Posts Tagged With: winter

More of my old friend

It’s the New Year and I’ve been (mostly) absent from this blog.  I’ve read yours (thank you for continuing to post while I’ve been away). You see, I’ve reconnected with an old friend ~ my books.

I’ve read, and read, and read some more.  Yes I’ve also cooked, cleaned, socialized, worked, and worked out .. yes, all that. But I’ve mostly leaned in and cozied up through this cold, dark January ~ So far Grand Rapids has had zero sunny days, 10 days with a little sun and 17 entirely cloudy days.  Until I read that article I hadn’t noticed!  You see between this little gadget shown below (used every morning) and all my delicious reading, I’m too content to care 🙂

I am relaxed and happier – all from doing what I love – with no guilt. Reading, learning, growing, and more.  So much more.

  • Does your reading activity go up in winter?
  • Is it sunny where you are?

“Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a friend.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert

  • (and this friend READS )
Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Faith, Fun, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Love, Personal, Self Discovery, Share | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Fri-yay 3 ~ Milestones, Storms and Thieves

It’s Friday of the first full work week of 2020 ~ here are my 3 Random Thoughts for Fri-yay.

Ready? let’s go!

1 ) Milestones – Attended a retirement party recently for the woman who hired me 18+ years ago.  How did we get old enough to retire already?   Ironically one of her parting gifts was a beautiful clock.  Maybe it’s me but I found it funny that others assume someone who’s not going to be “on the clock” anymore wants … a clock?   We had a good visit and lots of laughs and she whispered joyfully, “5 more alarms to go…”   #IsntItIronic

2 ) Winter Storm Watch – the Midwest is bracing for a wild weather weekend.   TV forecasters are salivating, their eyes wild with excitement as they breathlessly provide hour-by-hour updates.  Stores are stocked, aisles are jammed, and folks are getting ready.  It’s 45F right now but expected to drop with rain then ice then snow then .. trees down, ice and snow, etc.    Regardless what happens .. we’ll be as ready as we can be.  #WinterinMI

3 )  Thieves – over the Christmas break I had my credit card number skimmed at a local (chain) retail store.  Thankfully I have alerts set up and received a message, via text, about suspicious activity.  (The text also looked suspicious, to be honest).  I didn’t respond to the text but instead called the credit card company, verified my identity, and confirmed I was home in my jammies and not trying to book a Hotel in Delaware!   After that whole mess I set up additional alerts to the account – transactions > a certain amount, change in security, debit charges, withdrawals, etc.   Make technology work for you! If you have a credit card, I suggest you set up similar stop-gaps.  Thieves have no problem helping themselves to your good credit and assets.    #StillAngry

 

P.S. ~

After the “skimming” incident I called the store where I’m certain the thievery happened and asked to speak to the manager. What sounded like a 12 year old came to the phone.  *SIGH* After explaining my dilemma and urging her to check their security/IT network she countered that, “Oh no, that couldn’t have happened here ’cause we.. like …  check our machines.. like … all the time.” When I offered that there is a current problem (since I hadn’t otherwise used the card in nearly a month anywhere else OR online and the attempted charges happened 2 hours after I shopped at their store) she responded with, “Well OK then … no worries,  Thanks for the call ….”   It was obvious, by her dismissive response that I wasn’t getting anywhere with Mandi with an i and ended the call.

  • #PutAlertsonYourCredit #CantFixStupid

 

What’s new in your world?

  • Any milestones happening around you?
  • Storms a-coming?
  • Tech tips or other thoughts to share?

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Blogging, Determination, Growth, Home, Humor, Life, Life Lessons, Technology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

That feeling ~ New Year’s 2019

December 31, 2019 ~ I woke to a darkened house, blanketed in quiet from the snow swirling down.  It’s New Year’s Eve ~ and here we are on the cusp of a new month, a new year, a new decade.

Just like that.

When asked my resolutions for 2020 and I answered quickly – it’s simple, really. All I have to do is look back at the past 11 days off,  and therein lives my answer.

In 2020 I’ll try my best to recreate that ~

  1. That feeling, as winter winds roar outside the windows and you lift your head up from reading for 4 hours straight, plowing through magazines and books without a care or a distraction, a deadline or a phone call.
  2. That feeling, stretching and waking gently, without the glaring jolt of an alarm.
  3. That feeling, when you listen to your body and move it a little more, haul the boxes and work up a sweat taking down and packing up and catch yourself smiling because it’s only 9:30 a.m. and you’ve been up for 3 hours already.
  4. That feeling, between two major holidays, when you’re not sure which day it is – is it a work day? is it a week day?   And you have to consult the calendar to confirm.  And laugh about it.
  5. That feeling when your sustenance consists of coffee, bacon, eggs, cheese, pickles and clementines.

Nope, no New Year/New You for me. Not this year. I’m gonna focus on finding more of that feeling denoted above.

Your turn:

  1. How are you ringing in the new year?
  2. Do you resolve to do things differently?
  3. Do you want more of what you already have?

 

“When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. When life is bitter, say thank you and grow.” —Shauna Niequist

Happy * New * Year *

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Determination, Food, Growth, Holidays, Home, Humor, Joy, Life, News, Opinion, Personal, Self Discovery, Snarky, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

It’s only fitting

It’s only fitting that, on my very last day of 9 glorious days off, I’d wake to this:

12.1.19 First snow an Emjayandthem(C) photo

It was, by far,  the best sleep of my entire week off … the house calm, dark and quiet.

A heavy quiet that only fresh snow can insulate  us from a hurry-up / busy world.  Cocooning from the noise around Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Leftovers, Holiday Travel, deadlines, to-Do lists.  Z-z-z-z-z-z

Planning to go out I re-planned and stayed in.

Coffee up. Decorations out.  Christmas is-a-coming.

Fa-la-la-la-la la-la-la-la!

I’m always intrigued by what I end up doing when I’m “off.”  Intentions are good but sometimes one should just lean in and “be.”

Example:

I went to bed when tired (10:30, 12:30, 1:30) and got up when I wasn’t (6:30, 7:30, 8:30.. )  ~  it depends and every day differed.

Worked out twice, but still clocked 10K steps daily **in the house**.  One day? 13K 🙂 and that was while cleaning!

Cleaned, scrubbed, sorted and donated.

Read, read, and read some more.

Watched a movie.  One. Meant to watch more, but visiting got in the way.

Subsided on take-out, leftovers and charcuterie.

And it was wonderful.

Your turn:

  • When’s the last time you surprised yourself?
  • What have you learned by setting plans aside and embracing what life brings you?

 

 

 

 

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Blogging, Faith, Family, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Seasons, Self Discovery, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Random 5 Friday ~ Mothers Day, Coincidences and GPS

It’s Friday and time for a few randoms from my corner of the universe.  Ready?  Set?  Go:

1 ) Mother’s Day as a child meant 3 things:  a) Church/Sunday School, b) a family get-together and c) Homemade cards/gifts for Mom.    Like they’ve done before, my boys asked to take me out for “a nice lunch.”     They know this is the one thing I want more than anything from the store – time with them.  We met up – they gave me their gifts and cards with notes of love and appreciation and I  savored the moment.  We laughed till we cried and I beamed with the love I feel for them.   In my view, the greatest gift a Mom can ever get is children who grow up to be people you want to be with!  We ate, we laughed, we leaned in.  I felt the love then and still do.  ❤

2 ) Whenever I have  a “big” meeting or presentation to do I “bring” Mom with me – by wearing a piece of her jewelry as her reminder to “go get ’em, kid” – She’s met the Governor, Congressmen/women, Leaders of state, Senators, House Reps, congressional pages, Mayors & more ~ she’s with me every step of the way.    And if I encounter any “nonsense” I’m not afraid to use my firmest  “Mom voice” which of course I learned from her!

Just a couple of Mom’s rings – Peridot & Padparadshca Citrine ~ she loved her “right hand rings” from the shopping channel.

3 )  In meetings earlier this week I had one of those moments we’ve all had where you know the answer to a  question not yet asked.   Tingling and trying not to jump ahead I listened closely;  when I shared my thoughts later the speaker pulled back, her eyebrow went up and a smile filled her face.  “How did you know that?” she asked.   “Because sometimes I just know.”  We talked about coincidences and serendipity and how sometimes we find ourselves right where we’re meant to be; it’s up to us to recognize it when it happens.   The more I acknowledge it when it occurs, the more it occurs for me.

Fate’s like that, I find.

4 )  Saw this and laughed out loud because  1) it is so true and 2 ) I admit that I often still revert to “old school GPS” – read on ~

5 ) I’ve been traveling weekly these past few months;  one day easily rolls into the next, weekends have been full and a Tuesday morning can feel like it should be Saturday already.    Memorial Day is next week and – gasp – it’s been 3 months since I woke up to this:

Winter 2019 – an Emjayandthem(C) photo

 

So, what’s new in your world?   Experience any coincidences lately?  Do you remember “70’s GPS?”

Happy Friday!  😀

 

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Fun, Growth, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, Love, Mom, Opinion, Relationships, Seasons, Travel, Wisdom, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Random 5 for Sunday ~ Good-bye March

It’s March 31st ~ Robins hopped in the snow today – their reappearance makes me hopeful even when the weather hasn’t caught up to the calendar.

5 Randoms from my world, here we go ~

1 )   The photo of this bed took me right back to my Grandma’s house ~ to starched sheets, sheer curtains blowing in a summer breeze, and the abject thrill I felt being able to spend the night there.  So lucky!

2 ) Someone raved to me about a new bakery that opened and I considered ordering some of their treats for an upcoming event I’m planning.  And then I remembered a southern family recipe I’d been given by a Texas colleague – for 7-Up pound Cake – and I do believe that my $6 cake beats a $20 professional one.  I might have to triple the recipe.

not my picture

3 )  Saw this and thought, yep ~ that’s been me this winter .. tucked in, books stacked, cozy, don’t bother me 🙂

4 ) Haven’t pulled a muscle but I have fallen over putting on socks.  And I draw the line at KALE 😀

5 )  Yes, this, fur-ever and a day ❤

What random thing happened in your world this week?

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Blogging, Home, Opinion, Personal, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Random 5 Sunday ~ Cows, gifts, dogs and Bradley Cooper

It’s the first Sunday of March, yay!  I’m gearing myself up for several weeks of business travel and heading into some of the coldest temperatures of the year.     Time for some Randoms from my world.

1 )  This picture describes this winter!

2 ) Lately my Facebook feed has been filled with political posts by well-meaning friends ~  I admit to having snoozed” a few ( to avoid seeing their stuff for 30 days)  because I can’t take the rants.  Give me pictures of your babies, kids, dogs, cats, casseroles or cakes.   The other stuff I’d just as soon pass over.  But this one, now this one made me laugh:

3 )   I asked our youngest boy for just a little bit of his co-worker’s “homegrown honey.”  This is what he gave me.  Nothing says love like a year’s worth of amber deliciousness~!

An Emjayandthem(C) Photo

4 ) Maybe it was the cold or just being home and inside but this year I watched the Oscars.  Haven’t watched in years!  Hubbs and I were “dog-sitting” our oldest son’s dog, Roscoe, and he watched the Oscars with me.  It was a cold & stormy night (sounds like something Snoopy would write) and the winds were howling (the Bomb Cyclone was underway).    Between us, we decided Roscoe-Doggus should have been nominated (and won) in the most dramatic category:

  • #highwindsequalhighbarks
  • #willbravethesnowfortreats
  • #workingPopsforpizza
  • #Nanaisasuckerfortheseyes
  • #moveoverBradleyCooper

Grand-dog Roscoe ~ we sure missed him when he went home. An Emjayandthem(C) Photo

5 ) Speaking of Bradley Cooper… this also made me laugh.  (Bad weather can certainly = carb noshing!)

In case you missed their Oscar performance, see link below ~ ME-Ow!

 

And how was your week?

Categories: Animals, Family, Food, Fun, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, Men, music, News, Personal, Relationships, Romance, Thoughts, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Books are a home

We’re mid-way through February and just out of five weeks of naughty winter.  Bitter Arctic cold followed by a sixty degree swing in temperatures with freezing rain and ice storms, downed trees and power outages.  Next came another band of snow … “Lake Effect” snow and more snow.  Then wind, blowing the snow, making it skitter and scatter across driveways, rooftops and roads.

ice on the back steps .. so treacherous!

We’re a hearty bunch, us Mid westerners.   We’re used to winter, and some of us (me) enjoy all four seasons.   And, growing up in Canada or living here in Michigan, I’ve found the weather is always a safe topic no matter where you are – the gas pump, the grocery store, kids’ game or coffee shoppe.  Weather is a favorite and “safe” topic in the check-out aisle, “So did you come through the storm(s) OK?” “Any damage at your place?”  Quasi-strangers commiserating on a common theme affords a sense of community I long for.

This year, winter has kept us in more than out; yesterday was an “out” day — brunch with the Elders. The restaurant was packed with folks happy to be out and about.  You’d never know it was 20F outside because inside, conversations flew easily over coffee being poured and the smells of bacon and sausages sizzling.  People lingered, stopped by nearby tables to visit, and the chatter of so many confirmed all were happy to be there.

Winter 2019 – an Emjayandthem(C) photo

The reason for our gathering was two-fold:  1) celebrating a birthday and 2) creating a reason to get out & get together!   It was Uncle Ron’s 81st birthday ~ he laughed and guarded his allotment of my home-made treats like a Quarterback shielding the ball.   His sister, Auntie Karen, smiled with delight at the bag of paperbacks and cookies I handed to her.  Not to be left out, Grandpa John, Hubb’s Step-Dad, tucked his cookie stash into the cab of his truck while shivering over one last smoke before heading home.    We make it a point to get together on a regular basis and, for the reasons listed above, winter gatherings are always the feistiest.

Arriving home, Hubbs headed off to for a nap; I chatted on the phone with my cousin then snuggled into a chair with a new book – my 7th this year.  Leaning in, sipping tea, I felt warm and wonderful and yes grateful – grateful for seasons and reasons that remind us that home is a wonderful place to be.

“Books, for me, are a home. Books don’t make a home–they are one, in the sense that just as you do with a door, you open a book, and you go inside. Inside there is a different kind of time and a different kind of space.”
Jeanette Winterson, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

 

How about you? 

  • Any (winter) damage at your house?
  • Read any good books this winter?
  • Spring is just 31 days away 🙂

 

Categories: Attitude, Family, Fun, Holidays, Home, Humor, Joy, Life, Love, Personal, Relationships, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Winter & a time for home

  1. Our city / state has made the national news for winter weather events, three weeks in a row.
    • we also have flooding from “ice jams” to deal with, too 🙂
  2. Schools have exceeded allowed snow days (6), some by double that amount.
  3. Snow shovels, snow blowers & ice melt are sold out; beach towels & suntan lotion remain untouched. (Spring Break’s a coming)
  4. Heat’s up, books are being slayed at night, and I’m working from home for the foreseeable future.
  5. Soup’s on the stove, and Hubbs is due back from meetings soon.   Hoping the power stays on …

 

“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

:: Home-made soup today — ahh! ::

 

  • And how are you faring this winter?  
  • Are you tucked in safely at home, too?
Categories: Faith, Family, Food, Home, Life, Men, News, Personal, Seasons, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Wisdom, Women, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Winter alerts, last nerves and gravy

Like many of you, here in the Mid-Western United States, we’ve had a “weird” winter so far — a skiff of snow here, a dusting there.

But then … last week,  Winter … well she arrived with a vengeance.

2 weeks of back-to-back alerts, warnings and wildness.    Mother Nature’s last nerve is involved & someone’s poking it.   As a result, soon after came:

  • Gobs of snow.
  • Blasts of cold.
  • Frigid winds.
  • Icy.  Frosty. Chilling. Days & Nights.

followed by some really sound advice:

As for me, I’m staying in … till March.

How’s the weather by you?  Are you “hunkered down,” too?

Categories: Attitude, Determination, Family, Fun, Home, Humor, Life, News, Thoughts, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Sunday thoughts: Tidying up, sunshine & magic

We’re already into mid-January it occurred to me this morning that I haven’t blogged since last year!

Gulp.  Life comes at us fast, especially in the new year.

2019 came at me like ..

Holidays ended, work resumed, and tripled in intensity.   It’s been a steady dose of crazy since, with not much room or time to breathe.  Early mornings, long days, lots of travel and copious conference calls.  Thankfully, a solid winter storm blew in this weekend, encapsulating us in icy roads, fresh snow, with a fridge full of leftovers and no particular place to be.

Darn.

That brings me to today ~ awake at 6:30 I hit tossed in a load of laundry, padded through the house and caught up on your blogs.

Random observations came my way and they include:

1  )   Have you heard of the “Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up book and movement afoot?   Based on her best-selling guide to de-cluttering your home, and soon-to-be TV series,  Marie Kondo espouses the virtues of sorting through everything – and I mean – every thing to determine “what sparks joy.”  If it doesn’t, it goes.   Now I am very familiar with the term “you can’t organize clutter” so I purge/donate/recycle on a regular basis.  Her advice is to start small, say with 1 drawer, and go through every piece that’s in it … I started with my sock drawer and found it can’t be opened all the way … probably because of the preponderance of black dress socks.  ~ Sigh.  I laughed, and set my sights in another direction.  If you’ve tried this approach and it’s helped you, do tell!

2 ) Last night I had every intention of delving into several new books; I’ve got a stack waiting for me, purchased with Christmas gift cards ~ my favorite.  Instead I read women’s magazines, binge-watched “Shark Tank,” laughed with hubby and chatted with my cousin.   Regardless, doing nothing and lots of it, was great therapy.  PS My favorite “Shark Tank” product so far has been this one ~ an amazing cleaning do-dadd that really does work:

3 )  Growing up in bright & sunny western Canada (Saskatchewan) I took our daily sunlight for granted. Yes winters were cold and windy but, for the most part, ALWAYS sunny.  Sunglasses and Sunblock are a necessity year round– now I live in Western Michigan, and because of our proximity to Lake Michigan (and lots of winter cloud cover) our winters are regularly dreary, dark and long.  I really struggle with lack of sunlight.

Update on my previous product review:  I cannot say enough good things about the Verilux Happy Light –  AMAZING!   In just 2 weeks of using it I cut my total coffee consumption in 1/2 and caffeine dosage from full throttle “Farmer’s coffee” to decaf by using this amazing little light.  Sitting near it first thing in the morning helps reset your circadian rhythm & will help you sleep (instead of lying in bed making 3AM “to-do” lists like I used to). 

Caution:   Do NOT use at night, you will be up for 1/2 of it, oops. 

I started out small, at 7-10 mins. a day, and have worked my way up to 30 mins. daily.  If YOU also slog through the dark days of winter, give the HappyLight Compact ($40 on Amazon) a try.  The. Best. $40. Ever. Spent! 🙂

4 )  Long-time blog readers, family and friends know I enjoy technology and gadgets.  But after our son told me how their “Alexa” interjected into their conversation, more than once,  I firmly advised him  to “never buy me one.”  My cell phone does enough eavesdropping as it is.  This Meme is about right, ha!

5 )  And, as much as technology makes our lives easier, and sometimes even healthier, there’s always going to be something about a real book that draws me in … and so does this picture:

Your turn:

  •  Are you working to “tidy up?”
    • What method works for you?
  • Any cool new-to-you gadgets to share?
  • What’s the best book you’ve read lately?

Happy Sunday!

Categories: Attitude, Determination, Family, Fun, Home, Humor, Joy, Life, Opinion, Personal, Products I love, Self Discovery, Share, Thoughts, Travel, Uncategorized, Useful Information, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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?

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

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She's A Maineiac

just another plaid-wearin' java-sippin' girl

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Just another WordPress.com weblog

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.

these days of mine

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

When I Ride...

How life coaches me as I ride...

RICH RIPLEY

EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS...

Better Days Blog

Learning from yesterday, living for today

Another Stir of the Spoon

Food, Art, Books, Birds and whatever...

A Little Wild Farm

Planting roots on our little wild farm.

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!

Virginia Views

Country Living for Beginners

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

She's A Maineiac

just another plaid-wearin' java-sippin' girl

I also live on a farm

Just another WordPress.com weblog

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.

these days of mine

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

When I Ride...

How life coaches me as I ride...

RICH RIPLEY

EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS...