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Posts Tagged With: winter

Take me to the River

Building on this post I thought I’d revisit a question I asked at this time last year: What’s saving your life right now?

Literally. Figuratively. Possibly. Maybe?

What’s keeping you going?

So much negativity in the news, way too many rants on Facebook (and not enough puppies, kitties & babies) and it’s the dog days of winter, so I ask you this:

What’s. Saving. Your. Life. Right. Now?

I’ll go first:

  1. Quiet (TV and phone off by 8:30 pm)
  2. Rest (aiming for 8 hours nightly, averaging 7.25 … yazz!)
  3. Faith
  4. Challenges ~ pushing myself to take on scary things like early morning public speaking engagements ~ Try that without copious amounts coffee. Yes, it can be done and it’s exhilarating!
  5. Music.  Tunes in the car, while cooking on Sunday afternoons, whenever the mood strikes.
  6. :: Love ::
  7. Repeat

 

Take me to the river,  wash me down …won’t you cleanse my soul, put my feet on the ground …

 

What’s saving your life right now?

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Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Faith, Growth, Home, Life, music, Personal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

* Snow Day *

It’s Friday and Snow-ma-geddon is happening across the upper Midwest.  As predicted, Lake Effect snow began  last night – with the snow falling fast and beautiful.   I’m thankful to be on the inside looking out.

After an eye appointment yesterday, I took the opportunity to pick up some groceries — by 3:30 p.m. the store was packed – with Seniors!  Older ladies & gents with small carts stuffed full of bread, fruit, eggs, lunch meats, deli cheeses, big jugs of wine, candy bars, frozen foods, baked goods and toilet paper.  Everyone was chatty and the mood was upbeat, with a camaraderie that comes from sharing a weather event.   Even the cashiers were cheery; I bagged my groceries and pushed the heavy cart through the slush to my vehicle.

Hubbs and I chatted last night remembering what it felt like to be a kid on an evening like that ~ going to bed happy, deliciously anticipating two glorious words at dawn’s early light:

Because he grew up in town, and I on a farm, his “Snow Day” experience was a lot different from mine.  He remembers being woken up by his Mom, letting him know that school had been cancelled, she was leaving for work and their “to-do” list was on the table.  He & his brother were to shovel the driveway, each taking a side.  There may have been other chores to do, some of which were his sisters.  Then, once the jobs were done, he, and his best friend Bob, would head to their favorite sledding hill ~ Now picture a grown man whose eyes take on a dreamy look as he remembered their adventures on that hill.  They had traditional toboggans, saucers, and of course old-fashioned sleds with runners.  He even remembered being ran over by his buddy once, two of them ending in a tangled heap.  “He over-cooked it! Of course he did,” he said, laughing.   Often, after a full day of sledding adventures, they’d return for more that evening. “Their” hill had a pole light nearby which allowed for night-time sliding ~ and he speaks fondly of the two of them laying on their backs, staring up at the stars, catching their breath and talking.   Good stuff.

On the farm we received the glorious news via a phone call from our Bus Driver, Elliott.   One of two things had happened: 1) school was officially cancelled (yay!) OR 2) the bus wouldn’t start (-40 temps).  Dad typically was the messenger – we’d wake to hear him quietly say, “back to bed – no school” or “back to bed – the bus won’t start” — all 5 of us did a collective “tuck & roll” and snoozed a bit longer.

I don’t remember extra chores ~ my brothers helped Dad with farm animals daily and we girls did, too, plus we always helped Mom inside.  What I remember most vividly was how it never took us long to hatch a plan ~  the family farm has a winding coulee / cow pasture directly to the north, with wicked sledding hills, some more treacherous than others.  Mom fed us a big breakfast and booted us outside; we’d walk to the coulee as a group, dragging our sleds and crazy carpets behind us.  There we’d stay for hours ~ or so it seemed.  I favored the crazy carpet because it was much faster than the wooden toboggan – and it was easier to pull up the hill. However, it afforded absolutely no protection if you ran over a frozen cow pie.  Toboggans would ricochet off but that thin plastic barrier ensured at least one banged up knee or bruised tailbone.  We didn’t care – the faster the better, we  lined up, zoomed down, and back up we’d go.  So. Much. Fun!   When we finally had enough, in we’d come, red-faced with sweaty hair, frosted scarves, starving and exhausted.  Mom would make us tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches followed by a card game or two.  And, if we were really lucky, and the roads had cleared, Dad might take us into town to skate at the local rink.  He’d visit with neighbors,  play cards and eat pie.

Feats of daring and destruction!

Chatting with our oldest son, he shared that the grands have a snow day too – and he has the day off  and they’re scouting for the perfect sledding hill.  They’ve got snowboards and saucers but he’ll be the biggest kid on the hill 🙂

 * * *

* Below is the family coulee ~ in the distance you can see our magnificent sledding hills … oh the memories.

a coulee that runs for miles

 

What do you remember about snow days when you were a kid?  How did you get the glorious news?  And do you get snow days now?

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Family, Fun, Home, Joy, Life, News, Seasons, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Random 5 February ~ Groundhogs & Chicken Wings

It’s Super Bowl Sunday & time for 5 Randoms from my world:

1)”Lake effect” snow is swirling down and has been since early yesterday ~ It’s beautiful, heavy, and coming down fast.  I’ve shoveled the walkway & sidewalks 3 times in the past 24 hours,  probably gonna shovel 2x more.  (Hubbs’ back does not allow for shoveling and … I kinda get into it. )

we’re in there somewhere!

2.) The house is cozy, my wings are marinating and Hubbs is cooking brunch.  (He’s smart enough to feed a gal willing to shovel)   🙂     The groundhog poked his nose out Friday, looked around then did what most of us would: went back in for a long winters’ nap.   I don’t hate winter.  Everyone around me complains about it.  I don’t.  Yeah, we get a few more grey days than I’d like, but like my brother says, “look on the positive side – no mosquitoes!” Maybe I’m a groundhog, too.

3) Tonight is the Super Bowl LII (52) ~ There’s no shame in my game ~ I’m in for the a) snacks, b) commercials and c) half-time show!  On the menu are: (my) Wings, Swedish meatballs, Taco dip &  7 layer salad; friends are bringing cheesy potatoes & dessert.  We’ll nosh, chat, cheer and have fun.  And hopefully somewhere in there is a football game 🙂

  • You can make the easiest, most finger-lickingingest wings by simply marinating frozen wings in 1 bottle of Italian dressing mixed with 1 bottle of Frank’s hot sauce ~ toss & marinate for 24 hours then grill or bake in a hot oven (375) till crispy & done – serve with Ranch dressing or more hot sauce.  Delish!

4)  I just remembered I have tomorrow off!  Yippee Skippy!

5) A while back I bought a rebounder.   It’s a small, quiet (because of bungee cords not springs) indoor trampoline.  The health benefits are purported to be many — increased bone strength, better balance, stamina, flushes the lymphatic system, increased circulation, etc.  I love how much fun it is!   And it is a workout, too.  I own a stack of exercise videos that are anything but fun, and consequently, dusty.  Now I try for 30 minutes of bouncing daily – sometimes in 15 minute increments.   Jump on, turn up the tunes (Tina Turner, Elvis, the Bee Gees, TobyMac) and go.   After reading the reviews, I decided on the Jumpsport 250 from Amazon – free shipping, <$250, and easy to assemble, just attach the legs and go!  Awesomesauce!  In time, I may upgrade to the Cadillac of rebounders, the Bellicon, but I couldn’t justify their price at first when I didn’t know how much I’d bounce.   Conclusion: Using it, loving it, grand kids enjoy it, bouncing is fun, needs no extra accessories (I jump barefoot), and I’ll continue ~ win!

My JumpSport in the corner of my home office – love!

 

So what’s cooking at your house today?  Are you watching the Super Bowl tonight?  Any wings in your future?

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Family, Food, Growth, Home, Life, News, Opinion, Products I love, Recipes, Sports, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Gratitude, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, music, Personal, Quotes, Thoughts, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 5 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

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