, Faith, Family, Forgiveness, Friendship, Fun, Home, Humor, Joy, Life, Personal, Random, Self Discovery, Share, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Need be still

Slowing down, accomplishing nothing.

On purpose.

Puttering in the kitchen to the snores of old dog.

Easy, meandering conversations.  Or none at all.

Quiet, simple, expansive moments of peace.

Would He want us to be “still” by being lazy through life’s trials and tribulations? Should we expect Him to swoop in and transport us to the mountain top?

I don’t think so. I think we have to walk with Him to get there.

And for me, walking comes by being still.

Being still comes easier on week-ends.

Being still doesn’t just mean times of quiet.

For me, it means being awake, feeling alive and staying open.

It means closing out the noise and opening up to faith.

snow on branches

Exodus 14:14: “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

Do you make time to let your needs be still?

*google.images

Categories: Faith, Family, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

At home

So, there I was, two weeks ago, boarding ticket in hand, bags packed and ready to go see my ailing Mom. The fridge was stocked, my guys had hugged me 2 million times and all there was left to do was to just get there already.

Not really knowing what I was headed into, I can look back now and admit that I was a mess.  The flying was uneventful but I sure wasn’t.  Sitting in MSP airport I watched as a young girl interact with her grandmother… and silently I cried.   Standing behind a woman buying soup, I watched her rest her hand on her daughter’s head and silently I cried.  Working my way through customs, I did my best to stand purposefully and move the line along and when the Immigration Agent politely asked the purpose of my visit, silently, yep, I cried.

You see, I just couldn’t say the words out loud and this was the big secret I carried: the fact that this trip felt different. This trip frightened me. I couldn’t acknowledge how this trip felt bigger than many of those that had come before it.

So …. as most of us do … I held myself in check and choked out short answers like, “Just visiting family” to airport inquiries and prayed my watery eyes wouldn’t betray me.

But when I got through customs and into the receiving area, I lost it.  Spotting my other sister, the one I’m not as close to as I once was, I can only imagine now how much my sobs must have confused her.

It’s been a long summer.  There’s been a lot of uncertainty.  A lot of “what ifs” and a too many miles separating me from the rest of them.

But … so much of that melted away when I walked into my oldest sister’s home and spotted Mom comfortably ensconced in her sun room.  Her face lifted and when those eyes met mine, the grins were undeniable and then, well … that’s when the tears came.

After the hugs and the how-are-yous, we found ourselves settling into a new normal. I’ve never stayed anywhere but with her on the farm because there’s an unwritten rule that my time is always, always spent on her. Well, Mom was at Sissy’s and now, so was I.

What I didn’t realize until I got there was the role I would take.  Yes I knew I would comfort, cheer and engage but I soon found myself supporting my sister as she did the work to nurse Mom back to health.  I found a spot at her sink, washing dishes and cleaning garden vegetables. I found myself folding towels and at her range, simmering soups and whipping up favorite icings.  I found myself up early with my brother-in-law, brewing coffee and crafting omelettes and doing everything I could think of to make it easy. I made myself available so Sissy could step away for a break, a shower, a moment.

After several days we moved Mom back to her house and I saw a change in her that I hadn’t expected:  I saw her at home, in her element, and back in control.  I watched as she whipped her oxygen cord around like a lariat and laughed when I got myself caught in it.  I delighted in the fact that it was her little  face that I kissed good night and her sweet smile greeting me morning after morning. And when I caught myself standing at her sink washing vegetables or at her range simmering supper, I realized that I’d come home, too.

It wasn’t just that I’d come home to the place I’d grown up — but that I’d come home to a role she’d taught me — one I’ve grown familiar with over the years: that of being useful, of having a purpose, of offering up my assistance with a heaping helping of good cheer peppered with absolutely no b.s.

But it was when those little arms wrapped around me late at night and she expressed her appreciation for my just being there, I don’t mind telling you that those moments – those exact moments –  those were the most wonderful. Why?  Because they gave me the opportunity to pull her close and whisper “it’s been my pleasure.”

Me & Mom on her 82nd birthday. 8/21/12

How about you? Have you ever “gone home” again only to find yourself in a different role than the one you’d expected?

