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Posts Tagged With: what I know now

Lists in the face

I remember being surprised at being invited to that executive’s retirement party given we’d hardly interacted.  I was around 27 and, looking back, a bit naive.

The night of the party, one of the (ancient) executive’s pals, in his toast to the retiree, joked about inviting “pretty girls like __(me)__ so we all have something nice to look at.” Their wives looked horrified and sad, most men chuckled, and I can still feel the rage at being reduced to “something.”

I know and have loved many wonderful men – decent, kind and gentle men.  I’m fortunate I can easily rattle off a long list including Grandfathers,  Great Uncles, Dad and his brothers, my husband and our sons. But I also have known – and had to work with – creeps.  And, in my experience, the creeps spoil the well for the good men.

Now, as a Grandmother, my Spidey senses are on FIRE whenever I’m out with our grandkids – both grandSON and grandDAUGHTER — I watch them like a hawk even though they aren’t “babies” any more.    I’m hyper-aware of everyone around us; if one asks to go off to another aisle to “see just one thing” we all go; it’s not up for discussion.

I’ve talked with the grands about good people and bad people, about trusting their instincts, and if someone makes them feel uncomfortable or unsafe to tell any of us, and that they will never be in trouble for doing so.  I worry about Social Media and creepy perverts who lurk in shadows everywhere.  But, as many of us know, creepy perverts were in our churches, schools, and communities long before Facebook or SnapChat ever existed.

I made a quick list of how experiences with creepy men has impacted how I live; the list wrote itself in minutes.

  • I stay alert and pay attention to surroundings; if someone feels “off” I get away from them.
  • I never walk, shop for groceries or stop for gas in the dark.
  • I prefer to exercise in the house vs. in the neighborhood.
  • I wear a cross body purse, always and my cell phone remains charged and accessible, even at home.
  • I check the back seat of any vehicle before getting in, anywhere and in every light.
  • I rarely venture away from the hotel when traveling for business ~ Company (male) colleagues like to walk to restaurants for group events (because they never have to think about lists like this!). I prefer to take a taxi but will walk in a larger (mixed) group.
  • I never sleep on flights.
  • All windows and doors are locked  ~ if I find myself alone at the office (very off-putting) I take the cell phone with me to the copier or the restroom.
  • On business trips /outings I stick to water or (sometimes) order a cocktail I don’t like and sip it; whatever I have goes with me to the ladies’ room.
  • It’s Hubby’s deep voice on the answering machine.
  • I’m not thin anymore;  extra weight has lessened the burden of unwanted attention.
  • I never use parking garages,  valet where possible and expense it, and offer no explanations or apologies.
  • I don’t get on elevators with men, not even one.
  • I limit fluids during road trips which limits stops, and never use highway rest areas; Fast food restaurants only.
  • At company functions I employ the Irish Good-bye – excuse myself and don’t come back.

Your turn:

  • Can you relate to this post?
  • How have your experiences impacted the way you navigate your day-to-day life?
    • Any tips or thoughts to add?

 

“Men often ask me, Why are your female characters so paranoid? It’s not paranoia. It’s recognition of their situation.” — Margaret Atwood, author of “The Handmaid’s Tale”

 

 

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Categories: Attitude, Determination, Faith, fear, Grief, Growth, Life, Life Lessons, News, Opinion, Personal, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Travel, Useful Information, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Pearls, pigs and passages

From my earliest memories, our Grandmother Pearl wore pearls -pearl necklaces, drop and button earrings, bracelets and brooches. Some were real and others were fake, bought from the Avon Lady or the Sears catalogue.  Mom and Aunt Irene also had a “set” that they each broke out for fancy occasions, like weddings, showers or baptisms.  I’m sure they were influenced by First Lady Jackie Kennedy’s famous pearl style and later when First Lady Barbara Bush brought them back again.

Pic taken in 1923 ~ ❤️ Grandmother Pearl was 19. An Emjayandthem (C) Photo

 

I’ve had these pearls since the 90s ~ classic, they never go out of favor. an Emjayandthem(c) photo

I have always loved pearls.  I love their softness, strength and imperfections;  I love their luster, warmth, and radiance, too.

