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Posts Tagged With: seasons

September, visits and Anthony Bourdain

September brings many changes, not the least of which is the arrival of Fall colors.  But even more exciting, here in my neck of the woods, is the arrival of two important happenings:   crystal clear blue skies and low(er) humidity.  Ahh ~ bring on happy smiling skies, outside walks, Breck-girl hair and comfortable sleeps.

 

Every year I declare Fall as my favorite season:  The colors, the smells, the tastes – yep – it’s my favorite.  It’s the one season I missed more than any other when we lived down south.   In Texas, the seasons were: hot, hotter, surface-of-the sun hot, and slightly less hot.     I loved many things about living in Texas but always, always I longed for Fall.

“Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.” [Indian Summer]”  ― John Howard Bryant

Sometimes I sleep in on the weekends ~ I still wake early and usually I get up. But sometimes, like today, I do “tuck and roll” if only for a little while.  I did so today, and with great delight, dreamed of Mom.  I was back in her farm kitchen and she was teaching me how to make bread.  I was an impatient teen, not paying as close of attention as I should have.  She had something to teach me and I listened.  But not well.   When I awoke, the dream felt like a visit.  And even though I don’t bake or eat bread now, perhaps the lesson was in the listening.

“No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers.”  Laurie Colwin

I’ve been catching up on past episodes of Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown.”  ~Sigh.  I’m late to his party. He was such a scamp, so much fun, with that wicked smile and sense of humour/adventure.   If only he’d known it.

“I think preparing food and feeding people brings nourishment not only to our bodies but to our spirits. Feeding people is a way of loving them, in the same way that feeding ourselves is a way of honoring our own createdness and fragility.”  Shauna Niequist, Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way

 

  • What season do you look forward to most?
  • Have you had any vivid dreams visits lately?
  • And are you on the Anthony Bourdain train?
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Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Faith, Family, Food, Growth, Humor, Joy, Life, Mom, News, Personal, Quotes, Seasons, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Random 5 for Labor Day ~Dishes, Empaths & Amazon

How is today is September 3rd and Labor Day already?

It seems like 5 minutes ago we turned the calendar from April to May ~ and while we didn’t have a typical summer, we still enjoyed many high points — beach days, good books and BBQs.    To that end here are my 5 Random 5s for Labor Day:

1 )  Good friends enjoyed shared birthdays this weekend so a celebration was organized, pot luck style.  I don’t know about you but, around here, “bring a dish to pass” gatherings offer the b.e.s.t.  food.  Why’s that?  Because everyone makes (or buys) their one “best” thing and, when you put everything together, it’s amazing.  Examples of what was offered include the following:

  • Deviled eggs, home-made pickles, olives and various cheeses & crackers
  • 7 Layer Salad (mine), Oriental Coleslaw, Pasta & Potato salads – all home-made – yummo!
  • Pastry-wrapped sausages, Sloppy Joe’s & baked beans (with bacon and enough brown sugar to carmelize an apple, yum!)
  • Veggies & Dip, chips & dip and Fruit salad
  • And birthday cake — not just any cake – but a local bakery’s marble cake with a creamy custardy middle  and fluffy whipped icing — OMG.
    • There was more, but the above is some of what I sampled and YES I enjoyed a small piece of cake — it was sweet and creamy and a little bit went a long ways 🙂

2 )  I’ve been reading a book that I can’t stop thinking about.  Normally when I land upon a good book I’ll tear through it like a starving wolf.  Not this one.  I’m savoring my way through.  See,  I’ve always known stuff I shouldn’t know, and I’ve had a feeling (good or bad) about a person, more than once. I trust it.  I just didn’t know how to use it or how to protect myself from absorbing other’s “stuff.”   

A sample includes:

  • Being an empath is different from being empathetic.
  • Being empathetic is when your heart goes out to someone else.  Most of us do this – especially after a tragedy.
  • Being an empath means you can actually feel another person’s happiness or sadness in your own body.  You can feel it so deeply that it can make you physically sick, sad or drained.
    • You may have been told to “not be so sensitive,” maybe you are, like me, sensitive to caffeine, startle easily, get overwhelmed in crowds, have a strong sense of smell and touch (sour odors and prickly clothes, no way).
    • These can all be indicators — so tell me — Are you an Empath?

3 ) I just realized that my Amazon cart always has something in it.  I  love the “save for later” feature.  Because my internet wanderings can take me into some deep valleys, it’s nice to know I can save an item for a more rational purchase point later.    Between books, vitamins, and skincare/beauty products, I enjoy new-to-me finds and repeat favorites.    For someone who doesn’t enjoy shopping, I sure enjoy Amazon 🙂

4 )  Speaking of books — I did a lot of not laboring this weekend ~ I putzed, cleaned, cooked a little, read a lot, fiddled with the hot tub & read some more.  Yep, definitely did. Not. Labor.

5 )  And with that, here’s September!  Bring on bright sunshiney days, College Football, autumn leaves, cooler nights and less humidity.  Because even though it’s Labor Day, the reality is it’s still warm, humid and summery … and that’s OK.  Put down the pumpkin spice and turn on the fan!

Autumn colors are arriving (scenes from the old house)

 

  • What signs of Autumn are near you?
  • Could you be an Empath, too?
  • Are you laboring to NOT Labor this Holiday weekend?
Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Family, Food, Fun, Growth, Holidays, Home, Life, Life Lessons, News, Opinion, Personal, Products I love, Seasons, Share, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Random 5 Friday ~ Coffee, Peace, Votes and Rats

Random 5 Friday.  Ready? Set — Go!

1 )  This picture, taken at night in my home province of Saskatchewan, Canada, brings me peace.  I cannot look at those stars and not believe.

Photo Credit to Gerry Pocha

2 ) There was risk of a rat sighting today.  While I am thankful for the heads-up, my skin prickled at the mention and, thankfully, I dodged the interaction.  🙂    See once you’ve lived/worked/endured rat behavior – years can pass and your tail will still twitch at the memories a bad experience left on your soul.

3 ) Yesterday was National Book Day (should be a holiday, I’m just saying…. ).  Saw this and just had to share:

The greatest gift is the passion for reading. It is cheap, it consoles, it distracts, it excites, it gives you knowledge of the world and experience of a wide kind. It is a moral illumination.” — Elizabeth Hardwick

4 ) Autumn is sneaking in.  Know how I know?  Mornings are just slightly darker.  On weekdays I am always up by 6:00 or sooner — now, it’s like August arrived and the sun decided to sleep in.  Seriously, there’s been a turn and I feel it most in the mornings.  Coffee up!

5 )  The August Primary took place earlier this week.  Whenever I get to vote, I think of Mom & Dad … they were both so passionate about voting and never missed an opportunity to take part. One time, because of bad weather & greasy roads, their only way out was to drive the tractor a mile & a half to the highway where they were met by Dad’s brother & sister-in-law – all four rode together into town to vote.  Open-air tractor or not, Mom grabbed her red patent leather purse and hopped on. I can just see it, the two of them heading off up the hill.     Man, I miss them. ❤

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

 

Did you celebrate National Book Day, too? 

Ran into any rats lately? 

Seeing signs of Autumn where you are?

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Determination, Elections, Faith, Family, Friendship, Growth, Home, Life, Life Lessons, Men, News, Personal, Politics, Thoughts, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Summer just opens the door and lets you out

It’s summer ~ we’re in the throes of the season now, temps hovering in the 90s with the % of humidity matching.

