Posts Tagged With: sunshine

Adulting in Summer

I don’t know about you but being an adult in summer still requires some adjustment.

Dressing up when the weather says “dress down.”  Shoes on when my heart screams “barefoot.”

Going inside to bed … when I want to stay up and watch fireflies dance.

In summer, I’ll start a new book and if an author bores me, feel no shame in reaching for another.

In summer I’m restless.

But not for a desire to do rather for the desire not to do.

In summer the job I enjoy feels laborious: phone calls, project calls, calls, calls and reminder calls.

Summer vacation affords an opportunity to shut that out and instead pad quietly through the house, sipping coffee, feeling the fan on my skin and the heat at the nape of my neck.

Summer days find me up early, drinking coffee and tea for hours, making bacon & eggs for lunch, and leftovers and fruit for dinner. Even better if eaten outside.

Summer brings a longing for the summers of my childhood.

Of screen doors and homemade pie, beach hair and strappy sandals; wienie roasts and kick-the-can, late night swims, ice-cream or watermelon eaten on Grandma’s steps.

Summer is the season when adulting has a very good chance of going sideways.



I’ve not tried this but it’s tempting …  Happy Summer!

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Food, Holidays, Home, Life, Personal, Seasons, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Trips, kids and canvas tents

Hubbs and I are back from our warm-weather vacation.   All I can say is … ahh!  Blue skies, warm sun and palm trees everywhere.    Our smiles couldn’t be contained.  It. Was. Wonderful.

Just landed – so many palm trees!

The resort we stayed at was sprawling – over 300 acres – so we rented a golf-cart  –  most evenings found us cruising around the resort, stopping to park at a random beach, to take in a walk or just sit and enjoy the view.

walkway to the beach

Headed back to our villa one evening, we came upon an older couple so Hubbs slowed down to ask if they’d like a ride (we’d rented a 4-person golf cart, the smallest available).

“No thanks,” she said, “We’re just getting our exercise.”

“Damn right I’d take a ride!” he exclaimed and hopped on, cane and all.

Meet Norm and Ginny from Rochester, New York.  Seems he’d had hip surgery and they were indeed out for a walk but he’d had about enough of that.  He asked where we were from and what brought us down this way  ~ when we said it was our 25th anniversary they both cheered us on and Norm said, with a wink, “we’re married 60 years and you know what? It only gets better from here!”  Sweet people and lots of fun, too.

We soon settled into a routine – up early to sip coffee in the screened-in balcony and watch boats slip in and out of the marina.    We’d finish up leftovers from the night before and head down to our pool around 12:30 ~  many families visited and so many  were busy with littlest ones wanting their attention.  “Dad, watch me.” “Mom, watch this!” “Dad!” “Mom!”  ~ when parents would comment on our lack of littles we’d just smile and say “been there, done that.”

Truth is – watching the excitement in their kids took us right back to when our boys were small.  Going to a pool – any pool – was such a big deal — and we’d pack and carry treats, floaties, noodles, paddle boards, diving materials, goggles, etc.  Watching the little kids at this pool – how they all run – everywhere.  Even when a parent shouts “NO RUNNING” there’s that quick walk-run that all kids do, they just can’t help themselves.    The more things change the more they stay the same.


Hubbs and I spent our time together talking, laughing and enjoying the get away.  During our conversations, we discovered a shared loved of camping when we were kids – setting up that canvas tent in the backyard and having a friend or cousin over.  The night began early but the shenanigans didn’t start until well after dark – or after parents had gone to bed.  He lived in town so his adventures including hopping fences and swimming in others’ pools ~ mine including saddling up our ponies for a midnight moonlight ride.

We both remembered the excitement of the canvas tent waning around 7:00 a.m. when temperatures inside approached 600F.  Panting and sweating we’d emerge and head to the house, surely waking parents in our quest for food.

So it was comical yesterday, during Easter dinner, when youngest boy brought up how his girlfriend wants him to go camping and he wasn’t so sure. She exclaimed, “I love camping and I think you would, too.”

I caught Hubbs’ smirk when he encouraged them by saying, “You should do it, and make sure it’s a canvas tent!”

Sunrise view from the balcony

It was wonderful to go away. It’s great to be home.   And now, we’re plotting our next adventure and no it does not involve a tent!

And how was your week?

Categories: Attitude, Family, Fun, Home, Humor, Joy, Life, Personal, Relationships, Romance, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Glad Surrender

Lately my work life is all consuming  ~  looking back and ahead I am struck by these four things:

1 ) Traveling every week for work & so that means restaurant after restaurant – and eating healthfully can be a challenge.  Typically I have a big breakfast sometime during the day and supplement with foods I bring with me.  But, I’ve discovered the wedge salad and that has become my new favorite.  I’m sure it’s 10,000 calories but I don’t care.   Here’s is one I enjoyed a few nights ago with shrimp and a Skinny Girl Margarita.  Yes I was that gal photographing her food … ha!

dinner on the road recently

2)  I’m tired.  Tired of work, tired of calls, tired of projects, tired.  I’m tired of increasing pressure, endless demands and unrealistic expectations.  In just a few weeks we will shut everything off and head to a warm vacation.  In response to bosses who’ve asked anxiously if I’ll be online while away I’ve answered no, I’ll be IN line for a beach towel and a lemonade by the pool.   Looking forward to no schedule, no calls and no clocks.  I know what will happen – we’ll sleep deeply, be up early, and smile our way through sun, tunes, good foods and warm waters.  And when we get back it will all be there waiting for us.

3)  The one thing saving my life right now is weekends.  And sleep. And wedge salads. And that pool image above 😉

4)  Many flagship stores around us are closing – K-Mart was first, Sears was next, and now, certain J.C. Penney stores, too.  Out of solidarity I stopped at JCP one night last week, hit a sale, and walked out with >$300 in merchandise for $95.    If I could get a deal like that more often I’d go to the mall more.  Hmm.

** How about you? What new-to-you food are you loving? Have you came upon any deals lately? What are you excited about?  When’s the last time you took a break? Can you embrace the Surrender?**

“Work is a blessing. God has so arranged the world that work is necessary, and He gives us hands and strength to do it. The enjoyment of leisure would be nothing if we had only leisure. It is the joy of work well done that enables us to enjoy rest, just as it is the experiences of hunger and thirst that make food and drink such pleasures.”  ― Elisabeth Elliot, Discipline: The Glad Surrender


Categories: Blogging, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Fashion, Food, Fun, Life, Opinion, Personal, Quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Remember her

I’ve written consistently about cleaning: cleaning out cupboards and sorting through friendships ~ deciding which to treasure and which to discard.

I’ve written on how learning to say “no” has made room to say “yes.”

To that end, there’s been a shift again, and I feel it.  There’s an obvious one currently, a re-organization at work, and re-organizing at home.   At work I’ve got new peeps to account for, and new generals to account to.  That’s fine, it’s what I do.  And, for the most part, I’m doing all I’ve done with the addition of – you guessed it – more.  At home, renovations on the new-to-us house are coming along and there’s a move in our future, sometime in June.

In the meantime I can feel it ~ chaos swirls. Sleep evades and my mind spins.

My solution?  A day off.

Tomorrow I’m stepping away –  No schedule.  No phone.  No people.

Instead, sunshine, green grass, books and lemonade.  Later a shower, the scent of sunscreen lingering on my skin and patio conversations with Hubbs.

Today ~ I’m not just remembering~ I’m reclaiming – her.


remember her

Can you see yourself in this post? When’s the last time you stepped away?

image from

** Happy Memorial Day, my 8th as a citizen**



Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Family, Growth, Holidays, Home, Humor, Joy, Life, Patriotic, Personal, Thoughts, Wisdom, Women, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Morning sunshine

Sunlight is streaming in this morning and the reflection off the snow is blinding – in a beautiful, sparkling way.

There’s a sun puddle covering most of our living room and the only thing missing from it is old dog.

Frankie loved the sun puddles and even more so in winter and especially as he aged.

He’d hoist himself out of his posture-pedic dog bed and shuffle to the center of the room where the carpet was warmed.  With a huff and a grunt he’d settle in, stretch forward and back and, I swear he’d smile.

Frankie with one eye open, is lunch ready?  An Emjayandthem (C) photo

Frankie with one eye open, is lunch ready? An Emjayandthem (C) photo

With one eye on me, he’d drift between sleeping and snoring and active fridge monitoring, the warmth of the sun enveloping his old bones.   His sighs could be heard from the next room and beyond.

It’s mornings like this one that something as simple as sunlight can make me cry.

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

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

 “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go to where they went.” Will Rogers

*I’ve had – and loved – plenty of pets in my life.  But I’ve never had one quite like my Frankie.  I’m learning there’s no “statute of limitations” on grief.    Is there a pet that you still miss to this day?

Categories: Animals, Beauty, Gratitude, Grief, Growth, Life, Love | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

My summer list

Spring’s come late to Michigan; we had snow as recently as two weeks ago. Not surprisingly, everyone around here is thinking ahead to summer.

Asked, “what’s on your summer list?” I found my list rolling off my tongue as though I’d practiced it for days! (maybe some of that’s true).


they're gonna bloom this week I think!

they’re gonna bloom this week I think!

Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy with me at the grill.

Summer Shandy... ah

Summer Shandy… ah

Hanging in the pool till I’m wrinkly and white; cherries, watermelon, corn on the cob and fresh summer peas.


Michigan cherries … yum!

Tigers baseball on the radio .. outside; play dates with the grand kids.


making cookies with the Grands

Summer gatherings, skirts, kitten heels and date nights … all under the light of a summer moon. 

just like this one

just like this one

Lacy sweet peonies that take me back to Grandma’s garden.

"Sometimes you just have to stop and smell the fleurs" - Frankie the wonder dog


Fresh peach cobblers and Texas Sheet cakes, just because.

Summertime means peach cobbler!

Rich chocolate nutty icing poured onto a delectable warm cake? Yes please!

Rich chocolate nutty icing poured onto a delectable warm cake? Yes please!

The squeals of children filling the backyard.

cousins and cousins and more!

cousins and cousins and more!

A contented old dog reminding me to take my time in the sun, too.


Frankie has the relaxing part down-pat.

That’s what I long for this summer.

What’s on your summer list? 

Thanks to Jessie for the inspiration!

Categories: Animals, Faith, Family, Food, Fun, Home, Life, Relationships, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Walkin’ on sunshine

It’s been a crazy, hectic couple of weeks.

Went back to work after 10 days of vacation, most of which was spent dealing with the flu.

Finally mustered the energy to de-Christmas the house, putting the tree, lights and tinsel away on Thursday.

Made it through yesterday and was very happy just to stay home last night and listen to the rain fall.


All that changed today — why?

The sun’s shining!

I know, it probably doesn’t seem like much to those of you who see the sun all the time but here in Michigan, where January days = cloud cover, this is a big deal.

Everything is brighter.  Old dog is happier. Hubbs is humming.

I’m walking on sunshine, oh yeah, and it’s starting to feel good!

“A light wind swept over the corn, and all nature laughed in the sunshine.” – Anne Bronte

What’s it like in your part of the world today?

Categories: Attitude, Family, Fun, Home, Joy, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Sunshine on Saturdays

Ever noticed that what we long for we often get … but not always when we want it?

It finally rained on Thursday here in West Michigan; we enjoyed a nice long day of a slow soaking rain and it was perfection.  I swear I heard the plants stretch and say “ahhh.”

I woke up early today, determined to offload the extra water from the pool and clean up the mess the recent showers had created.

The warmth of the sun’s rays enveloped me, even at that wee hour.

To me, sunshine belongs to Saturdays, regardless of the season. But, having said that, there’s something wonderful about a cool rainy Sunday, one that forces me inside.

The sun’s shining today and if you’re looking for me, I’ll be out in it.


“It was like the way you wanted sunshine on Saturdays, or pancakes for breakfast. They just made you feel good.” ~ Sarah Addison Allen

Categories: Attitude, Gratitude, Home, Joy, Life, Personal, Relationships, Seasons, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 22 Comments


“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present … and never giving it.” ~William Arthur Ward.

What are you grateful for today?

Today .. I'm grateful for fresh picked cherries, sunshine, and time off with pay .. to read, to think, to play.

Categories: Attitude, Food, Fun, Gratitude, Holidays, Home, Joy, Opinion, Personal, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 16 Comments

I’m Hot !!

And not in a good way.

Our back yard ... thank goodness for the pool!!

I used to love the heat that summertime brought – I loved being out in it… getting my tan-on. I loved the feel of the hot summer sun crisping up my shoulders at a baseball game or while sitting in the stands at the races.

Now?  I still love summer but I can’t just take the heat.

I mean it.

Anything over 85 degrees?




Walking out into 90 F temps recently, I gasped.  It felt like someone had thrown a wet dishrag over my face and I was drowning in the heat & humidity.

My naturally curly hair took one look around and went *POOF* — think “Carrot Top” on steroids.

I thought I had a bug on me;  oh no, that turned out to be sweat rolling down my forearm!


Then it came to me.

I remembered my mom & aunties staying near the fan during the dog days of summer. How, at family picnics, they’d strategically place their lawn chairs under the largest tree, hoping for the ultimate: shade and a cross breeze.  I recalled trips to town doing a “460” – 4 windows down, 60 mph.

And suddenly I understood: every summer dress was cotton and every sandal was open-toe. Every top was sleeveless and every drink was iced.  (And some were laced – ha!)

I never thought about it before.

But I get it now.

I’m hot. And not in a good way.

Hold on a minute while I change into something cotton, pull my hair up off my neck and set my chair in the shade.  Oh …  and if you block my access to the fan … it’s not gonna end well for you.

How about you? Do you love the heat … or wilt in it?

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Family, Fashion, Fun, Home, Humor, Joy, Life, Opinion, Personal, Rants, Seasons, Uncategorized, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , | 28 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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