A few days ago I read this passage and was reminded how important it is to “learn to discern” – to learn we don’t have to intervene in other’s life lessons, even when you can see the train coming from afar.   As hard as it is, it’s true that stepping in can only delay the learning for another.  And doing so may make future lessons more difficult.

Some lessons are meant to be learned the hard way.

  • Matthew 7:6 “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.”

  • Do you relate to this passage?
    • What lessons have you learned the hard way?
    • And how hard is it for you to “learn to discern?”
Categories: Animals, Beauty, Faith, Family, Fashion, Forgiveness, Growth, Joy, Life, Life Lessons, Mom, Personal, Relationships, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Reflections

There will come a time when you will catch your reflection in the mirror and  stop to really see yourself.

You will see … you.

at 48, I finally accepted my naturally curly hair.

You will see a person who’s made their way in life, who has caused hurt, been hurt, laughed, cried, stumbled, loved and been loved.

You will see you as you really are and you’ll notice … when you lean in to look closer … that the creases around your eyes and the lines near your mouth …only go where the smiles have been.

You’ll notice the shape of  the body that carries you every day and maybe you’ll take a moment to be amazed at all it does .. and tries to do … when asked.  You’ll feel sorrow for the times you’ve taken it for granted and not rewarded it for hard work.

You’ll contemplate the many thoughts and ideas that cross your mind every day, every hour, every minute and you will realize who’s in the reflection; you’ll finally see your spirit living inside.

This moment may cause you to step back.. but then … you will take inventory of those who occupy the warmest spaces of your heart; those who love and support you and those whom you love and support.  And you will begin the eviction process for those who’ve wounded you and left marks upon your soul.

You will realize that the time has come; the time has come to accept all that you are and to finally see all you bring … to the world.

The time has come to be thankful, to be accepting, and most of all,  to be loving.  For if you cannot do this for that person in the mirror, how can you pretend to do it for anyone else?

We are more than the sum of our parts; join me and give thanks for every step of life’s pathway.

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Forgiveness, Friendship, Growth, Joy, Life, Life Lessons, Patriotic, Personal, Random, Relationships, Self Discovery, Share, Uncategorized, Wisdom, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Change is hard

The Mighty Mac stands confidently in the Straits; photo from Michigan.gov

 

“You cannot change what you won’t acknowledge.” – Dr. Phil

Boy, do I get that.

Change.  Is.  Hard.

Everyone says it.

And it’s true .. right?

Sometimes what needs our attention is obvious:  exercise more, eat better, get more rest,  blah, blah, blah.

But I don’t think that’s where most of us struggle.

I think we get bogged down before we even start … because .. before you can change anything.. you first have to acknowledge it.  To see it. And for many of us, me included, it’s easier to keep on doing what we’ve always done.

For a lot of us, recognizing an issue is the hardest part of change.

Why?

Because once we see it, and I mean really see it, it’s a bit like stepping out onto your front porch wearing only your underwear: You’re. Completely. Vulnerable.  Unlike in the past, when we’ve strolled through life blissfully unaware that our fly was open or a skirt was tucked into our pantyhose, once you know, and once you get it, it feels like everyone else does, too.

And I think it’s right there that we get stuck.

Isn’t it easier to be who you’ve always been?  C’mon, it’s comfortable to play a familiar role, to be the “go to” gal, the funny guy, the chubby girl, the reliable neighbor.  Why?  Because when we acknowledge what we want to change, we realize that we may actually have to do something about it. And that feels … risky.  Why? Because taking action feels like a threat to all that we know; will it undermine our relationships?  What happens when we don’t do as everyone expects? If we Lysol the toxic people out of our friendship cupboard, who will remain?

I’ve asked myself all those questions and discovered something unexpected in the discomfort:   It’s here that growth lives.

Change. Is. Hard.

Or is it?

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Faith, Forgiveness, Friendship, Growth, Life, Opinion, Personal, Self Discovery | Tags: , , , , , | 14 Comments

You say it’s your birthday …

This is how old I feel today (that's me in about grade 4); an emjayandthem photo

and it is! It’s my birthday today! Whee!

And, at 48, I still love birthdays.  Mine & everyone else’s!

I know, I know. It seems childish but .. isn’t that the best part?

Last night, our youngest boy asked, “So Mom, when you’re older, do you still get excited about birthdays?” And I thought for a second, laughed and replied, “Of course!”   He countered with “Yeah that phone’s gonna ring all night long!”

And is that a bad thing?

I think not.

We went on to speculate how sad it would be to be all alone, to have no one who remembered, or cared enough to say so. The look on his face told me he couldn’t agree more.

Growing up, birthdays were a time to gather the family, have a wienie roast, a handful of chips, maybe a pop, and a big slab of home-made cake with iced cream on top.  Having a summer birthday meant a party near the end of school (we didn’t finish up until around now at my Canadian school).  It meant longer days and nice weather and Grandma and Grandpa visiting, he in a buttoned down shirt and she in a pretty pantsuit and jewelry. It meant Aunts and Uncles, cousins and friends and a $5 spot in a card. It meant three legged races, running through the sprinkler and opening presents wrapped in tissue paper.

You say it’s your birthday … and it is. 🙂

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Faith, Family, Friendship, Fun, Home, Humor, Joy, Life, Love, music, Opinion, Personal, Relationships, Self Discovery, Uncategorized, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , | 40 Comments

What guilt can teach us

Being filled with guilt is like continuing to pay rent on a place you no longer live.

photo: snarkerati.com

Guilt can do to you what Hansel and Gretel did to the Gingerbread house.  Little by little, guilt picks away at our core, leaving us defensive and emotionally unavailable.

Did you know you can use guilt as a force for positive change?

It’s too late you say?   The person wronged has long since left – moved, you’re too afraid or .. worse yet .. they’ve passed away?

Even if you’re only just now admitting to a mistake from your past, it is never too late to acknowledge it.  Why?  Because the other people still in your life benefit when you attempt to right your wrongs.  And, surprisingly, so does someone else  – you.

Why? Because past mistakes that are never acknowledged ….  tag along for the ride like a naughty child, undermining the integrity of our current relationships, whispering destructive thoughts into our ears and delighting when bad behavior rises to the surface.

Whenever I find myself feeling guilty… I take a moment and examine it.  The funny thing is, it always ends up being one of two scenarios: 1) I’m actually feeling obligated to what I think someone else wants from me (whether they do or not) OR  2) I did something to feel guilty for.   Maybe I was short, impatient or disrespectful. I’ve learned that the only way I can assuage true guilt is to face it – to stare it down, own up to it – and attempt to fix the damages.

We can stop the cycle.

We can use guilt as our positive force for change.

How?

Repeat after me: “I was wrong.”  

For most of us, this is hard to do because admitting our shortcomings exposes our vulnerabilities.  It’s not ingrained behavior and it goes against everything that may have been modeled for us.  But honestly? Admitting when we’re wrong has as much good in it for us as it does for others.

You might be surprised how much these 3 little words resonate. I was.

There are 3 other important words that are often said prematurely or just simply over used .. to the point that they lose their impact. These are the real deal.  These 3 words will grow you up.

Admitting our mistakes. Correcting the wrongs.  Accepting ourselves and others.  Becoming the person we’d actually want to spend time with.

What comes next?

No more blank checks to absent landlords.

 # # #


Categories: Determination, Forgiveness, Grief, Life Lessons, Love, Opinion, Personal, Rants, Relationships, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Next is not promised

my Lilacs are blooming and they're simply gorgeous!

The latest natural disasters have made me think again about what’s important to me.

It is NOT a tidy house or a clean desk.

It’s my family & friends.

BE mindful.

ENJOY each minute because the next is not promised to you.

Do what you love.

Smile more. Give more. Be more.

Laugh, love … shed only happy tears, dance to what moves you, forgive, let live and for heaven’s sake … BE grateful!

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Faith, Gratitude, Home, Joy, Life Lessons, Love, Personal, Relationships, Self Discovery | Tags: , , , | 18 Comments

On saying “No”

I’m a habitual organizer, somewhat of a people-pleaser and writer of daily “to do” lists.  I have often taken on too much and sometimes it’s other people’s “stuff.” Their issues, their fears, their problems.

I’m learning to say “no” to what’s not right for me.

I’ve started stepping back and examining the other person’s intentions … and my own.

Am I really helping them? Or am I just doing their work?

Am I really needed here?  Or do I just like the feeling of being needed?

It’s difficult to do because this contradicts learned behavior.   The word “no” never came out of my mouth without some sort of explanation designed to make the other person feel better. To let them off the hook.

Saying “no” felt foreign at first.

Fears tumbled in my head: What will they think? Will they still be my friend? Will they still love me? Will they ever talk to me again?

Then I asked myself this: Are you saying yes for them or for you?

And I realized that every time I have chosen to say “no” to a situation that wasn’t right for me .. I have made more space in my life for the ones that are.

No.

It’s a sentence.

Categories: Attitude, Determination, Friendship, Life, Personal, Quotes, Relationships, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 26 Comments

When you say nothing at all

A skill I’ve learned from hubbs has been put in play of late.

It’s powerful and one that takes practice, because it goes against my learned methods of communciating.

 But every time I have to pull it out of my bag of tricks, I am reminded again of its power.

What is it?

It’s the art of not engaging.

Example:

When someone is spinning out of control and tries to drag you into their negative vortex … step quietly to the side, and let their momentum take them elsewhere.

When a harsh words beg for commentary … refrain.

Let the ugliness hang in the air; let the person who dealt them watch their poison fall to the ground.  They’re counting on sucking you in.  Don’t. Go. There.

Not engaging.  Powerful stuff.

Sometimes … the most influential words are those left unspoken.

Categories: Attitude, Determination, Life, Opinion, Personal, Relationships, Thoughts, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Write what you know

Never gonna be a Spice Girl ... might just as well sit down & write something!

Asked about blogging, it hit me what I’ve learned from the experience:

1. Write as often as you want to but resist the pressure to publish every day.  Remember that you do this because you enjoy writingExample:   At first, I obediently followed the mandate set by my instructor –  to write and publish daily.  I know she meant well because her point was to keep it fresh and avoid too many days between posts.  But now, looking back, I can tell the difference between my “going through the motions-posts” and those that were really me –  at my most authentic.  And if I could tell, I’m pretty sure others could, too.

2. To that end, let your posts breathe.  Not all of your readers are “online” at the same time and when you post something new, older posts get pushed to the bottom.  Give each one its due.

3. Read (and be inspired) by the work of others:  Be moved by the posts, dreams and the designs of the many talented writers here in the blogosphere.  When I feel “stuck,” all I have to do is click & read.   In no time at all, I’m laughing, smiling, crying, nodding my head in agreement and commenting.  In no time at all, I’ve forgotten about my little blog and have subscribed to several more.

4. Commenting on blogs is a wonderful way to connect but there’s a tiny line between being interested and supportive and just being there to promote your stuff.  People will find you if they’re interested and they don’t … then they don’t.     The self-promoting commenter makes me think of that snot-nosed kid who dumps his milk at the dinner table on purpose: Look at me, notice me, see me, I’m here.   Geez I get it already now knock it off!

5.  Mind your manners: respond to comments and acknowledge those who took the time to weigh in.  However, if someone chooses to swear at me, their comments will not see the light of day.  Constructive criticism – bring it on but general viciousness? Hell to the no.  My blog – my rules.

6.  Take a challenge:   The topics I care most about are the hardest for me to writeSo when I find myself feeling that pinch, I dig a little deeper and keep at it because I know I’ve hit the good stuff.

7.  Slog through:  Often, what I feel most passionate about can leave me feeling vulnerable and it’s tempting to self-censor…. but then I can easily lose the point of my post.  However, what I’ve learned is that the most difficult posts to write have become my favorites. Maybe not the most read, but.. My. Personal. Favorites.  And that counts for something, too.

8.  Be open to ideas Ideas come in all shapes and sizes and often at random times. Keep a list.  You can email ideas to yourself, record messages on your cell phone or, like me, scribble notes down on the backs of envelopes, post-its and grocery lists.

9. Have fun: If writing starts feeling like a chore, step away and do something else.  Chances are something else in your day will inspire you.   We’re not curing Cancer here, people!  Step away, mix it up, come back & let ‘er buck!

10. Write what you know:  Lastly, lots of blogging “authorities” will tell you to “become the expert,” or to find out what you’re an expert on.  Well, the only thing I am an expert on is me, my life and my experiences … and all of it is a work in progress anyways.

  Your turn: What has blogging taught you?

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Determination, Faith, Family, Friendship, Fun, Gratitude, Humor, Joy, Life, Love, Opinion, Personal, Random, Relationships, Self Discovery, Share, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Writing | Tags: , , , , , | 39 Comments

The Significance of Date Night

image from israbox.com

It’s “date night!” 

The hubbs & I schedule regular “date nights” and have since we met 20 years ago.  You see, we became an instant family when we married (more here) so we’ve never have had time that was just “ours.” We’ve always been parents and that’s OK – that’s the life we chose and neither of us would change it. Our way to navigate some time together has been to schedule it, as a way to reconnect and reaffirm what we already know.   As mentioned before, many times we didn’t have the money for a sitter or to go out; we still made time for each other.  More here.

I’m glad we have prioritized this because:

  • Date nights mean “I hear you.”
  • Date nights mean “I love you.”
  • Date nights mean “I’m here for you.”
  • Date nights mean wearing something other than “Mom & Dad” clothes, a whiff of cologne, cleavage, a buttoned-down shirt, a swirly skirt and lipstick.
  • Date nights mean “You are still it for me.”
  • Date nights mean singing our songs, telling our work stories, and being in the moment.
  • Date nights mean comfort, warmth, passion and love.
  • Date nights mean “In spite of everything around us – jobs – kids – family – I still choose time with you over everything – and everyone – else.”

I love that he schedules tee times early enough so that he can come home, shower, change and spend the night with me. What girl wouldn’t love that in her man?

He loves that I use my time to do what interests me and, when he returns, he’s greeted by a warm and willing companion who looks nice, feeds him and wants to spend her night with him.  What guy wouldn’t love that in his girl?

At the January “State of the Union” Presidential address, a rather large fuss was made about how “both sides of the aisle” abandoned their polar positions and sat together, effectively inter-mixing the powers that be.

It’s startling that this was news.  Grown-ups acting civilly towards each other. Really?

I can’t speak for Congress but, for us, date nights have always been the buoy we swim to against the undertow of daily living.

How about you?  How do you maintain the state of YOUR union?

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Confidence at any age, Family, Forgiveness, Friendship, Fun, Gratitude, Home, Humor, Joy, Life, Love, Men, music, Opinion, Personal, Relationships, Romance, Self Discovery, Share, Thoughts, Traditions, Uncategorized, Women | Tags: , , , | 23 Comments

Songs I love to sing with him

Music is a big part of my life. Always has been, always will be.  Lucky for me that the same can be said for the hubbs: he loves and appreciates a wide range of music and we’ve introduced each other to our favorites.

After a long week at work, or just a day at home doing house stuff, we enjoy time together with a tune playing in the background… could be outside, could be inside.  Doesn’t matter. There are many that get us singing along but these are the ones I love to sing with him:

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

To Love Somebody … the Bee Gees. (Not too much beats the harmonic perfection of the Brothers Gibb)

 

I’d really love to see you tonight … England Dan and John Ford Coley (Takes us back to our 8 month engagement with 6 states separating us)

 

And, of course, the song he chose for us to dance to at our wedding…Something in the way she moves .. James Taylor. (He chose it and that’s enough for me).

 

me & the hubbs at our boy's wedding last year

 

me & the hubbs at our wedding

Everyone has that song they love: what’s yours?

 

P.S. – Hubbs and I have known each other 20 years & today’s our 19 year wedding anniversary. Happy Anniversary sweetie!


Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Gratitude, Home, Joy, Life, Love, Men, music, Personal, Romance, Self Discovery, Share, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Women | Tags: , , , , | 24 Comments

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Connie Rosser Riddle

Connecting with people in my path

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I also live on a farm

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Undercover Surfer

...random thoughts and images overflowing from my brain

Wordsmith's Desk

some thoughts along the way

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

music, poetry, musings, photography and philosophy from a woman who found her way back home and wants you to come over for a hike and a cocktail.

Georgette Sullins's Blog

My view of the cow parade

these days of mine

Stop in and see what's happening during these days of mine

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Random observations on writing and life

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Looking for grace notes in life's journey...

When I Ride...

How life coaches me as I ride...

RICH RIPLEY

EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS...

Connie Rosser Riddle

Connecting with people in my path

Atypical 60

A Typical Blog. A Typical Woman. A Typical Take On Life. With An Atypical Twist!

A New Day Dawns

Arise, shine, for your light has come...Isaiah 60

Virginia Views

Country Living for Beginners

Waiting for the Karma Truck

thoughts on the spaces in between

Views and Mews by Coffee Kat

Kate's views on life edited by four opinionated cats

Renee Johnson Writes

Novelist, Traveler, and More

Life Is A Journey... Not A Guided Tour

My Journey From Merchant Mariner to Mother, And Spiritual Being.

notquiteold

Nancy Roman

Flamidwyfe's Blog

Midwifing women all over the world!

Operation Gratitude Blog

Care Packages for Deployed U.S. Troops, Veterans, New Recruits, Wounded Heroes, First Responders & Military Children

Hot Rod Cowgirl

Riding Through Life One Horse At A Time...Courage Is Being Scared To Death But Saddling Up Anyway!

She's A Maineiac

just another plaid-wearin' java-sippin' girl

The View Out Here

A view in pictures, from me to you

I also live on a farm

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Undercover Surfer

...random thoughts and images overflowing from my brain

Wordsmith's Desk

some thoughts along the way

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

music, poetry, musings, photography and philosophy from a woman who found her way back home and wants you to come over for a hike and a cocktail.

Georgette Sullins's Blog

My view of the cow parade

these days of mine

Stop in and see what's happening during these days of mine

Writingfeemail's Blog

Random observations on writing and life

Grace and Life

Looking for grace notes in life's journey...

When I Ride...

How life coaches me as I ride...

RICH RIPLEY

EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS...

Connie Rosser Riddle

Connecting with people in my path

Atypical 60

A Typical Blog. A Typical Woman. A Typical Take On Life. With An Atypical Twist!

A New Day Dawns

Arise, shine, for your light has come...Isaiah 60

Virginia Views

Country Living for Beginners

Waiting for the Karma Truck

thoughts on the spaces in between

Views and Mews by Coffee Kat

Kate's views on life edited by four opinionated cats

Renee Johnson Writes

Novelist, Traveler, and More

Life Is A Journey... Not A Guided Tour

My Journey From Merchant Mariner to Mother, And Spiritual Being.

notquiteold

Nancy Roman

Flamidwyfe's Blog

Midwifing women all over the world!

Operation Gratitude Blog

Care Packages for Deployed U.S. Troops, Veterans, New Recruits, Wounded Heroes, First Responders & Military Children

Hot Rod Cowgirl

Riding Through Life One Horse At A Time...Courage Is Being Scared To Death But Saddling Up Anyway!

She's A Maineiac

just another plaid-wearin' java-sippin' girl

The View Out Here

A view in pictures, from me to you

I also live on a farm

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Undercover Surfer

...random thoughts and images overflowing from my brain

Wordsmith's Desk

some thoughts along the way

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

music, poetry, musings, photography and philosophy from a woman who found her way back home and wants you to come over for a hike and a cocktail.

Georgette Sullins's Blog

My view of the cow parade

these days of mine

Stop in and see what's happening during these days of mine

Writingfeemail's Blog

Random observations on writing and life

Grace and Life

Looking for grace notes in life's journey...

When I Ride...

How life coaches me as I ride...

RICH RIPLEY

EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS...