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Posts Tagged With: summer

The idea

“Use it or lose it” they said.  I rolled over vacation time last year to this one and it’s timing out so .. with that .. I’m on vacation this week — and following the “no plan-plan.”

Purposeful nothingness.

Reading.

Sunshine.

Iced Tea.

Flip flops.

Farmer’s Market.

Pedicure.

Reading.

Phone chats with siblings and cousins.

Music.

Firing up the grill.

Shutting down the laptop.

Reading.

Naps.

A stretch of days with nothing to do and all day to do it.

You can get old pretty young if you don’t take care of yourself.

I’m feeling younger by the minute!  🙂

When’s the last time you checked out? Have you ever had a week of “purposeful nothingness?”

 

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Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Confidence at any age, Faith, Food, Gratitude, Growth, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, Life Lessons, Personal, Quotes, Relationships, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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!

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

Church memories and penny candy

Reminiscing with Hubbs last night we laughed at the similarities of our childhoods:

  • Huge gardens & summer canning projects ~ a kitchen filled with steam
  • Church / Sunday School on Sundays through the school year
  • Vacation Bible school in the summer (plus 4-H camp for me and sports camp for him)
  • Family birthday parties with cake, coffee and a weenie roast
  • Freeze Tag, Kick-the-Can and Hide & Go Seek with cousins afterwards
  • Riding our bikes to the lake
  • And summer chores, saving our money for penny candy

Remembering my Sunday School routine, I told how our little village had a “Confectionery” downtown (1 1/2 blocks from the Church).  Because it was part of the hotel it could be open on Sundays (nothing else was) — Mom would give us  .25 cents  (two bits) with which we could buy:

  • a Pop and a bag of chips or
  • a Pop and a candy bar or
  • a little brown bag FULL of penny candy (always my choice)

Kind of like this

He and I agreed on the need to “make our candy last” – and how we’d negotiate with parents or siblings to get the best deal.    We differed on our choices, with him preferring chocolate to my licorice.

remember red hot dollars?

and licorice pipes?

We both laughed at this one:

Candy cigarettes!

The two of us could still remember the sweet, crunchy taste of a candy cigarette.  The sugar rush from a Pixie Stix.  The mess of “Fun Dip.”  He talked of hiding his Hershey bars from his brother and I did the same with my stash.  We agreed that underwear drawers were favorite hiding spots  ~ no one ventured there!

Funny how a little trip down memory lane can take you to places both sacred and sweet.

*****

*What was your favorite childhood candy?  How much did it cost?  Do you remember candy after Church, too? *

Categories: Faith, Family, Fun, Gratitude, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Personal, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

5+ Q&A

Here comes the weekend and it’s time for a 5 + Q&A – Ready? Here we go!

1. What sound do you love?

A: Rain, preferably with thunder.

raindrops

2.  If you won the lottery, what’s the first thing you’d do?

A: Double and triple check the numbers!

mega millions

I have old tickets in my wallet — do you think I think to check them? No.

3.  What do you miss most about the summers of your childhood?

A: Sleepovers in the tent, riding our horses at midnight, swimming in the lake, flirting with boys at summer camp, getting just a little bit sunburnt, earning money for the fair, iced cream melting on birthday cake and the easy–breezy carefree feeling that just was summer.  And my Grandparents.  I miss them.

Remember?

Remember?

4.  Are you usually late, early or right on time?

A: Early. Always.

time_Buddha

5.  What are you looking forward to this weekend?

A: Grandkids!  Hubbs and oldest boy are golfing and me & the wee ones are off to Nana adventures, wherever that may take us!

me & the grands on Fathers Day 2015

me & the grands on Fathers Day 2015

Bonus Question:  5 things I’m loving right now:

  1. Sandals
  2. Cherries, corn on the cob and anything on the grill
  3. Birds and frogs chirping
  4. Tank tops and T-storms
  5. Reading outside in the waning summer light
True that! google.images

True that! google.images

I hope you play along ~ please put your answers in the comments section!   And if you only answer one question answer this:  What one thing about summer are you absolutely loving right now?

** This is my 800th post ~ Thank YOU for riding along with me!
Categories: Faith, Family, Food, Fun, Home, Joy, Love, Opinion, Personal, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Random 5 on the 4th – the Capitol, summer tunes and more

I missed Random 5 Friday so instead am doing Random 5 for the 4th – here we go!

1. Today is Saturday, July 4th, our nation’s “birthday.”   The birds are singing, the weather is hot and hazy, and we are celebrating our nation’s independence by independently deciding to lay low, hang out pool-side, and chill.  Ahh.

81218434512_0_ALB

Summer is here!

2.  One month ago I was in our nation’s Capitol on business.  Being a new citizen and representing my company in the highest offices of the land thrills me beyond description.   Walk 34 miles in heels in 90F heat? No problem.  Endure multiple security checkpoints? Sure.  Witness a vote from the Senate gallery?  Mind-blowingly cool. Sit down with members of the United States Congress over and over again? A-m-a-z-i-n-g.

on this day in 1776, the Second Continental Congress approved and adopted the Declaration of Independence. Happy Independence Day!   https://www.visitthecapitol.gov/

On this day in 1776, the Second Continental Congress approved and adopted the Declaration of Independence. Happy Independence Day! https://www.visitthecapitol.gov/

3.  Listening to the radio last night something we heard brought us right back to our teens:  the hits-from-coast-to-coast!   Remember how every summer holiday weekend brought the top 40 countdown?  Did you ever sit next to the radio and record the songs played?  I remember my cousin and I shushing our brothers because a favorite song was coming up soon and we were determined to “catch it.”  I couldn’t tell you what happened to those tapes but I know there were a lot of them!

cassette recorder

Shh … Rod Stewart is up next!

4. Speaking of music, we also reminisced about our experiences with the “Columbia Music House” collection and what a deal we thought it was — 11 choices for a $1.00 plus the added requirement to purchase more at  ridiculously inflated prices. We were kids, we didn’t know any better.  His choices included Ted Nugent, Supertramp and Chicago.  Mine included Elvis (duh!), the Oak Ridge Boys and Boston. Funny.

This was me at 15 and I think the worried look can be attributed to an overdue shipment from Columbia records!  An Emjayandthem (C) photo

This was me at 15 and I think the worried look can be attributed to an overdue shipment from Columbia records! An Emjayandthem (C) photo

5. Stopped at the Farmer’s Market Thursday and picked up the biggest, tastiest tomato ever.  I did that so I could enjoy this for my lunch today:

Toasted Tomato Sandwich  ~ ahh, Summer!

Toasted Tomato Sandwich ~ ahh, Summer!

I hope that wherever my words find you, whether you’re American or not, you join us in celebrating her birthday today. I hope you take a moment to step outside and look up at the sky – our brilliant shared sky – and I hope that, just like me, you can do so without fear.

 ** God Bless America! **

What are your plans for the Holiday today?  Did you ever tape the top 40 hits off the radio?  Had a toasted ‘mater sandwich lately?

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Friendship, Gratitude, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, Opinion, Patriotic, Seasons, Thoughts, Traditions, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Random 5 – Summer, strawberries and being pretty

It’s not Friday but it is time for 5 random thoughts from the ever-swirling mind of yours truly. Ready? Set? Go!

1. I make my bed as soon as I get up. Every day. Not 10 minutes later, not an hour, right away.  Unless Hubbs is in it. Hard to make a bed up over someone 6′ tall.

VEGAS-WORLD-MARKET_3

I have nearly this many pillows on the bed.

