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Posts Tagged With: sisters

Random 5 – Sisters, Books and Summer’s arrival

It’s Sunday! Back to work tomorrow ~Cooking, Laundry and random 5 today. Here goes!

1 )  My sister and I vacationed together last week ~ she lives in Canada, where we grew up, I live in the USA so – instead of traveling to each other’s homes – we met in the middle – something new for both of us.  No cooking. No cleaning. No bed-making.  No organizing. No wrangling. No Scheduling.  We loosely followed the “no plan-plan.”   Meeting in Minneapolis then flying to Kansas City together we laughed and we cried and we laughed again.  Navigating the rental car through the city and down to the interstate to Branson, MO, we sang along and talked and talked.  We had purchased a few show tickets ahead of time but left the week open to the possibilities.  Lying by the pool. Shopping in cute little boutiques, artisan markets and outlet malls.  Dining out, being waited on and, in some cases, sung to (the Singing Diner was so fun!)  Our trip was glorious!  Sister time – talking in the morning, talking at night, talking by the pool, talking in the dark.   On our last night together, out of the dark a small voice whispered,”I’m sure going to miss you, you know.”  “I know,” I said, “as will I miss you.”    A knowing look – finishing each others sentences – laughing at our stupid jokes.  For as much as we talked – sisters don’t need words.  

Sisters! An Emjayandthem(C) photo

2 ) Heat – arriving back home I was surprised to find the weather much hotter here (northern) than where we’d been (southern).  How did that happen?  80s up to 90s with little rain. It’s hot and dry.  Birds flitter happily through the sprinkler.

3 )  Taking a (leave-your-house) vacation is an excellent reminder that all of the stuff stressing me out is just that … stuff.    I work hard and do my best to stay on top of everything but every once in a while I need to step away from it and breathe.  Live.  Laugh.  And re-connect.

and there it is

4)  Books — Read one and bought another — one of my favorite things to do on a plane is to dive into a new story.  This one was well worth the dive:

… great read .. right to the last page!

And I bought this on the recommendation of a fellow passenger – next up on my summer reading list.

5 ) Summer’s here and another favorite just arrived — the Farm Market is open again!  I have to pace myself and remember that, for the most part, I’m the only one eating all these yummies.   Ooh … deliciousness abounds!!

What’s on your summer reading list?  Have you had any adventures lately?   What are you grateful for?  Are you a fan of toasted ‘mater sammiches, too?  *(GF for me!)

Toasted Tomato Sandwich ~ ahh, Summer!

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Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Confidence at any age, Faith, Family, Food, Friendship, Fun, Gratitude, Growth, Holidays, Home, Life, Love, Personal, Relationships, Thoughts, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Random 5 ~ NYE

It’s Friday Thursday and New Year’s Eve.  Here are 5 randoms from my world:

1 Remember when New Year’s Eve was a big deal?  Getting dressed up, wiggling into pantyhose and new shoes and a sparkly little something to go out with a bunch of people, dance, and kiss under the 5-4-3-2-1 Happy New Year countdown?  It’s been years since I’ve felt like that.  Yes we’re going out with a group tonight – to dance, sing and such -but there’s no pantyhose in sight :).  I have a sparkly sweater in mind and we’ll probably be home by 10:30 to watch the ball drop in the basement ~ the only one I’m smooching is Hubbs.  🙂

What sparks your creativity? google.images.com

2 I’ve been on vacation this week but didn’t feel like it until yesterday.  You see I’ve been on conference calls and had people pinging me left, right and center.  Yesterday I slept in, pushed away that nagging feeling saying I “should” accomplish something and instead embraced the massage chair that accompanied a pedicure.  I sipped a Caramel Iced coffee and read Hollywood magazines, catching up on the lives of people I don’t know.  When I was done I drove my relaxed self home and warmed up leftovers for supper.    A better day was not to be had.  ❤

giant coffee

3   “A year of ending and beginning, a year of loss and finding…and all of you were with me through the storm. I drink to your health, your wealth, your fortune for long years to come, and I hope for many more days in which we can gather like this.”
― C.J. Cherryh, Fortress of Eagles

Mom me and sissy - wedding 2015

Me, Mom and my sister – August 2015.

4 Another year is upon us.  I stopped making resolutions a few years ago and instead continue to do what works for me — clearing away the clutter and making room for the good.  Getting rid of those who drain me and resisting the urge to let just anyone in. There’s a reason the rear view mirror is small and the windshield is wide.  😀

chapter

5 I’ve always loved this song.  And so I ask you this, “What are you doing New Year’s Eve?”

 

Happy New Year, friends!  ~MJ

 

 

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Faith, Family, Grief, Holidays, Home, Life, Love, News, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Romance, Seasons, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Random 5 – Congress, Mentors and Meerkats

It’s time for five random thoughts from the ever-swirling mind of yours truly.

1.  I’m off to D.C. soon and last week, with the help of my Congressional office, I booked a guided tour of the U.S. Capitol.   Normally you should book these tours months in advance …  my schedule is jam-packed while I’m there.  I took a chance and found there was one spot left on the afternoon I was available. Luck or fate?   I’m going with a bit of both.  And, if you don’t ask, the answer is already “no.”  Just ask – who knows?

US.gov

Isn’t she grand?  VisittheCapitol.Gov

2. Last Thursday marked 7 years as a citizen.  7 years ago I obtained my 2nd passport and voted (here) for the first time. 7 years.  Stepping forward, with 78 other hopeful new citizens, that moment – and the memory – is still goose-bump-worthy.

That's me, holding the flag, and taking the Oath of Allegiance.

That’s me, holding the flag, and taking the Oath of Allegiance.  An Emjayandthem(C) photo

3. I’ve been saying “Yes” as much as possible lately and enjoying what comes next.  Last week I received an email from a long-time hero and mentor, Pat Katz.    Pat, teen leader and champion from the 4-H days of my youth, now writer, speaker, motivator, coach, artist, and all around fabulous woman.  She made a lasting impression on a young farm girl 36+ years ago and when we reconnected on Facebook, I felt like someone gave me the key to the cool kid’s club.   She shared this quote below and encouraged me to continue saying yes – and mentioned how fun it would be to meet up the next time I’m in Saskatchewan.  I immediately said yes – I’m going home for an August wedding and we’re grabbing a coffee and a hug at the airport arrival with my sissy Pat –and I’ll have my two favorite “Pats” in the same place – how sweet is that?

“Once you make up your mind and start something… Once you commit to it, say “Yes!” and never look back.

Do you have any doubt that I won’t rush to your side?  That legions won’t be summoned? That players won’t be drawn to help, assist, and fall in love? That connections won’t be made? Circumstances won’t be crafted? Dots won’t be connected?  That the course of history won’t be irrevocably changed?

Good, I didn’t think so. 

I’d say you’re ready,”
    – The Universe

4. This past week everything “popped” at once – not just Lilacs and other plants but the trees, too.  I’m popping Claritin like candy  … but is sure is green and lush and lovely.  Spring has sprung!

100_2359

Emjayandthem(C) ‘s lilacs

5.  I don’t care who you are or where you’ve worked – we have all sat through that one long, boring meeting, speech or sermon and then …

 

What are you waiting to say “Yes” to?  What would you try if you knew there was no way you could fail?

Have a great Wednesday, Peeps!

ha!

ha!

 

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Determination, Elections, Faith, Fun, Gratitude, Growth, Joy, Life, Patriotic, Relationships, Vote, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Sisters don’t need words

A week ago, my sister had a heart attack.  A week ago, my world stopped.

Stopped.

Time stopped.

Breathing stopped.

Thinking about anything else but her… stopped.

In the scramble of moments that come after an incident like that, you can’t help but think differently.  What you’d do differently, what might still need to be said.

Thank God for technology:  my brother-in-law kept us updated, the best he could, with newsy-news from home, and updates on her condition (a good prognosis now, thank you!).  I texted back and forth with my niece, and she shared my quips with Sissy.

I’ve always had her in my life, you know.

The older, wiser sister coming in from a date, breathlessly telling her two little sisters about the fun times she’d had, all the while brushing her hair and looking like a Barbie doll.

The older, wiser sister, counseling me through college class choices, pestering me to keep my grades where they should be and not to spend so much time working, that work will come later.

The older, wiser sister sewing me skirts and dresses when that was the style and I didn’t have the money to afford such luxuries.

The older, wiser sister with the first grand-child, and choosing me, me(!!), to come on family trips as a “helper” –when in reality I adored his tow-headed self and he was and is my special favorite to this day.

We’ve been through so much — traditions and tears, laughter and fears, holidays and trips, weddings and funerals, milestones and challenges. At oldest boy’s wedding, a family friend commented that it was “so nice your sister could be here for you.”  My response, “My sister has ALWAYS been there for me.”  She beamed and then we both cried.  That’s just how we roll.

She’s home now and doing well, some changes to be made but determination has set in and we talked about this last night.  We laughed, we cried, and we made sure to choke out the words we both felt but had never said: “I can’t imagine a world without you in it.”

“Sisters don’t need words. They have perfected a language of snarls and smiles and frowns and winks — expressions of shocked surprise and incredulity and disbelief. Sniffs and snorts and gasps and sighs — that can undermine any tale you’re telling.” ~Pam Brown

me, my sister, and Charlie the dog. An Emjayandthem (C) photo

me, my sister, and Charlie the dog. An Emjayandthem (C) photo

Categories: Faith, Family, fear, Gratitude, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Life Lessons, Love, Personal, Relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

Random 700 Friday

It’s Friday! It’s Random! Let’s Go!

1. Perusing old pictures recently, I found a few snaps taken inside the schoolhouse Dad attended as a boy.  In later years, that building was moved a half mile to Grampa’s farm and used as a “shop” (*garage).  I find it beautiful that, 70-some years later, the blackboard and cursive writing are still there.

an Emjayandthem (C) photo

an Emjayandthem (C) photo

2.  Mom’s birthday was yesterday.  Smiling as we talked, I loved hearing how excited she is about her two sisters visiting soon.  When I commented that they’ll be having a “sleepover” she giggled and agreed.  Sisters and sleepovers go together whether you’re 8 or 84.

One of my favorite pictures of Mom & me... having a Killian's in Branson, MO

One of my favorite pictures of Mom & me… having a Killian’s in Branson, MO.  An Emjayandthem (C) photo

3. Remember Jerry, the relative I haven’t yet met but blogged about?  He came home from the hospital yesterday :).

“Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in the One who hears it and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference. -Max Lucado

4. A newer friend asked me along to an outdoor concert this week.   “Yes” I said. “Sounds fun,” I said. And it was.  Keb Mo played some funky fun blues and when he gave us this song, “She just wants to dance,” well you gotta know we did.

5.  I have a few crowns.  Some of them need to be replaced.  Sigh – I know what that means…  time in the chair and no $$ to spare.   But this cartoon made me laugh.

crown

And how was your week?  

*This is my 700th post in nearly 4 years of blogging.  My how time flies!

Categories: Confidence at any age, Faith, Family, Fun, Joy, music, Personal, Random, Self Discovery, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Thoughts on a Thursday

1. Today’s my Friday!    In a week Sissy will greet me at the Saskatoon airport and, between a mix of tears and smiles, we’ll make our way to Mom’s where I’ll remain for 7 days.  Getting ready for a trip like that means I need a bit of time at home first.   I’ll tidy up tomorrow, cook a few meals to pop in the freezer, and spend some time with my guys and grands.  Ahh .. Heaven.

Appreciate the little things in life, one day you’ll look back and realize those were the big things.Anonymous

2. Speaking of Mom, she and I talked last night and she had questions about “this Mother’s Day brunch” I’m organizing.  She’s one capable lady and wanted the details.  Who’s coming? What time?  What should we make, etc.  But it was her quiet mention of inviting a distant grandchild that touched my heart. My oldest brother’s daughter, the one she doesn’t see as much as the others.  The one with her own family and Mother to Mom’s 3 great-grandsons.  My response, “Mom, if you’d like to include them then by all means do so.”   I could hear her smiles over the phone.  It’s just food and I can make more. 🙂

A mom reads you like a book, and wherever she goes, people read you like a glowing book review.  ~Robert Brault

3.  The company I work for announced some big news this week and I know that means reorganizations and realignment in our future.  People are already jockeying and posturing and aligning.   I am in a good place and probably have as much security as could be had, given the situation.   Having said that, it’s not the news that rattles me, it’s the behavior.  Geez Louise, people, do your work, stay the course, and let it sort itself out.

“Whatever follows ‘I am’ is going to come looking for you.” – Joel Osteen

4. Speaking of family, I called my sister last night. No, not Sissy, the other one, the one I haven’t been as close to.  Yes it was awkward, but over a bit of time, she warmed up and the conversation was a bit easier.   Of course, we stayed in a safe swim lane of topics – Mom, the weather, and my sister’s life. There was no inquiry of me and mine, but that’s not new,  it’s just more.   I know the effort was probably for naught, but when I listened to Mom speak longingly of her sisters, she helped me remember  that I still have two.

It doesn’t take a whole long life to realize that what we deserve to have, we rarely get.” ― Jodi Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper

5. Totally off topic, I saw this recently and cracked up. I bet you do, too:

yep!

yep!

Happy Thursday, peeps!

 

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Friendship, Growth, Home, Life, Life Lessons, Mom, Opinion, Personal, Random, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Imperfection, beauty and curves ahead

Mom used to say to us girls, “Wouldn’t life be boring if we were all the same?”

I’m sure that was her way of making us all feel special, beautiful and unique.

You see my sisters, with their smooth blond hair falling into softly styled coifs, looked nothing like me.

I had a rats’ nest of brown curls and favored my brothers more than I ever did those two.

They were older and more sophisticated.  And then came me.

Ridiculous, giggly, curly-haired and more.

More on top and more on the bottom and just, well, more.

As we’ve gotten older, I’ve realized we’re more alike than we are not.  All of us have her in us. All of us catch ourselves saying things we heard her say growing up. And all of us have something unique to offer.

It’s taken me 40 years to accept what Mae West supposedly once said:

Cultivate your curves — they may be dangerous but they won’t be avoided.” ~Mae West

me & my seesters: an emjayandthem (c) photo

me & my seesters: an emjayandthem (c) photo

True that!

True that!

How much was your definition of beauty defined by comparison? Who set the beauty bar for you at a young age?  What helped you appreciate your own look or style?

 

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Confidence at any age, Family, Growth, Life, Personal, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

An ache in a crowded room

Wrapping my gown around me, I stepped into the inner room, the room reserved for women like me. Women about to have a mammogram (the mamm-o-slam, as I affectionately call it).

Chilled, and feeling a bit awkward, I smiled and relaxed when another lady grinned my way.

“Hi.” she said.

“Hi there,” I said back.

“How are you doing today?”

“Oh, good, good, how are you doing?” I asked.

“I’m fine but boy, it sure is cold in here.”

And so on we went with our easy banter.

She motioned to all the ladies magazines laid out for us to read.  I chuckled and said I couldn’t hope to enjoy them without my glasses, the same glasses buried deep in my purse in the locker down the hall.

Laughing, she offered, “I know what you mean, some days I wonder what’s left that I can see.”  And when she tilted her head just so, the image of that coupled with her kind eyes and warm smile reminded me of my oldest sister.

And it was in that moment that I felt it.

A pinch.

A longing for her so deep that I nearly cried.

I didn’t say anything.

I just sighed and sat with it.

I sat there with my ache in a crowded room.

Has a stranger’s kindness ever both uplifted you and broke your heart?

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Hebrews 13:2

me, Pat and Charlie the dog

me and my sis and Charlie the dog

Categories: Beauty, Faith, Family, Friendship, Growth, Home, Life, Love, Relationships, Self Discovery, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 27 Comments

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