In no particular order are just some of the summer delights we’ve been savoring:

  • Morning coffees on the patio
  • Fireflies fluttering at dusk
  • Strawberries, corn-on-the-cob and 7-Layer Salad
  • Anything grilled  ~ steak, chicken, shrimp and more
  • Hubbs golfing later and me reading later, all to summer’s golden light
  • A soft serve ice-cream, half chocolate & half vanilla, with half of it running down your arm
  • Stray cat visits
  • Kids playing in the sprinkler and Yellow finches mining my flowers
  • Couples walking together and dogs walking owners
  • The joy of a new book and the laziness of summer magazines
  • The smell of fresh limes on my fingers after squeezing into a margarita, the kiss of summer on my shoulders and the tangle of  beach waves in my hair

  + + + + + + +

“Summer, after all, is a time when wonderful things can happen to quiet people. For those few months, you’re not required to be who everyone thinks you are, and that cut-grass smell in the air and the chance to dive into the deep end of a pool give you a courage you don’t have the rest of the year. You can be grateful and easy, with no eyes on you, and no past. Summer just opens the door and lets you out.” -Deb Caletti, Honey, Baby, Sweetheart 

Sunset on Lake Michigan

What have you indulged in this summer? 

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Faith, Family, Food, Fun, Gratitude, Growth, Holidays, Humor, Joy, Life, Opinion, Personal, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Random 5 for October – 665, pies and Free Fallin’

It’s Tuesday! It’s Random! It’s time for 5 Randoms in my world.  Ready?  Set?  Go ->

1 )  665 – that’s 665 days without 1 sick day.  I was last sick (bronchial infection/the flu) in December of 2015; I started the 10 day Grain Detox on Jan 4 2016 and lost weight, the fluff & puff, and regained my health.   Cutting out grains cut the inflammation that feeds illness ~ no more seasonal allergies, colds, flu, sinusitis or bronchitis.   It’s not that hard to do and while I was super strict the first 8 months my life shifted with even more travel and I relaxed and leaned into it.  I still (largely) follow the guidelines and – to my amazement – am never sick.  Amazing!   10 days became a lifestyle.

2 )  Death ~ we had a death in the family last week, Hubbs’ Dad.  He had been estranged from the family for many years, and lived far away from all of us, by choice.   Still, it’s never easy to lose a parent, regardless the circumstances.   Someone asked me what he was like and my answer was, “He was a hard man to know.”   And there it is.   But – to clarify – when I write here about time spent with my FIL, I’m writing about Hubbs’ Step-Dad, who lives nearby.   Fathers come in many forms.

3 ) Seasons ~ it’s October and feels like June, with higher than normal temps, skies like September and heat like summer.   Birds and squirrels are as confused as we are!

2 doors down & Taken on my cell phone. An Emjayandthem(C) Photo.

4 ) Travel ~ I have gobs of travel this month – day trips, overnights, and out-of-towns.  Current events make for nervous travelers, watching the crowd, staying alert.    You know what keeps me going?   Too much vacation has to be used again so I’ve booked a week off at Thanksgiving ~  I’ll be reading, pie-making, relaxing and shutting out the world.      It’s good to have goals 🙂

My sister-in-law’s homemade Saskatoon berry pie.

5 )  Tom Petty.  RIP.   So many great songs, all sing-along-able.  This was and is a favorite.   “She’s a good girl, loves her Mama, loves Jesus, and America, too.”   ~ Sigh

And how was your week?

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Family, Food, Grief, Growth, Life Lessons, Men, music, News, Opinion, Personal, Seasons, Thoughts, Travel, Work, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Saturdays, soup and happiness

Saturday.

The house is quiet and the ambience lazy.

Chicken soup simmers on the stove.

Windows open, a cool breeze wafts in.

The dryer hums in the basement.

Hubbs and I refill our coffees and look towards the day:

  • No plans.
  • No schedule.
  • No particular place to be.

Happiness.

I feel it seeping in.

“October knew, of course, that the action of turning a page, of ending a chapter or of shutting a book, did not end a tale. Having admitted that, he would also avow that happy endings were never difficult to find: “It is simply a matter,” he explained to April, “of finding a sunny place in a garden, where the light is golden and the grass is soft; somewhere to rest, to stop reading, and to be content.” ― Neil Gaiman, The Sandman, Vol. 4: Season of Mists

100_2077.jpg

Categories: Family, Food, Home, Joy, Thoughts, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Random 5 Sunday – 5 years

It’s a beautiful sunny Sunday (yay!) so here are 5 randoms from my little corner of the universe.

1  Cooked yesterday and doubled everything. Why? I’m dropping off half to oldest boy and the grands later today.   The work/school/homework schedule is just nicer when you have “extras” around.  Homemade soup, sloppy Joe’s, Game day brownies  and more.   To quote Mom, “Love is Groceries.

food ina garten

2 It was Mom who taught me the significance of caring for others.  On Mothering is just one of many posts I’ve written about her. She taught me so many things but, most importantly, she taught me how to mother.  And, like her, I’m fierce — no apologies.  Because of that, I can’t wrap my head around that our grand children’s mother left them like she did.   But it was my wee Mom who reminded me He gave our boy big shoulders for a reason and sometimes Mom & Dad are the same person.

smell the color 9

3  Stopped the other day to take this picture – October will end soon and all of this will pass.  Don’t miss it.

Country Club trees

4  I write as means to formalize my thoughts, connect-the-dots and express myself.  Through this experience I’ve connected with many of you, and one I’ve even met in person (lucky me).   When I write what I know – posts about life, relationships, personal growth, faith and home – you chime in and I love that so much.

m151be-yourself-unknown-posters

5 Going back to Mom, she was moved to Nursing Home placement this week and, when asked how things were going, her response made me laugh.  “I’m doing the best I can and managing to stay out of trouble… so far!”  This center is small, 17 beds, and in a rural setting, which is much more her style.  Both my sisters are certain she’ll get more personalized care and that’s of comfort to us all.  Thinking of her it hit me that 5 years ago today I published my very first blog and, not surprisingly, I wrote about  another life lesson learned from Mom.      5 years, 824 posts,179,273 visitors, still writing.    Thank you for reading along.

yes i can

Happy Sunday to you!  When you look back over your blogging lifetime, what do you see?

 

 

 

 

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Food, Growth, Home, Life, Love, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Seasons, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Two for Tuesday

Care to play along?  On Tuesdays, pick a topic and segue into it!

Care to play along? On Tuesdays, pick a topic and segue into it!

I’ve been on a theme-kick lately for my blog and I know why.

Life. It’s busy.  Work – crazy.  Home – a steady dose of “to-do’s.”

I rarely have time to stop, let alone think.  It’s coming, I know, but it’s not here yet.  Example:  At work, my team is 80 days from the end of a year-long project but 100 from the start of another.  Deep breath!

So, with that, here’s my 2-for-Tuesday:

1. We waited until the peonies were in full bloom to scatter old dog’s ashes.

This year's peonies are glorious! An Emjayandthem (C) photo

This year’s peonies are glorious! An Emjayandthem (C) photo

So now he’s in amongst the fleurs – because as a Ferdinand-dog, he liked to sniff them. He was sophisticated like that.  He’s also in the hedges and down along the patio where we grill, one of his all time favorite spots.   Chipmunks be warned, the gangsta is back!

Pet lovers will understand, others will think I’ve lost it, but having him with us is a source of comfort and yes, I still miss that silly old hound.

an impression of Mr. Bear's paw; an Emjayandthem (C) photo

an impression of Mr. Bear’s paw; an Emjayandthem (C) photo

2.  Saw this the other day and instantly the song was in my head.  Does that ever happen to you?

humming along now.  Google.images.com

humming along now. Google.images.com

 

Happy Tuesday, peeps! I’m off to the State Capital to hobb-knobb with the big dawgs :).

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Blogging, Family, Grief, Home, Life, Personal, Relationships, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Praise and be raised

Spring visited us Sunday … balmy, humid and breezy, I was able to wear a short-sleeved shirt around the house!  Feeling the warmth, I started to complain about my clothes sticking to me as I did my chores.  Then I remembered that it’s been 6 months without a hoodie OVER that tee-shirt – and I stopped in my tracks.   I remembered something learned in childhood:

If you complain you’ll remain; if you praise, you’ll be raised.

I’m a farmer’s daughter. The daughter of an optimist.

Next year will be better.

Now that was something he said often.

This moisture is good for the soil. 

I could hear his voice as I looked at the snow this morning.

At least there’s no dust storms!

There he is again.

Transitioning to a work story, I completed employee reviews last week.

This was my second round for two of them and first time for the newest.  I read through my assessments and wrote down examples of all of the good work they’re doing.  We had positive, open discussions.  Every one of them shared similar feedback: “This is the most thorough performance evaluation I’ve ever had, thank you for the examples.”  “Thank you for the time you put into this, I appreciate the examples and knowing why you gave me the score you did.”  “Thank you for all of this feedback; this really helps me understand the job better and I appreciate knowing I am doing it well.”

I’m so glad my Father taught me to praise and be raised.

image from Pinterest.com

All this snow is good moisture!

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Growth, Home, Life, Men, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Summer dreams

We’re in for another wintry blast this week.

An Arctic Vortex.

Whatever.

Sick of it yet?

I am.

I’m not even that sick of the cold, the wind, the ice. I’m sick of the topic!

So, after my workout last night, as the sweat cooled and my skin started to chill, I thought of days of summer.

And when I think of summer days, I think of afternoons spent like this:

therapy

Ahh …

I feel warmer already!  🙂

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”
― John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America

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Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Home, Humor, Life, Quotes, Seasons, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Random Five Friday, the January edition

1.  Snow

snow on branches

google.images.com

2. Cold

doesn't that image just make you cold?  image wzzm.com

doesn’t that image just make you cold? image wzzm.com

3. Snow

image from wrh.noaa.gov

image from wrh.noaa.gov

4. Ice

100_2243

Front door; an emjayandthem (C) photo

5. Bad drivers

HA!

It’s been a crazy, busy week. My work world has cranked up and is back to full speed ahead; we’re working on projects and on lots of conference calls, doors are shut, heaters are on, lunches are packed from home.  I’m leaving earlier, staying later, and sometimes .. working here because of weather. But always, always, always bundling up and slogging through because … well, it’s winter.

But you know what?  I see the weekend … whoop!  And today, on my lunch break, the first one I’ve taken this week, I’m slipping off to my favorite local bookstore.   Can’t wait … I’m taking a stack of gently used books with me to sell back, adding that nominal amount to my Christmas gift card and treating myself to yet another round of literary delights.  As an added bonus, this store has a charming little cafe serving delicious quiches, salad, soups and more.  I’m feeling rather impish, just thinking about it!   It’s the little things sometimes, isn’t it?

I see the weekend!

Yippee Skippy Friday’s here!

What’s your Random 5-January edition look like?  Anything you’re feeling Yippee Skippy about? 🙂

Categories: Attitude, Fun, Home, Joy, Life, Personal, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 17 Comments

The grass is ris

As a child, we used to chant this little ditty while playing in mud puddles on our way to the bus:

“Spring is sprung. The grass is ris. I wonda where ‘da birdies is.”

Here in Michigan, it doesn’t feel much like spring.

We just got another round of snow yesterday and parts of the state saw 18″ pile up.

from wzzm.com

from wzzm.com

So even though it should be time for birdies and grass and sunshine and warm breezes that tease of summer days, for one reason or another, those sure signs of spring are  slow a-coming.

So I give you this: Mama Kitty and her baby.

Why? ‘Cause even though the calendar says otherwise, their coziness reminds me that our long winter’s nap is not quite done.

Happy first day of Spring, peeps!

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Faith, Family, Friendship, Life, News, Personal, Quotes, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 23 Comments

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Kate's views on life edited by four opinionated cats

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My Journey From Merchant Mariner to Mother, And Spiritual Being.

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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.

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Stop in and see what's happening during these days of mine

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

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How life coaches me as I ride...

RICH RIPLEY

EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS...

peace full home®—intentional living

making your home, your life and your world a place you love

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...