2.   A Facebook friend told me joyfully that it’s only “6 months till Christmas!”  And that’s how people get themselves de-friended or – worse yet – punched!

google.images.com

Google.images.com

3.  Bought several quarts of Strawberries at the Farmer’s market earlier this week.  Not sure if it’s all the rain we got but these are some of the best I’ve ever had!!  I’ll eat till I can’t and freeze the rest. The fragrance? One word: Heavenly. My favorite birthday dessert was Mom’s Strawberry Shortcake:  tiny sweet berries picked fresh from the garden, hearty REAL rich whipped cream piled on top of a thick slice of Angel Food cake.  I have a mandate that you MUST drizzle some of the berry juice onto the cake and let it soak in and turn the cake pink.   The taste of summer – next to a burger off the grill or farm fresh corn on the cob, that’s about as good as it gets!

strawberries

Can you smell them?  Just heavenly!

4. Last weekend was my niece’s shower and my sisters and I giggled remembering how, in our day, a Bridal Shower was a social gathering and big time Ladies outing.  There was never an assumption that all of us could attend.  Oh no.  It was an afternoon or evening out for Mom, in her best dress, her hair curled up and her Avon lipstick on.  She’d always let one – not all three – of us girls go with her.  We all remember my middle sister pleading with Mom to let her go instead of another and assuring her she’d not get wet.  She probably did get to go after all, but what I remember most were Bridal showers in Church basements, tea in teapots, dainty squares on doilies and the privileged feeling of being included.

03-31-2012 12;26;57PM1

Showers were held in the basement of this United Church; the smell of Lemon Pledge and coffee percolating permeates my memories to this day.

5.   We have often heard someone described as pretty.  I love this definition even more:

pretty

Yes!

And how is your week going?  How were Bridal and Baby showers different when you were growing up?  What summer time fruit are you enjoying these days?  What are you pretty at?

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Faith, Family, Home, Life, Mom, Personal, Quotes, Relationships, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Random Five Friday – August’s end

It’s Friday! It’s Random! Let’s go!

1. I don’t know about you but it kind of felt like July left and September came early.  I was at the Capitol yesterday and could have sworn it was mid-September .. look at that sky!

perfect day for a walk; an Emjayandthem (C) photo

perfect day for a walk; an Emjayandthem (C) photo

2.  Speaking of August, guess what’s ready at the Orchard down the road?  Guess what I’m making this weekend?

Fresh peaches and coffee w/cream... An Emjayandthem (C) photo

Fresh peaches with my coffee ~ An Emjayandthem (C) photo

Peach Blackberry Cobbler ... an Emjayandthem (C) photo

I like to bake & take (i.e. take it somewhere else!)  Peach Blackberry Cobbler is going a Labor Day gathering … an Emjayandthem (C) photo

3.  Remember me talking about the Nutribullet?  I’m still using it – daily!  If you want a daily blast of nutrition and energy, check it out.  My new favorite morning smoothie recipe is 1/2 spinach + blueberries, cantaloupe, strawberries, chia, flaxseeds, cinnamon, fresh ginger and almond milk.  Creamy, a bit spicy and delicious.  Keeps me full till early afternoon and I swear I’m healthier.  We’ll see come cold & flu season.

image from nutribullet.com

image from nutribullet.com

4. I’m lucky I work with a lot of capable and talented people and, for the most part, I’ve successfully removed any energy vampires from my life.  But this is still good advice, don’t you think?

idiots

5.  Late last week, I noticed some activity along the back fence.  In the late day sun, I spotted a Momma cat lounging and two of her youngsters tumbling and rolling down the hill.  Cats!  And wild cats at that.  I think Frankie would have made friends with them and can picture them all lying in a pile together.  No I’m not taming them and no I didn’t put food out, either.  Don’t really need a yard full of skunks and raccoons!

cats in yard

Speaking of cats, this made me laugh — here’s # 6 for a Random 5 Friday. Happy day, all!

free kittens

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Faith, Family, Growth, Holidays, Home, Humor, Joy, Life, Random, Relationships, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

R5F and Vacation skids to a close

It’s Friday! It’s Random! It’s the last day of summer vacation – here we go!

1. These past 4 days off? Highly recommend it.  I read 1 book, took 2 naps, swam, went out, stayed in, rested, laughed and had a lot of fun.   Ended up working all day so today’s vacation time is going back in the vault for a later date.

2.  For a number of years I’ve worried about being highly allergic to morphine, iodine and latex.  I fear being unresponsive after an accident and somehow being administered all three – ugh.  Yes,  I knew I should wear a “Medic-Alert” item but never did because, well, they’re hideous and this girl is not about wearing ugly jewelry. But then I found this cool site called Lauren’s Hope where they make medical jewelry that’s individualized and fashionable.  Got my bracelet this week and not only am I stylin’, I feel better prepared for an emergency.  Check out my new bling below:

Super comfy!

Super comfy! visit http://laurenshope.com/ to order

Love it!

Love it! 🙂

3.  I forgot how good fresh corn-on-the-cob tastes.   Butter, salt, a little pepper. Mmm-mmm good.

google.images.com

google.images.com

4. Took a ride up Route 66 this week – Hubbs and I ventured north for an overnight casino outing. Fun times and a trip we’ll repeat.   My tip? Play the penny machines, we made our ca$h last all evening and still came home with some – whee!

Michigan's Route 66, near Remus, MI

Michigan’s Route 66, near Remus, MI

5.  Speaking of “Route 66,”  here’s a rather peppy version of this classic song by “Asleep at the Wheel.”  Give it a listen, I’ll bet it gets your toes-a-tappin’ and you might feel like a road trip’s in order, too.

So, how was your week? 🙂

 

Categories: Attitude, Family, Fun, Growth, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, music, Personal, Relationships, Romance, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Summer’s delights

Late sunsets & early sunrises, cherries ready, pool’s waiting; sandals, skirts & pedicures. Patio nights and baseball on the radio.

Fresh everything, kids on bikes, neighbors in yards, and conversations over fences. 

Summer storms, fireflies, windows open, fans on, followed by a/c blowing. 

Road trips:  music up, windows down. 

Lake visits,  pie and supper outside. 

The scents of charcoal and sunscreen; the sights of flip-flops and golfer’s tans.  

And vacation that starts later today!

Summer – she doesn’t stay long. 

What do you love most about summer? 

google.images.com

google.images.com

 

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Food, Fun, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, Seasons, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Hard decisions

Thinking back to the summers of my youth, I remember the “hard” decisions we  faced:

1) Weed now or after swimming?  (Now! Get it over with)

2)  Sleep in the tent or in the house?  (Always the tent)

3)  Take a ride bareback or saddle up? (Depended on the terrain and which horse I was on)

4)  Go to town with Dad? (Always, because if you went with the Candy Man, candy soon followed)

5) Do chores for Grandma and earn $$ for the fair?  (Sign me up! I loved her and the fair!)

How old would you be if you didn’t know your age?  Some days I still am that pig-tailed girl ready to saddle up my pony for another adventure.   It’s summer that takes me back there.

This is about how old I feel today  (( me in gr 4  )); an emjayandthem photo

(( me in gr 4 )) ; an Emjayandthem photo

And lastly … summer should always bring some of the following to us:

Remember?

Remember?  Google.images

When you remember your summers, what “hard” decisions come to mind?

 

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Determination, Family, Food, Fun, Home, Joy, Life, Random, Seasons, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Random Five Friday on the 4th of July

It’s Friday! It’s Random! It’s the Fourth of July!

Here we go 🙂

1.  When I was a little girl, my sisters and I loved to sing and rhyme and make up stories.  There was something about the rhythm and the repetition that was soothing.  One that came to mind recently is this one:

“I asked my mother for 50 cents, to see the elephant jump the fence, he jumped so high he touched the sky and didn’t come back till the fourth of July!”

google.images.com

google.images.com

I remembered that rhyme because today is my sister’s birthday.  Growing up in Canada, I was fully aware of what the “Fourth of July” stood for and thought it was neat she had a rhyme about an important date that she could claim as her own.  The only one even close to me or my name was “Mary, Mary quite contrary, how does your garden grow?” and I didn’t like gardening, much less pulling weeds.  How’s that for contrary? 🙂

2. This is my 6th Independence Day as a Citizen.   And it’s still just as awesome as the first one.

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

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

3. For the first time, we’re not hosting a get-together today.  Hubbs is golfing, youngest is snoozing and me? I’m enjoying a quiet morning before heading to the pool with my cherries – yeah! I’ll take my books and my tunes and my cooler full of fruit and enjoy a beautiful day in – and out – of the pool.  Later on, sun-kissed and relaxed, Hubbs and I will step out with friends for dinner and drinks and let someone else clean up and I’m not complaining!

4. After a ferocious thunderstorm Tuesday night, the temps cooled, the humidity fell and we’ve enjoyed 3 – count ’em 3 – days of windows open, a/c off, and cool breezy summer days.  Ahh … this takes me back to the summers of my childhood.  The sun was warm, the air was mild, and you could always count on an evening breeze to settle things down.  That’s when the Northern Lights would appear and dance across our skies like faeries in flight.  I remember leaving the tent and running across the lawn, laughing and twirling under the lights above.   Ahh..

image from canada-maps.org

Northern Lights image from canada-maps.org

5.    I hope that wherever my words find you today, whether you’re American or not, you join us in celebrating her birthday. I hope you take a moment to step outside and look up at the sky – our brilliant shared sky – and I hope that, just like me, you can do so without fear.

God Bless America!

 

 

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Faith, Family, fear, Holidays, Joy, Life, Patriotic, Personal, Random, Relationships, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Random Five Thursday

Today’s my Friday! I’m taking tomorrow off work and with many things going on, I woke up early this morning ready to jump-start the day. With that .. here we go:

1.  Took a road trip yesterday to points south. What did I see a lot of?  Road construction, tourists and county sheriffs.  I counted not one, not two but at least 6 vehicles pulled over in a 7 mile span.  Naive me, I didn’t recall seeing anyone speeding … Hubbs filled me in that the route I was on is known for drug smugglers and undocumented workers coming to MI to pick summer crops.    Sometimes I really still am just a farm girl out in the world!  🙂

2.  At yesterday’s meeting, there were a lot of good ideas shared and alliances formed. But the highlight was meeting a most important task force member ~ Layla, the office dog.  Silky soft fur and eyes that could melt butter greeted me after the meeting and as I petted her,  I told her young owner that we had to put our old dog down.  “Aww I’m so sorry,” he said. I smiled and told him that “as hard as that is, and it’s been nearly a year, any day I get to pet someone else’s beloved dog is a really good day, thank you.”  And with that, a bond was formed that couldn’t have happened at a conference table.

3.  Found this picture recently and it seems not that long ago that youngest boy, who now towers past me by a foot +, would wrap his legs around me as I held him.  He’s still got those grasshopper legs!

Summer 1996; crossing Lake Diefenbaker, SK Canada on the Riverhurst Ferry.  An Emjayandthem (C) photo

Summer 1996; crossing Lake Diefenbaker, SK Canada on the Riverhurst Ferry. An Emjayandthem (C) photo

4.  Sometimes I just can’t take watching TV news — it’s depressing.  Yes I stay up on current affairs, but lately, I’ve found myself retreating into reruns of shows from a gentler time.  Just the other night I watched “The Brady Girls get married.” My cousin and I talked about this shift happening in both of us and she confided to a recent binge of  “The Waltons.”   I admitted to watching them, too and we both agreed that, for all her haughtiness, Corbeth Godsey was a minx.   Ike Godsey had it made in the shade!

Oh Corabeth! Image from The Today show.com

Oh Corabeth! Image from The Today show.com

5. Lastly, a friend reminded me that yesterday marked 6 months till Christmas.  In response, I sent her this photo, taken on the lake we lived at every summer:

image from Lake Diefenbaker Tourism.ca

image from Lake Diefenbaker Tourism.ca

What TV shows remind you of your childhood?  What image to you says “Summer is here!”

 

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Blogging, Faith, Family, Friendship, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Love, News, Opinion, Personal, Relationships, Self Discovery, Traditions | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

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