Categories: Faith, Family, Home, Mom, Personal, Thoughts, Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 43 Comments

The road

“When someone comes to me with a problem, I don’t care what it is: poor health, lack of money, unfulfilling relationships, or self esteem issues… there is only one thing that I ever work on, and that is LOVING THE SELF. I find that when we really love, accept and approve of ourselves exactly as we are, then everything in life works.” – Louise Hay

I wrote about a the Lesson in the Lesson, my experiences in a class I attended last week.  But something I’ve carried with me since are the words shared by a woman who sat next to me.   She’s a nurse and a practitioner of Reiki;  her work is done in hospice.  It was her comment about Love that struck a chord with me.

She commented that the greatest hurdle she works to overcome with patients isn’t the cancer or other diseases they’re fighting: it’s the self-loathing.  It’s the inability to forgive. It’s the hanging on to past hurts and the continuation of old fights. It’s the heartache and it’s the fear.

Her work takes her to a place of deep intimacy with those who are very ill and who want their time here to mean something.

What are we waiting for? Do we really want to be standing at death’s door before we finally accept who we are?

“The road to freedom is through the door of forgiveness.” – Louise Hay.

"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken" ~ Oscar Wilde (google.images.ca)

Categories: Attitude, Forgiveness, Growth, Life, Love, Quotes, Thoughts, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

The road less travelled

Advising one of our boys recently, I found myself in a deep discussion about doing the right thing.

I reminded him that,  in spite of someone’s hatefulness, when in doubt, he should always take the high road.

He tilted his head and gave me a look that said … explain please?

So I filled him in on the nuances of the “high road.”  How it’s a road most often  traveled alone.  It’s usually headed away from the masses.  It’s far from comfortable.  There’s plenty of goading, very few luxuries and not many rest stops along the way.

Then I assured him that when he’s on the high road he’ll know it because of how his heart feels. He will walk taller, stand straighter, have a whistle in his heart and a song on his lips.

He will know.

How?

He will know he’s on the high road when he doesn’t see any of the “preachy” people he knows walking with him.

He will see the man who could take the extra cash and look the other way but doesn’t because it’s not the right thing to do.

He will see the woman who fed a lingering child without being sure how she’ll feed her own tomorrow.

He will see the couple working multiple jobs who still make time to check in and talk with an elderly neighbor.

He will see some with enough, a few with nothing, and most …. walking alone.

He will not see the Sunday Christians, the holy rollers or the damnation givers.

He will see himself in every single one of them and that’s when he’ll know:  he’ll know he’s following his soul’s journey to do what’s right  ..  in the eyes of God.


Categories: Family, Growth, Life, Opinion, Personal, Relationships, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Life is a school

Life is a school.

Think about it.

Every day we get opportunities to learn.  Sometimes the lessons are easy, some feel redundant and, more often, many are a little more difficult to grasp.

Today, during a conversation,  a situation unfolded that reminded me of something I’ve written about before … the art of not engagingI listened as her frustrations and negativity wore her out.    I waited until she was done.  Then, I responded, but not in the way she thought I would.  I didn’t jump on the bandwagon, I didn’t rescue her, I simply didn’t go there. I addressed the issue and was polite and firm, leaving no wiggle room. The response?  Startling.

Suddenly, when the desired reaction wasn’t attained, the tone abruptly shifted and the conversation ended.

School’s in session, baby.

.:.

I can be changed by what happens to me, but I refuse to be reduced by it.” – Maya Angelou

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Growth, Life, Life Lessons, Opinion, Personal, Random, Relationships, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Women | Tags: , | 23 Comments

Adventures in American History

Gen. Washington crosses the Delaware River .. with a stowaway (our youngest son); an emjayandhthem photo

Take 1 history-loving high school student.

Add a semester in Photoshop.

Result?

Time Travel.

*For the story depicted in this this iconic painting, click here.

Has technology made history more vibrant for you .. or your kids?

Categories: Attitude, Determination, Family, Fun, Home, Humor, Joy, Life, Men, News, Opinion, Patriotic, Personal, Politics, Random, Share, Technology, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

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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.

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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...

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RICH RIPLEY

EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS...