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Posts Tagged With: travel

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!

 

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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 Friday

It’s Friday! It’s Random! Here we go:

1 )  Spring?  Summer?  Fall?  Certainly not winter.  We hit 70F this week and yep, you guessed it, snow’s coming back tomorrow.  I think Mother Nature is going through ‘the change.’  Nothing is as usual – grass is green, bugs are out, things are growing – Bam! They’re going to be surprised when the next wallop of snow lands!

2 ) Lots of travel lately – I don’t mind because I am open to and enjoy the random interactions that occur. Example: between meetings in the capital city this week, I grabbed lunch at a little cafe.  I noticed an older gentleman wearing what had to be his finest suit.  He was decked out from coordinated socks to a beautiful tie to his exquisite hat – you don’t see hats much anymore.  As I got up to pay my bill, I complimented him on his handsome hat – a wide grin broke out and we enjoyed a short chat – he was in town in meetings on behalf of a seniors care organization (similar to Meals on Wheels).  He was polished, articulate and commanding;  I can’t imagine anyone saying no to him.  Well the company I work for has a program that seniors can benefit from – he has my card and I have a friend in Mr. William (Bill) Jones.  You just never know where your path will take you;  I’m glad mine took me to him.

3 )  Saw this the other day and it reminded me of my cousin and I – who does this remind you of?  I need to send it to my sister, too – she’ll get it!

laugh-till-you-snort4 ) An Auntie has been dealing with a tough situation over the past few months – my offers to help have been politely declined.  One day last week she contacted me and said “I need your help – I am at my wit’s end.”  The back story is she’d been forced to place her (dementia-afflicted) husband in nursing home care – a decision that was very tough for her to do.  The problem was the home he ended up being placed in was a) too far away, b) not not working for them and c) all efforts to move him closer were regularly thwarted by the (for-profit) center.  As I told her, I don’t know anyone in this world, but I have many contacts and I’ll try. I spent the day on the phone, and by 4pm had his case over to the state regulatory bureau who investigates and licenses nursing homes. (Go big or Go home, my Mom would say!!)    Uncle was moved the next morning, after months of attempts.  The best part was that every (Government)office I called – and every person I spoke to – once they heard their story-  they reacted as I had – with disbelief, anger and a sense of urgency.  It buoyed us all to know that, when given the opportunity, strangers very happily did the right thing … and quickly.   He’s closer, she’s happier, and being able to help her blessed me.   🙂

5 )  And with that, I’m off on my next road trip – but – I’ve timed it so I can meet a friend for lunch on the way back into town today.    Life’s rolling by too quickly and it’s time to carve out some friends time, too.

“Yes, you see, there’s no such thing as coincidence. There are no accidents in life. Everything that happens is the result of a calculated move that leads us to where we are.”
― J.M. Darhower, Sempre: Redemption

What’s random in your world these days?  Met anyone interesting?

 

 

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Family, Friendship, Growth, Home, Life, Love, Mom, Personal, Quotes, Self Discovery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Stress, horizons and pie

Vacation is on the horizon!

vacation next exitStarting Monday ~ 5 glorious days off with Thanksgiving tossed in for good measure.

Emails will pile up, phone calls will continue, conference calls will be scheduled even though others know I’m away.

“Take the time before you lose the days.”

I now have more vacation time “in the bank” than I have time to use.

Emails continue to come in, fast and furious, hundreds every day.

Calls, meetings, schedules.

Lately I feel like I’m scaling the Grand Canyon on a daily basis…. blindfolded.   I can feel the tension in my shoulders, which now approach my ears. I can feel stress in my heart rate when I lie down at night and can’t quieten my thoughts.

1,000+ miles in the past 10 days, 150 yesterday and another 400 tomorrow – and all the while project calls get scheduled and scheduled and scheduled. “Could you take the lead on this?”  “But you and your team know so much about X” “We want you on this task force…”  Flattering but ..my cup runneth over.

I hear my mother’s voice whispering in my year, “You can’t be everything to everyone, dear.”

My weariness reminds me to shut it down, shut it up and shut them out.

So – vacation is on the horizon … and there shall be pie!

“We must have a pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie.” ― David Mamet, Boston Marriage

*Note: no pies were consumed in the writing of this post.  Pies shall be made for 1) Grandpa (apple), 2) oldest boy (blueberry) and 3) youngest boy (pumpkin).  Will I have any? Not likely. See, the joy is in the creating ~ the cutting, the simmering, the kneading of the dough, Al Green on the stereo and happiness in my kitchen.

Oh so true!

Oh so true!

 

*Are you taking some time off over the Thanksgiving Holiday? What are you looking forward to most?  Is there a pie in your future? 😀

Flapper pie; an Emjayandthem (C) photo

A Flapper pie I baked in Mom’s kitchen ~ an Emjayandthem (C) photo

 

 

Categories: Determination, Food, Growth, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, Mom, Opinion, Personal, Seasons, Thoughts, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Random 5 Sunday ~ house cats, Chihuahuas, kids menus & donations

Like my summer, October is already flying by!  Driving home from work one night this week I caught my surprise at the brilliant reds already in the trees ~ see, that shouldn’t be happening yet b/c, in my mind anyways, it’s only … August!

Today I’m cooking for my guys and packing for a flight tomorrow – a whirlwind trip to Denver for a conference with colleagues and dinner with the CEO, how lucky am I! 😀

Here are 5 randoms from this beautiful October Sunday:

1 – Since cutting grains I’ve lost just over a House Cat & a Chihuahua in lbs.  What I’ve gained has been so much more – respiratory stability, increased stamina and glowing skin.   I thought this graph was a great illustrator of what stuff weighs.  Rephrased I’ve lost a medium bowling ball & a table lamp+ a couple of books!!  I’ve got some more to go but the best part isn’t the smaller sized jeans it’s NEVER BEING SICK – with tons of stress this year, travel, Mom’s passing, and gobs of sick people around me ~  I. Don’t. Get. The. Crud. Anymore.

Amazing!

how-much-does-this-weigh

2. This made me laugh out loud.   Our dog never did this but I know a few who have – at least they were sorry!

dog-ate-remote

3. I took a personality test a few weeks ago for the conference happening this week ~ the results will be shared, analyzed and we’ll use them to help us learn our team’s personality types and strengths.  I barely remember my answers – oops!

tgif-friday-dog-cute-funny

4. This may be the greatest kids menu ever written!  Truth be told, every time we go out I read the menu then order the exact same thing I ordered last time! You?

best-kids-menu

5  This picture perfectly sums up why I donate vs. sell.   You?

bike-for-sale

Truth!

 

What’s up in your corner of the world?

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Confidence at any age, Food, Fun, Joy, Life, Personal, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Five for Friday and Fall

It’s Friday ~ Whoop!!  A crazy week filled with travel, airports, meetings, people and … whew … not much personal time or space.  Home again and looking at a busy weekend filled with fun outings ~ Yay!

Here’s my Friday Five:

1  Fall has arrived.  My. Favorite. Season.  The mornings are cool & the days are warm.  We have a saying around here:  winter on top, summer on the bottom.  Meaning you can wear shorts & a hoodie most of the time and be perfectly comfy. But you’d better have a tee-shirt under that hoodie for the hot afternoons. And keep it close for when the sun departs.  Fall!!  Colors.  Temps.  Clear Skies.  Apples. Pumpkins. All of it – I. Love. Fall!

Frankie loved Fall

Frankie loved Fall, too (an Emjayandthem (c) photo) ❤

2  I had to take another personality test for an upcoming (work) conference.  I swear they’re trying to decide if you’re a serf or a serial killer.  Underling or a Gladiator.  The questions are so extreme and some are just stupid.  Your choice of answers include: highly disagree, disagree, neutral, agree or highly agree. Here’s a sample question:  I strive to be accurate.   My answer: highly agree.  Isn’t being accurate the point?  You’re either accurate … or you’re not.  Being close, in most situations, doesn’t count. You can’t sort of explain policy.  You can’t kind of return a phone call.  You can’t sometimes make sure formulas work.  You either do … or you missed the mark entirely.  Geez Louise.   Yeah, they’ll probably deduce I’m a highly accurate Gladiator!

russell-crowe-in-gladiator-movie

Is. That. Wrong?

3   At our meetings this week we were asked to introduce ourselves, talk a little about our background and offer up a favorite song, movie and book ~ judging ensued and prizes were awarded.  It was a fun way to get to know the new people in the organization and I was proud that my book choice made it to the final round.  If you’ve never read it, I highly recommend “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Canadian Author Margaret Atwood.  Chilling.

google.images.com

google.images.com

4  I had a layover in Chicago O’Hare where I enjoyed people watching, airport shopping and … buying new books. 🙂    It’s funny to me how the items for sale in an airport fall into 4 categories 1) luggage related, 2) I’m bored and ooh that’s so very sparkly, 3) books and 4) food.  That’s pretty much it.   I passed up the bedazzled briefcase on wheels, the designer cologne and scooped up 2 bestsellers.  Yes!

image from theexaminer.com

image from theexaminer.com

5  I always say this but as much as I love to go~ I love to come home even more. My flight was due to land at 10:30 and I still had to grab my car etc so I texted Hubbs to let him know it’d be 11:30 before I got home and not to wait up.  Sweetest response ever, “I’ll wait up. Be safe”   It’s the little things ❤

 

Happy Friday! Are you also excited for Fall’s arrival?   Do personality tests freak you out?  What’s the most interesting thing you’ve bought in an airport?   If you had to list them – what choices would make it to your top song, book and movie? 

 

Categories: Attitude, Family, Fun, Home, Life, Men, Opinion, Personal, Seasons, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Random 5 Friday – Carry on, visitors, stories and mittens

It’s Friday and I’m feeling random – here we go!

Traveling this week and found 3 consistencies:

  1. “Carry-on” is a joke.  Everyone carries a bag the size of a couch + at least one more thing.
  2. People smell.  Most don’t mean to, some don’t care, but you just can’t jam that many people into such a tight place without experiencing breath that smells like a goat’s toenail.
  3. Babies cry on planes, their ears hurt, getting huffy about it doesn’t get us there any faster.

Also, I notice different things where-ever I go:

  1. More people, more noise.  Everywhere. Inescapable.
  2. Visitors form a kinship with each other – in the nation’s Capitol the first tip-off are all the name badges, the second are that the people wearing them are the only ones visiting with each other, the “regulars” buzz by in a blur.
  3. Everyone has a story to tell; this week I traveled with a middle-aged lady and an elderly dog, an excited young family, a new father with a shared 4-H background, and an older gentleman with an elegant chapeau. Humanity, gotta love it.

Coming home I noticed the following:

  1. Long lines at McDonald’s; 0 at the salad bar
  2. $6.00 water, $5.00 apple juice and $4.00 bananas, see #1
  3. On the flight to Michigan, someone holding up their hand to point to where they’re from.  Smiling.   Home again.

 

Wherever you go, you take yourself with you.”
― Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book

 

mitten state

The Mitten State

 

And how was your week? Any randoms to share?

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Fun, Home, Joy, Life, Opinion, Personal, Thoughts, Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Random 5 Sunday – Coyotes, silence and Carpe Diem

It’s Sunday and I’m still in a bit of a fog after being “away” on vacation.  I went home to the family farm in Saskatchewan – to visit Mom, attend a wedding, and catch up with family.  Here are my random 5 thoughts from this past 10 days:

1. Lessons. Other travelers sure were chatty.  On 3 out of 4 flights I had someone older sit next to me and once they learned what I was up to every single one spoke longingly of their departed family members.  Some had a parent or sibling remaining, others had none.  It was not lost on me, as the youngest of 5, that time marches on and there will come a day when I don’t have them anymore.  Coincidences are just His way of remaining anonymous.

2. Time.  I found myself wide awake before 5:00 a.m. most days (that’s 7:00 a.m. in MI) and outside soon there-after. Hitting my 5 mile daily walking goal was a breeze. Most days I walked 6 miles before 9:30!  That time gave me the opportunity to visit with my brother & sister-in-law, chill with the farm dog & kitties, and drink in the intoxicating fragrance of freshly cut hay.  Ahhh.

Stevie the dog and the road to home.  An Emjayandthem (C) photo

Stevie the dog and the road to home. An Emjayandthem (C) photo

3.  Silence.  I hadn’t realized it until I was there but opportunities for meandering conversations with Mom don’t happen as frequently as they used to.  She doesn’t hear as well now and it frustrates her to miss out on things.  And as busy and restless as I tend to be, it was challenging to sit in the stillness with her.  But I’m glad I did because opportunities still came.   Case in point:  The day we left for the wedding city, a 2+ hour drive, I could feel her anxiety and sensed she might pull the pin on our plans.  It took several hours for me to get everything loaded up and once I had her buckled in I asked, “You ready, Thelma?”  Her response? “Let’s do it, Louise!” That – and a fist bump from my 85-year-old Mom – and we were off.   Traversing roads she hadn’t traveled for years I laughed when she chatted and commented the whole way there.  She told me, more than once, that she never could have gone without my help and thanked me time and again for making it so much fun. Priceless!

Me, Mom and my Sissy, Mother of the Bride.  An Emjayandthem(C) photo

Me, Mom and my Sissy, Mother of the Bride. An Emjayandthem(C) photo

4.  Milestones.  We had fun at the wedding but, as we suspected might happen, the excitement and schedule left her a bit weary.  Plans to go out for a birthday supper were changed to a gathering at home instead.  She got into her comfy chair, surrounded by kids and grands, and smiled all afternoon. We enjoyed take-out Chinese food and my sister’s delicious home-made chocolate cake with Opal’s Caramel Frosting .    Between the pictures taken and the smiles shared we all felt a pinch wondering how many more times we’d get moments like this. Not one to dwell on such seriousness, she polished off her Caesar (aka Bloody Mary) and asked that we move outside — it was too hot in the house and she wanted to visit where it was cooler.  In the dusk of twilight, we listened to the yips and yelps of nearby coyotes and Mom had her own “Carpe Diem” moment right there.

Mom's 85th 2015

Mom’s comment: “I’m glad there are 2 big candles instead of 85 small ones!!” An Emjayandthem (C) photo.

5. Appreciation.  Being away from Hubbs made me appreciate him even more. How I missed our daily conversations and comments and humor.  How I missed being able to chat with my boys and get regular updates on their lives. I looked around my childhood bedroom and laughed to myself that the same types of things “saved” there are “saved” in my MI home.  I am my mother’s daughter in a very big way! My first morning back in MI youngest boy commented that he’d always known I did a lot (around here) but he didn’t know how much until he had to do it.  “All I did was clean and tidy up and take care of things and water your plants and look after the pool and … wow you do a lot!”  So as much as I love going away, hey, it’s good to be back home again.

 

*I’ve missed all my blogging friends and am way behind on reading your posts. I’ll catch up as soon as I can – in the meantime – how’s your week been?

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Beauty, Faith, Family, Fun, Growth, Home, Life, Mom, music, Personal, Relationships, Seasons, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Random 5 Tuesday – mixing it up

It’s Tuesday and it’s Random!!  Why not Friday you ask?  Well .. I’m leaving (on a jet plane) tomorrow and my head feels like it’s been in the tilt-a-whirl all day so why not? 😀  Here we go!

1.    You know those people who pack everything all sweet and tidy and arrange perfectly coordinated outfits? Really?  Please send them my way because that is so not me. I tried to work worked a half day and then squeezed in a pedicure (massage chair .. ooh, ahh) then raced home and attempted to jam 7 days of casual + wedding + gift opening wear into one suitcase.  Plus books for Mom. And pretty soon I found myself working up a sweat.  Good grief.  And then it hit me:

i-cant-keep-calm-im-going-home-

2. Speaking of Mom, last night I asked her if there was anything I could bring her.  Her response? “Just bring yourself.” Such a Mom answer!

Oh so true!

There’s pie in my future!

3.  I had everything at work organized, delegated, situated, you name it-ated.  Till this afternoon.  My phone blew up, emails were flying and finally, at 5:00, I shut it off.  My team is rocking and ready to go and I have no doubt everything will be just fine.  Sometimes you have to step away and let people show you what they can do.

light shining

4. Rooting around in my dresser reminded me that I like things neat and organized.  My closet looks pretty good but the dresser is a disaster.    It looks like it barfed out tees, shorts and socks!  I read a preview of this book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” and it reminded me of a conversation with Hubbs:  we’re planning to downsize and, discussing our house and contents, we both agreed there’s not much we’d move.  So if we wouldn’t move it, why do we keep it?   Hmm.

get-your-happy-on-quote-1

5.  Speaking of work, I informed some corporate folks that I will be off the grid.  As in so far off the grid there is no grid.  I won’t have cell phone service or broadband.  I quipped that, unless I put tinfoil on a cow’s ear, anyone who wanted to reach me should have called … last week. 

If you Google "Cow with Tinfoil on his head" this is what you get - HA!

If you Google “Cow with Tinfoil on his head” this is what you get – HA!

And with that, I’m off!

Have a great week, peeps! Look around — what can you get rid of?  Are you an expert at packing?  Ever gone “off the grid?”

*all images from Google.com

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Faith, Family, Fun, Growth, Home, Love, Mom, Personal, Quotes, Random observations, Technology, Thoughts, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Random 5 – Landmarks, Adventures, Immigrants and Connections

So I’m home for a few days before I blast off again (~sigh).  I enjoy what I do but I miss my home.  However, this is my “Triple Crown” week – the last of three with me traveling, yay! With that, here are my random observations over the past seven days:

1) Flying into Newark a week ago, I looked up from my book to take in a birds-eye view of One World Trade Center.  *Chills*.  The last time I was in the NY metro area, I was on a flight bound for Texas.  Oldest boy and I were moving with my job, Hubbs and I had fallen in love but were still just dating, albeit long-distance.  When I last looked out at that skyline …. our towers were still there.   And then, off to the right, I saw her – Lady Liberty.   And that new tower and her presence gave me comfort.

lady liberty

2. I’ve written a lot about saying YES to things I want to do – experiences, relationships, you name it.  First, I had to learn how to say “no,” and doing that helped me make space for more joy.  My flight got into D.C. early enough on Sunday that I had several hours to explore The Smithsonian Museums or stay in my room and work.  It didn’t take me long to head out into the throngs of people!

the count

Imagine my delight at discovering “The Count” at the Museum of American History? 🙂

3.  During a chat with a Senate staffer Tuesday a colleague and I were given passes to the Senate and House Galleries.   Several layers of security screenings later we found ourselves up in the Senate chamber watching votes being cast.  No pictures allowed and when I began jotting down names of Senators –  Stabenow, Peters, Paul, Franken, McCain, McDonnell, Feinstein and more …I felt a tap on my shoulder and a directive to stop writing.  Oops.  It was kind of like when you go on vacation, sometimes it’s best to just put the camera down and let your mind freeze frame the moment.  Later, as we exited the Capitol, we stepped out into a sea of K9 units, with barriers up and police officers everywhere — there had been a threat called in and the response was immediate.    This is a photos I was allowed to snap – Justice and History.    It’s fitting I think.

History and Justice sculpture_the Capitol

The sculpture Justice and History is located above the Senate bronze doors on the Capitol’s East Front. The draped female figures of Justice and History recline against a globe. Justice holds a book inscribed “Justice / Law / Order” in her left hand; her right hand rests on a pair of scales. History holds a scroll inscribed “History / July / 1776.”  source: http://www.aoc.gov

4.  We took taxis everywhere and I have a stack of receipts several inches high to show for it.  When the opportunity presented itself, I asked my drivers about their lives as I could tell most were immigrants.  I led with the fact I had been an immigrant once and sharing that opened the floodgates to conversation.  The countries they came from (Ghana, Sudan, Ethiopia, Nigeria,  Zimbabwe) were different from mine but their story was not.  Many spoke of previous careers as engineers, scientists, and mechanics.  All spoke of their families, hopes, dreams and happiness at just being here.  If you ever find yourself disillusioned with the state of things, take a taxi ride with a Ghanian engineer who plays classical music while joyfully pointing out landmarks and incredulity at his “most lucky life.” -Direct quote.

taxi

5.  A highlight of the week was meeting my blogging friend Dianna and her husband, Motor Man, on Thursday.   Last year when I blogged about visiting D.C. she mentioned they lived nearby (a 3 hour drive!) and that she’d love to meet up.  I tucked that comment away and this year, as my trip approached, I made contact and soon plans were formed.  It’s difficult to put into words what our meeting meant to me.  First I have to share Hubbs’ commentary: “You know this is how people go missing and end up dead, right?”  The same man who champions my work successes and pushes me to get in there and “show those boys how it’s done” was convinced meeting strangers was a terrible idea.  I couldn’t believe they were going to drive all that way for little old me!  And, when thinking about it, the only ones who ever had were: 1) Hubbs, 2) my sissy and 3) my cousin.

When I saw Dianna’s smiling face, we both rushed to share a hug and then another and maybe even a tear or two.  Over lunch, and in between a host of stories,  I spoke of Hubbs’ trepidation and her hubby teased “text him and tell him you’re in the trunk!” HA!   The conversation flowed, laughter came easily, and we talked about our backgrounds and updates on our lives and families.

Why did I make the trek to meet with people I don’t know? Here’s the rub: I did know.  I know, through her blog, that she is a loving wife to him and Momma bear to her son and others she cares for.  I know, through her encouraging words to me and others, that she is a kind and caring person.  I know, through our shared experiences and easy camaraderie, that she is someone with whom a soul connection just comes naturally.  Sometimes you just know and this was one of those times.

dbmj3-6-11-2015-12-39-28-pm1

Dianna & me. “Soul connections are not often found and are worth every bit of fight left in you to keep.” -Shannon L. Alder

And how was your week?  What have you said YES to lately?  Have you ever made a soul connection in an unusual way?  When was the last time you took a risk and how did it turn out?

 

 

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Friendship, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Lessons in disguise

Yesterday my day started as it often does ~ emails at home, coffee on the run, breakfast at my desk.  I had my day planned and a good sense of what was on deck for the balance of my week when it happened — a call suggesting Thursday’s meeting be moved up two days.  To yesterday.  To 2 hours from that phone call.

Looking at my “to-do’s” and schedule, my first thought was to say no and find a way to keep it to Thursday.  Then, I thought about just saying yes.   No: I wasn’t in a suit or dress, but I was in office attire, and with the cold wind blowing I’d be wearing my overcoat anyways.  Yes: moving up the meeting worked better for the rest of my week because I’m hoping to take Friday off.  Not having to be in meetings and on the road most of Thursday would support that. Another yes.  And then a nudge, “just do it.” And so I did.

And had I not done that I wouldn’t have had a chance meeting on the street (in my overcoat) with a State official whose office I’ve been aiding.  I wouldn’t have had the chance to meet her staff who then sang my praises to the official.    Happenstance? Hmm.

Smiling as I arrived back into town, I pulled into the parking lot at the mall.

I hate the mall. Not the building, the experience. I’m short, curvy and hard to fit.  Generally speaking, the mall isn’t the happy place it was when I was a lanky teenager.

This morning, my arms ache from the clothes I carried out of the dressing room.  Clothes on sale. Clothes that fit and flatter me.   Coincidence? Hmm.

I don’t know about you but sometimes life lessons don’t appear on large blinking billboards.  Sometimes they arrive disguised as ordinary moments that beg a closer look.

Coincidence-Fate

And remember, friends, “Normal is just a setting on your washing machine” ~Whoopi Goldberg.

What have you said “yes” to lately?

 

Categories: Blogging, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Growth, Joy, Life, Personal, Quotes, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Travel, Wisdom, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Random Five Friday ~ Home again

It’s Random – It’s Friday – Let’s go!

1. Home. I’m home again. 1458 miles, 3 hotels, and 2 time zones and  it’s confirmed ~ I love to go but I love to come home even more :).

2. Sitting in the Detroit airport and bored with my smartphone I ventured into a  bookstore where this gem was discovered:

by Susan Cain

“Quiet” by Susan Cain

With an hour to spare and an hour’s flight, too, I tore through “Quiet” – and found myself nodding in agreement, bookmarking pages, and wishing I had a highlighter with me for all the “aha” quotes found within.    Like an earlier post about  lessons learned with personality types – it reinforced what I already know.   I’m a “situational extrovert” – I can chat it up with family or be on “stage” at a meeting, etc. but I cannot do so without a price. This was a lovely reminder why I crave my quiet Sundays or time in my hotel room after a full day of meetings. Ding! Ding! Ding!

3.   My travels took me to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where two of my employees live and work.  Forested and friendly – that’s how I describe the “U.P.” :).  Hours in the car gave us meandering conversations, interesting comments and laughter. Lots of laughter.  I am so fortunate to have them and told them so.

The leaves are turning up north ~ image from Michigan.org

The leaves are turning up north ~ image from Michigan.org

4.  When I woke in my Ironwood hotel, I smiled at the massive luxury coach parked out front.  Located  in central time meant I was up “with the birds” so I headed on down to the breakfast area. There I found a sea of Minnesota seniors giggling over brunch.  My Dad came to mind, and the joy he had meeting new people and hearing their stories.

“So tell me the best part of your trip so far?” I asked.  And a flood of delighted answers came my way.  I’ve never been on a “Circle Tour” but hearing about their adventures makes me think I ought to.

5.   This week saw temps in the 70s, 60s, 50s, 40s and back up to 60s again.  It’s official =  Fall is here.  I found this picture on my phone recently and it made me smile – oh how old dog he loved a nice fall walk!  And oh how I miss that sweet old soul.

Frankie-bear resting during a walk; an Emjayandthem (C) photo

Frankie-bear resting during a walk; an Emjayandthem (C) photo

So – how was your week?  Are you an introvert?  Do you love coming home as much as you like going?

 

Categories: Animals, Beauty, Faith, Fun, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Men, News, Opinion, Personal, Relationships, Seasons, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Women, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Destinations, Karma and Ooga Chackas

I missed Random Five Friday because I was away on business so I’ll start today with some thoughts from this week.

1.  I attended a town hall meeting Thursday night. No big deal as I my job requires I do this from time to time.  I know my business and tend to over-prepare.  But it’s always daunting to walk through the doors of a place you’ve never been and feel a sea of eyes turn your way.   I met the folks who’d invited me, shook hands, passed out business cards and took a moment to steady myself.  As the meeting was called to order, the council did something I hadn’t experienced before.  Ahead of the “Pledge of Allegiance,”  the leader said an invocation.  The invocation was a prayer, and the person leading it asked for guidance and wisdom as they conducted the community’s business. He asked everyone to remember that while they’re community servants, they’re His servants first.   A steadying presence was with me and any worries I had just melted away.

sometimes you just have to close your eyes and go for it!

sometimes you just have to close your eyes and go for it!

2.   I was also asked to attend a Friday breakfast meeting with an influential Congressman.  Of course I said yes.  Up long before the 5:00 a.m. alarm, I couldn’t contain my excitement.  You see, we’ve met before, and we have a nice, easy rapport.   Walking into the meeting, I ran into a fellow I’ve been helping for some time now.  He and I had never met and while his circumstances are complicated, he’s pleased with the help I’ve provided and that experience changed his opinion of our company.  I beamed as he relayed that story to the Congressman.

Chance meetings?  They’re never chance and Karma is only bad if you are.

3. Driving to these new-to-me places,  I had the addresses printed out and the GPS tuned in.   But I still turned the radio down as I got closer … do you do that?  Funny.

I always do this.. you?

Yep.

4.  At yesterday’s meeting, a lovely lady in charge of registering commented that she “loved my makeup.” I smiled and thanked her.  I couldn’t help but think that complimenting someone’s makeup is kinda like telling the cook she has a wonderful stove.  Well intentioned … but a bit of a misfire.   People are fascinating.

5. Youngest kid went to see the movie “Guardians of the Galaxy” recently.  He’s a music lover like me and oftentimes finds the soundtrack of a movie as appealing as the show itself. I was prepping dinner when I heard a distinctive sound that took me back to 1974.   “Oooga Chacka Oooga Chacka” will do that to you.

 

And how was your week?  Do you believe in Karma?  Do you turn down the radio so you can “see”better, too?  Does that song make you think of dreamy B.J. Thomas?

 

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Family, fear, Gratitude, Growth, Life, music, Personal, Quotes, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

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