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Posts Tagged With: Spring

Random 5 Sunday ~ Spring, Weddings and Anniversaries

Good morning and Happy Sunday to you!   Time for 5 Randoms from my world.  Ready?  Let’s go.

1 )   Spring.  I’d been away from the office for several weeks, returning last week to a stacks of mail and Spring  outside my window.   After (what felt like) a 10 month winter, Spring seems even brighter this year. And overdue.  Yes, it rained all weekend, but the rain washed away the pollen and, for the first time in a week, my eyes no longer feel gummy.    Farmer’s daughters have a hard time wishing away rain anyways.

**Hello Spring! **

2 )  Travel ~ as fun and adventurous as it was to be away ~ including staying an extra night because of flight delays (in a hotel, not the airport, yay), it’s wonderful to come home again.  With 3 days in the office last week and 1 more tomorrow, I’m nearly caught up.  On Tuesday I’m off again for a couple of nights and back home in time to slide into the long weekend.   This is the kind of travel I love~ by car, with stops along the way, the schedule is (mostly) all mine, structured enough to accomplish my objectives but with enough free time to take in the sights.  I’ll be winding my way north along the shores of Lake Michigan and back again.   And I won’t miss my desk one bit.

**Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.**

3 ) Companions– While visiting city officials and town halls I’ll have Dad with me.   See Dad, in addition to being a full-time farmer,  served his local Rural Municipality (R.M.) as a Councilor for 30+ years and this girl went with him much of the time.  I’d straighten the paperwork and make sure the coffee pot was full, watch how he listened, interacted, and worked the issues.  I learned from him how to relax and stand confident in what I know.   Although my present day role is much different from his, there’s much of what he did that comes with me.  And I still  experience a child-like wonder as I walk into a century-old City Hall, seeing the grooves in the floor from so many before me, smelling furniture polish and the must that exists in those cavernous old rooms.     I can easily spot the radiators still hugging the walls and, before long, enjoy a relaxed camaraderie with present day staff.

**A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.**

4 )  Anniversary –  This week marks 10 years as a U.S. Citizen.    10 years! Yes, 10 years ago I raised my right hand and, with 78 others (from 34 countries) took the oath of allegiance to the United States of America and stepped forward as a new American. It signified the end of one journey and the beginning of another.   It was one of the proudest and most emotional  moments of my life.  (more about my journey here.)

You see, someday I will be a citizen for 15 or 20 or 35 years and I’ll still choose to tell folks that I’m a “new” citizen. Why?  Because I don’t know how else to communicate the significance of it.    The choice of it.

We’re not perfect, this country, we’ve got our flaws.  Like most families, there’s bickering and divisions and  always someone willing to point out what’s wrong with us … but still … there’s a heart and soul about America that continues to inspire people to imagine a life here.

That’s me, holding the flag, during my swearing in ceremony; An Emjayandthem (C) photo

“The first requisite of a good citizen in this republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his own weight.”

 

3) The Royal Wedding – Unlike past events, I didn’t set my alarm, instead I set the DVR.  Snoozing till 8:00 I hopped up out of bed, poured a large cup of coffee, and turned on the TV.   For whatever reason, I just didn’t have the same interest in this wedding as I did for Diana and Charles in 1981 or William and Kate in 2011.   Maybe I was still trying to learn about the gal who’d bedazzled a Prince and, let’s be honest, some of the attraction was the hot mess certain members of her family had been, too.    The day was dazzling, the sky glorious, the hats large and the dress fancy.   Having the DVR recording allowed me to fast-forward through the speculative coverage by “new” Royal experts and get to the good stuff.  Yes, I cried when I saw the two brothers walking so confidently together.   I giggled at the cuteness of the little page boys and flower girls.   I teared up watching Prince Charles join her on her lone walk in, when the two of them said their vows, shared a kiss, and hopped into the Carriage to be swept off to their future.   I’ve cried at this and every wedding I’ve ever witnessed.  This was no different: in the end, it’s all about love.  I wish them well.

image from Delish.com

**All you need is love … ** -Paul McCartney

So, how was your week?

 

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Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Faith, Family, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Love, News, Opinion, Personal, Politics, Relationships, Thoughts, Traditions, Travel, Women, Work, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Random 5 (Lion) Friday

It’s Friday! It’s time for some Random thoughts ~ here we go!

1 )  March roared in like a Lion and …well she’s still roaring.  Yesterday brought freezing rain and lightning, all the same day. Today .. rain and winds.  The grass is greening and the Robins are fat… hmm.  Maybe April will come in like a lamb?

google.images

2 ) Old favorites ~ I put a tee shirt on the other day and laughed because I remember when it was new. 10 summers ago.  I still like it and still wear it but now just around the house ’cause it’s a little worse for the wear.   It’s like an old friend, comfy, soft and forgiving.  It’s from the summer we took Mom on this trip, and that’s the shirt in the picture below. Sissy and I are going again in June and Mom will be with us in spirit, clapping her hands, grinning widely and taking it all in.

One of my favorite pictures of Mom & me… having a Killian’s in Branson, MO.  Summer 2007.

Of course we saw an “Elvis” show! Tony Roi as Elvis was AMAZING!

3 ) I wrapped up 7 consecutive weeks of heavy work travel and meetings.  Yesterday we were asked to set goals for the year – one of the goals surrounds meetings & outreach.  I smiled realizing I’m halfway to the goal.  Yes!!

4 )  It’s Friday.  I can hear the birds singing and my calendar, for the most part, is wide open today.  I have a few projects to tidy up then I’ll hand the reins to another and my team – and be off on v.a.c.a.t.i.o.n.   It’s 34F here and 75F where we’re headed …and there’s not a schedule in sight. Ahhh.

photo courtesy of the Farmers Almanac.

5 )    Amazing. Yes, that’s it.   Ha!

That or glasses!

How about you? What’s the oldest piece of clothing you still wear?  What are you looking forward to?  Have you set any new goals for the year?  Have you amazed yourself lately? 🙂

Happy Spring, peeps!

 

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Family, Fun, Growth, Joy, Life, Mom, music, Relationships, Thoughts, Travel, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 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

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

Hello, March

Breaking records for the coldest February since 1892 I’m happy to see March’s arrival.  It’s hard to believe Spring is only a few weeks away!

And with that I give you Plume the cat.  His attitude to snow is similar to mine — put your head down and get through it!

 

“No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.”~Proverb

Are you having Spring Fever, too?

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Determination, Fun, Growth, Joy, Life, Random, Seasons, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , | 8 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

Not missing it

It’s been another wild week at work.  For months now, I’ve been putting in a tonne of extra hours on a project that will last most of this year, and I’m also filling in for another who has been in and out with health issues. It’s exhausting and yes, I’m exhausted.

Feeling the pinch, I scheduled a day off for tomorrow.

Can’t really do it.  Probably shouldn’t do it. And to me, that’s a sure sign I need to do it.

Guess what I’m doing tomorrow?

Nothing in particular!

No chores. No cleaning. No cooking. No laundry. Nada.

No checking email. No returning phone calls. No work. None.

Coffee and blogs in the morning then lunch with my girlfriends. A pedicure. Open a few windows and roll in the day.  Evening with hubbs, tunes on the mp3 and a smile on my face.  Ahh.

google.images.com

google.images.com

Happy Spring! Happy Everything! Tell me where you are going today, even if it’s just a daydream at this point :).

Categories: Faith, Friendship, Fun, Gratitude, Growth, Joy, Life, Personal, Quotes, Relationships, Self Discovery, Uncategorized, Women, Work | Tags: , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Winter is dead

Dare we say it?  Dare we?

Snow Thursday, 64 Saturday.

But out and about this morning, something in the mulch caught my attention.

Something small and pink and determined:

peonies popping up

The Peonies have spoken: Spring is here!

“She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbor:
“Winter is dead.”
― A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Determination, Faith, Family, Home, Seasons, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 16 Comments

A river moving

It’s Friday.

That long awaited, much anticipated day.

There’s still lots of the week left in today, but we’re close enough to the finish line to begin thinking of other things.

peeking kitten

I see you, weekend!

Weekend warriors or time to just be?

Maybe a little of both?

Whatever you choose, take it from me and do what feeds your soul.

“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.”― Rumi

*image from Pinterest

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Faith, Family, Fun, Home, Joy, Life, Opinion, Personal, Random, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

A flowerful May?

Last week, we had rain. A lot of rain.

This weekend, we had snow. A fair amount of snow.

The week ahead?  More rain.

wzzm.com

wzzm.com

If the saying is true, May should be filled with flowers.

:: Pinterest.com::

April showers bring May flowers (image from Pinterest)

Has Spring arrived where you’re at? Could you send it on to Michigan?

related posts:

Categories: Animals, Faith, Fun, Home, Life, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , , | 20 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

It’s here! It’s really, truly, finally here…I think.

forsynthia peeking over my fence

After the most unpredictably cold, wet and weird April of recent memory, I dare say it outloud:

       Spring is here!

I won’t taunt Mother Nature by being too pleased about it for fear she’ll spank us with another April snow shower. (Hey we did get 2″ of the white stuff last Monday!)

But I sure enjoyed a relaxing walk through the neighborhood with old dog tonight.  He: nose down/tail up, sniffing the pathway ahead of us.  Me: foot wrapped, stretching and trying to improve my stamina and distance, bit by bit.  The mild air felt cool on my cheeks and, when we turned to home, I had to zip my windbreaker as the breeze picked up. In an instant,  I was transported to Spring on the farm:  fluffy yellow chicks, kittens, a foal or two and lots and lots of baby calves.  A time of being delighted that we could wear just sneakers again; all the boots were put away and the yard was no longer a mucky mess.  A time of hoodies layered under jean jackets, pink cheeks and coming into the house smelling of fresh air.

I love the scents of Summer and the colours of Autumn but it’s on days like this that I realize what I love about Spring: its promise. 

Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!”  ~Robin Williams

Categories: Animals, Beauty, Family, Friendship, Gratitude, Home, Joy, Life, Opinion, Personal, Random, Seasons, Snarky, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , | 20 Comments

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