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Posts Tagged With: winter

What’s saving my life right now

Inspired by my blogging friend Leah’s post – I am taking on her challenge to think – and write about – what’s saving my life right now.

  • Background – Leah is a fabulous writer, author and Mom who moved with her family from  Sunny San Diego to a less-than-sunny wintry Indiana (I can so relate to the absence of sunshine!) – She cites writer Barbara Brown Taylor who, in her memoir Leaving Church, tells about a time she was invited to speak, and her host assigned her this topic: “Tell us what is saving your life right now.”  The idea behind this is  that most can articulate what may be bothering us but few of us stop to note what’s giving us life.

Bam!  So thought-provoking!

Here are the things saving my life right now ~ in no particular order:

  1. Exercise:  After work I make time for A) the treadmill or B) Yoga.  Either helps me unwind and forget my schedule and responsibilities.  My mind drifts off and creativity sneaks in. ~ Ahh.
  2. Minimizing Electronics: The company cell phone gets shut down at 7pm and lately, the best thing on T.V. has been the off button.
  3. Books – by taking step #2  I create space to devour deliciously good reads & have  created something to look forward to on a regular basis.  Joyful!
  4. Rest: In winter I go to bed earlier, it’s a necessary step to create the energy for slogging through the greyest of days.
  5. Up:  Because of #4 I get up earlier, can sip coffee longer, and have an hour of “soul time” to myself every morning.
  6. Supplements: Vitamin D in copious amounts – 5,000iu per day.  Start slow and work your way up but this is a GAME changer especially if you live where winter happens without measurable sunshine.
  7. Color and lots of it. Again – it’s so grey here right now – you’ll find me in sweaters, scarves and dresses of purple, teal, ocean blue or green.
  8. Flowers – they’re not just for Valentines and anniversaries.    For $7.99 I can add a pop of color to my office – and flowers are nature’s happy little reminder that Spring will soon come again.
  9.  Music.  My job requires a lot of car travel back & forth to meetings – sometimes 5 -6 hours in one trip – I turn off the rants and the politics, add in some Gospel, Motown and Classic Rock and sing my way to my meetings.  Winning!
  10. Connections – phone conversations with my sister or cousin, time out to dinner or staying home with Hubbs, messaging with our boys, breakfasts with Grandpa & the Aunts/Uncles.  Chatting with someone at the grocery store.  Connections – without steps 1-9 – I wouldn’t be as motivated to create and sustain connections~!

What’s saving your life right now?

 

a $8.00 pick-me-up that lasts all week long. Google.images.com

a $8.00 pick-me-up that lasts all week long. Google.images.com

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Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Gratitude, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, music, Personal, Quotes, Thoughts, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Random 5 Kitty Friday

Here we are already, February.  Wasn’t Christmas about 6 days ago?  Holy wow!   Here are some randoms from my world, with kitties helping to tell the story:

1 )  Return packages.  I don’t love shopping (except maybe Christmas shopping) – but I do love – l-o-v-e – online shopping.  Amazon is a favorite – and also a wormhole.  I can get lost in there for days.   Recently – for an upcoming trip with Hubbs – I ordered a couple of new swimsuits to try on in the comfort and privacy of my own home.  Too big! Yay – so  back they go for exchanges.  So I used the pre-paid return label that came with and sent them on their way about 10 days ago.  Checking the status today it appears they are traveling back via  bicycle.  Geez Louise – at this rate I should get my new suits after the trip.     Below is me watching a tracking # – Oy.

learning kitty

2 )  Like I do every winter, I booked in for a massage a couple of nights ago – There’s something deliciously decadent about stepping into a warm, dark room in the dead of winter, snow lashing at the windows, and enjoying a hot stone massage.  I had a new experience – this one didn’t hurt – not the massage itself (they shouldn’t ) – rather me & my muscles the next day.  Why?  With 25lbs of fluff gone after banishing grains -I have very little inflammation now – an UNEXPECTED BONUS!  Whoop!  Today – I feel like this little guy!

alert kitten

3)  Winter Trade shows – ’tis the season for Home & Garden shows, Boat shows, Camping Shows, Golf shows etc.  There’s a Woman’s Expo every year but I can’t ever get any women friends to go, too.  Wanna go with me?

time to explore new things!

time to explore new things!

4)  Speaking of time to explore new things ~ this is also the time of year that I get restless.  Maybe it’s being inside so much – and it could be the lack of sunlight.  For example, in  January I am pretty sure we had 423 days without any measurable sun.  The sun shone brightly two days ago and everyone in my office went from this:

sleepy-kitten-cute-kittens-9835304-450-301to this:

peeking kitten

5 ) The weekend’s here – brunch with Grandpa & the Elders tomorrow – Super Bowl  Sunday – time to rest, relax and enjoy.  Who’s ready?

stretch kitty

Me! Me! Pick me!

 

  • No kitties were harmed in this post!
  • How about you:  Do you get restless in winter? Is there any sunshine in your neck of the woods?  Have you been tormented by the pace of a return package?  What’s on tap for your weekend?
Categories: Animals, Attitude, Blogging, Fun, Home, Humor, Life, Personal, Seasons, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Hello, March

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

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

 

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

Are you having Spring Fever, too?

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

Random February Friday

It’s Friday! Whoop! Time for 5 Random thoughts:

1. Why do weather people insist on telling us the “feels like” temperature?    You know what -10 feels like to me?  It feels like stay inside and stop telling me about how cold it is, that’s what it feels like.

why?

why?

2.  Michigan people can (usually) handle winter with a steady does of good humor.   Blowing, drifting snow, sub-artic temps, record snowfall?  We come up with stuff like this:

Ha!

Ha, ha, ha!

3. Hoping to see the Grands this weekend; between the weather and their winter flu bugs and colds, our schedules haven’t worked out.  Here’s a snap from our last outing.  Silly ones, yes we are.

MJ & the Hooligans; an Emjayandthem(C) photo

MJ & the Hooligans; an Emjayandthem(C) photo

4. Saw this recently and nodded my head in agreement:

Google.images.com

Google.images.com

5.  It’s Friday and time for a Date Night with the Hubbs!!   Although it would be fun to get out, it’s still bitterly cold and neither of us wants to deal with that so tonight will likely look something like this:

beer & pizza

Yep!

And how was your week?   Are you sick of winter yet?  Any fun plans for tonight or the weekend?  Do you silently mouth “what the?” on a regular basis?

 

Categories: Faith, Family, Fun, Home, Joy, Life, Men, Personal, Random, Relationships, Women, Work, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Friday the 13th, Random 5 and 50 Shades

It’s Friday! It’s time for 5 random thoughts (not 13!)

1. Two road trips this week and I always notice things alongside the highway.  There’s the usual – a tire, a deer, maybe some garbage.  What gets my attention are the shoes.  There usually is only one and it’s often upright, like someone stepped out of it.  Weird.

2.  There’s a movie opening today based on a book involving grey ties.   Did I ever tell you that Mom bought me that book for my birthday years ago?  She made it clear she had no intentions of reading it but I think she did it to scandalize me and my sister … and it worked.    The two of us traumatized our grown kids by leaving it out on end tables.  The comments of horror from my sister’s daughters and the looks our boys shot my way were well worth it.  Maybe that was Mom’s point, to stir things up a little, and to remind us that we always have a choice.  God, I love her.  The book series itself?   Definitely mature reading but in there lies a love story –and how the love of a good woman can repair and restore even the most damaged man. It’s a story as old as time and romance novels sell well for that reason.  Oh, and here in Grand Rapids, there’s a local man running a petition to stop theaters from showing the movie: the petition has 2,000 signatures.  Impressive except for the fact that 9,000+ advance tickets have been sold.   I’m probably not seeing the movie but that fact makes me snicker.

3. Here comes Valentines Day! Earlier this week Hubbs was over-scheduled and racing around like he tends to do.  I had some extra time that morning so I left for work, made a stop, and swung back by the house with breakfast in hand.  The look on his face?  Absolute delight.   Why wait for 2/14 to show love for the one you love?

You're the best!

Happy Valentines Day!

4.  I’m off to the Dentist for more crown restoration.  Yes – dental work on Friday the 13th – nothing could go wrong with that, right?

5. Driving yesterday I came across a tune from years back.  Do you remember 867-5309 or “Jenny” by  Tommy Tutone?

*867 was the phone exchange in the town where I attended High School. Never knew anyone named Jenny though.

 

How was your week?  What are your Valentines Day plans?  Going to see any new movies? Know anyone named Jenny?

related:  No gates, no locks, no chance

Categories: Confidence at any age, Determination, Family, Friendship, Fun, Growth, Holidays, Home, Humor, Joy, Life, Love, Men, News, Opinion, Personal, Random, Relationships, Romance, Share, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Wisdom, Women, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Random 5 Friday and a time for Home

It’s Friday! Time for 5 random thoughts. Here we go!

1.  Hubbs has a cold.  Call the CDC.  Seriously. He’s moaning and limping around as if he’s dying. Every move is announced.  Every. Move.  I’m doing my best to help and comfort him but … it could be a long winter.

Vicks, Puffs and a hot toddy ~ he'll be OK

Vicks, Puffs and a hot toddy ~ he’ll be OK

2.  Like other parts of the country, winter slammed into us on Monday.  Employees in ‘da U.P. (that’s Yooper for people who live in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula) received 35-42 inches of snow in 2 days.  Yesterday, here in Grand Rapids, we got a light dusting and everyone lost their minds and forgot how to drive.  It could be a long winter.

www.mlive.com

Photo from mlive.com

3.  At the office we had some difficulty switching our system from a/c to heat.  Last year we switched it on our own and managed to successfully blow cold air …  harder.  It’s finally pushing  heat and employees are no longer wearing “Oliver Twist” gloves at their desks.   It could be a long winter.

It was that cold. Image from Pinterest.com

It was that cold. Image from Pinterest.com

4.  When I was a kid we couldn’t wait for winter!   We couldn’t wait to use our toboggans and super slider snow skates and crazy carpets.  And snow days?  Snow days were the BEST!  Farm kids were designated a “town buddy” to stay with if bad weather picked up -as it often did.  And who could forget two – count ’em – two whole weeks off for Christmas break to snowmobile, snowshoe, ski, skate, slide and more? Now – as an adult – winter is just not as much fun. It’s work. The “s” words that brought so much joy have been replaced with new ones: scrape, slide, swear and soldier through.  Every year I try to get out to do some of the fun “s” words but … It could be a long winter. 

google.images.com

I remember winter like this. google.images.com

5. On a positive note, our house feels very cozy, I’ve got plenty of books and projects to keep me busy and, once Hubbs feels better, fireside chats will return.  Maybe it won’t be a long winter after all.

fireplace-by-krazy79

Google.images.com

Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”
― Edith Sitwell

 

Which “S” words do you associate with winter?

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Family, Fun, Growth, Joy, Quotes, Random, Relationships, Seasons, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Random five Friday and it’s all right

The last Friday in February! Wow, here we are.  Seemed like 2 weeks ago it was … Christmas.

Here are my random 5’s for today:

1.  A week ago I wrote about Eagles & Crows. The next day, out of the blue, I received a highly complimentary email from a top executive in my company about a project I’ve led and excelled at.  The best part?  The crow was copied on it.   Karma!    🙂

2.  I started to complain about today’s -9F temps when I saw this snapshot from my homeland in Saskatchewan, Canada.  I stopped right then and there.

Yes it's in Celsius but at -40, Fahrenheit and Celsius ARE the same!

Yes it’s in Celsius but at -40, Fahrenheit and Celsius ARE the same!

3.  Today, I’ve loaded up the Jeep with my tunes and coffee and the Garmin and am off to points North for meetings with community leaders and business owners.  Next to solving problems, this is the part of my job I love most.  Why?  It’s different every time. I get out of the office, I meet new people, develop relationships and stretch myself.  It’s good. Real good.

4. Did I mention the tunes?   Road trips mean I can put the Mp3 player on shuffle and see who pops on.   Heard this the other day, and it’s been all right ever since.

5. It’s Friday.  And I’m ready for it!!

amen to that! google.images.com

amen to that! google.images.com

What song makes you want to crank up the volume and sing?

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Faith, Family, Friendship, Fun, Gratitude, Joy, Life, Opinion, Politics, Relationships, Thoughts, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Summer dreams

We’re in for another wintry blast this week.

An Arctic Vortex.

Whatever.

Sick of it yet?

I am.

I’m not even that sick of the cold, the wind, the ice. I’m sick of the topic!

So, after my workout last night, as the sweat cooled and my skin started to chill, I thought of days of summer.

And when I think of summer days, I think of afternoons spent like this:

therapy

Ahh …

I feel warmer already!  🙂

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”
― John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America

<

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Home, Humor, Life, Quotes, Seasons, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Random Five … Sunday

1. The sun was out yesterday – all day long.  It. Was. Glorious.   More than once, I found myself near the window, soaking up the warmth like a lizard on a lounge chair.   Ahh.

2. Today I’m off to meet our great-nephew and deliver some yummy foods to the weary parents.  TLC Chicken Spaghetti, Home-made soup, cheesy biscuits and Game Day (Heath Bar) Brownies.   This isn’t my first rodeo, and I know exactly what new parents need:  creamy, yummy, easy to warm up and a pop of chocolate at 3 a.m.  The neat thing? I’m bringing Hubbs’ Auntie with me so we will have 4 generations together and the little guy will meet his great auntie and his great-great auntie in the same day.

When the root is deep, there is no reason to fear the wind.

3.  Hubbs is headed to the golf show today with one of his best buds.  You would think they won the lotto as they are that excited.  Recently, he was awarded some extra $$ for his efforts at work and I suggested that since he did the work he should spend it on something he wants .. like golf.  Well,  it didn’t take long for golf show plans to come together.  The twinkle in his eye can be spotted from across the room. 🙂

4.  After the food delivery and the golf show delights, he & his buddy and me & buddy’s wife are meeting up for eats and greets today. NO cooking this Sunday, and that’s just fine with me.

5.  I don’t know if it’s getting older or just having a lot on my mind, but more often than not, I get the “here-afters.”  (I come into a room and wonder what I’m here after!)  Then I saw this cartoon and laughed out loud.  Yep, I can relate.  You?

a little bit too true sometimes!

a little bit too true sometimes!

Happy Sunday, peeps.

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Food, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Men, Personal, Random observations, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Random *cough* Five *cough* Friday

1.  There’s another big storm on the horizon and it’s a fine day to stay inside. (smile).

..brrr

..brrr

2. On Facebook, there’s this thing people do called “Flashback Friday” – for you I post this, and I’ve call it, “Flashback Frankie!”

Frankie as a tyke

Frankie as a tyke

That picture was taken in our rented apartment when we relocated ourselves to MI; we were looking for a house at that time, but hadn’t yet found one.  Seems like more than 14 years ago now and yes, I still miss him.

3.  I’m digging the Keurig but, I have to say, the traditional coffee maker makes a better tasting cup of coffee.  The Keurig has more of an “instant” coffee taste.  I guess I favor coffee with a little heart:  the kind that’s sat on the warmer a while.   Takes me back to days at the rink, coming in from the cold, and ordering a “kid coffee” (double cream, double sugar, extra energizing!).

4. The only good thing about having Bronchitis is that it’s in my lungs, not my head. Which means my eyes are OK for reading. Which means I’m halfway through my bag of delights from that recent jaunt to the bookstore! Even when I bought them, I remembered thinking .. if only I had time to read them all!  How’s that for serendipity? 🙂

5. Being sick makes me appreciate being well.

“Sometimes life knocks you on your ass… get up, get up, get up!!! Happiness is not the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with them.” ― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

* * Care to share your random 5 with me? ** 

 

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Gratitude, Growth, Home, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Random Five Friday, the January edition

1.  Snow

snow on branches

google.images.com

2. Cold

doesn't that image just make you cold?  image wzzm.com

doesn’t that image just make you cold? image wzzm.com

3. Snow

image from wrh.noaa.gov

image from wrh.noaa.gov

4. Ice

100_2243

Front door; an emjayandthem (C) photo

5. Bad drivers

HA!

It’s been a crazy, busy week. My work world has cranked up and is back to full speed ahead; we’re working on projects and on lots of conference calls, doors are shut, heaters are on, lunches are packed from home.  I’m leaving earlier, staying later, and sometimes .. working here because of weather. But always, always, always bundling up and slogging through because … well, it’s winter.

But you know what?  I see the weekend … whoop!  And today, on my lunch break, the first one I’ve taken this week, I’m slipping off to my favorite local bookstore.   Can’t wait … I’m taking a stack of gently used books with me to sell back, adding that nominal amount to my Christmas gift card and treating myself to yet another round of literary delights.  As an added bonus, this store has a charming little cafe serving delicious quiches, salad, soups and more.  I’m feeling rather impish, just thinking about it!   It’s the little things sometimes, isn’t it?

I see the weekend!

Yippee Skippy Friday’s here!

What’s your Random 5-January edition look like?  Anything you’re feeling Yippee Skippy about? 🙂

Categories: Attitude, Fun, Home, Joy, Life, Personal, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Random Five Friday

100_3716

Christmas Eve, 2013

This was our tree Christmas Eve;  today it looks like it’s been strip-searched.  Still, I’ll leave it up for a few more days just to enjoy the lights.

Christmas has come and gone and, boy, did it go fast.  What I’ll treasure includes:

1. Looks.  The look on our Grandson’s face when we FINALLY got through to the Santa Tracker hotline Christmas Eve and he could ask the question he’d waited to ask, “Um, when exactly is Santa going to be in Michigan?” And their answer, “Well Santa has just crossed the international date line from the Arctic circle and is entering into Canada now, which you know borders the United States; our trackers estimate {{sounds of calculators, blips and bells}} him to arrive in Michigan in.. approximately 200 minutes.” The speed with which he launched himself to bed was incredible!

the grands readying for bed; Christmas Eve, 2013

the grands readying for bed; Christmas Eve, 2013

2.  Being together.  The boys, me and Hubbs, sitting by the fire and laughing but suddenly hearing small feet padding across the living room above and here came wee MJ, teary-eyed, “But Nana, we forgot to put out the Milk & cookies and Santa is going to be so very hungry after that long trip..”  And so we got cookies deployed and milk poured and off she went to fall asleep in my bed with the biggest smile on her face.

3.  Snow.  Big, fat, fluffy snowflakes swirling down from above.   All my peeps tucked into the nest and here came Christmas snow.  Magical.

100_3358

Christmas snow 🙂

4.  Sounds.  Hearing snores from her brother across the hall, I slipped into bed next to a wee one who woke and whispered, “Nana, I love you.”  And as her small hand grabbed mine I smiled and cried in the dark, thanking my lucky stars that these little people know, really know, how much they’re loved.

5. Morning. Waking up to an eyeball and a giggle, a million questions and  exclamations of, “He came! Pops (on the couch) wake up! Santa came! Look at our stockings! He ate the cookies! The milk is gone!” and racing through the house to wake everyone up and share the news.

Hand-made blankies from Nana

Hand-made blankies from Nana

To celebrate Jesus’ birthday with one big party and hearing: “Can I open this next?” “Thank you Uncle H for the gifts” “This one’s from me!” “Nana this is so much fun” “Thank you Daddy, I love you so much” “Thank you Pops” and lastly, “we miss Frankie, too.”

Presents and presents and presents

Presents and presents and presents

Mini-Mousing it

Mini-Mousing it

I think Frankie and others were with us; see the Orbs up the stairs?

I think Frankie and others were with us; see the Orbs up the stairs?

A big breakfast together, a bit of time to play and then came time for clothes & boots, jackets zipped and off to Mommy’s for round two.  A big winter’s nap for the rest of us and what lingered .. was love.

The Hooligans lurking in my kitchen .. waiting for French Toast and sausage, bacon and eggs, ham and juice and ... and ... and

My two Hooligans lurking in the kitchen .. waiting for French Toast and sausage, bacon and eggs, ham and juice and … and … and

“While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.”
― Angela Schwindt

Care to share your Random 5 from Christmas 2013?

Categories: Beauty, Blogging, Faith, Family, Fun, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

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