Posts Tagged With: wisdom

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

Curtain intolerance

It’s been an adventure, that’s for sure, this Wheat Belly way of living – eating differently, thinking differently, feeling differently.  Sleeping differently, looking differently.  All different – good – wonderful – but different.   Empowering different.

Hubbs is on board, cheering me on.  Youngest boy enjoys being my “sample taster.”  Friends are asking questions.   One has reacted negatively, because when you change it can create friction in a relationship – your change, motion, and movement can make another feel like they’re standing still.   Years ago I would have stopped my progress to rush back and “save” her and our rapport.  Not anymore.

Talking with a colleague about her unhappy relationship I listened in sadness as she described all she does for her boyfriend and how little it’s appreciated.  I listened as she told me about taking his kids to school, along with hers, how he doesn’t like it when she has to travel because he must assume her role.  It’s been three years and there’s no ring on her finger and between you and me, I don’t think he ever intended to put one there.  I listened until I couldn’t and then asked her this, “If you had a girlfriend telling you all this, what would your advice be?”

self talk

Making small changes to better my health have me feeling like I lifted the curtain – I can see clearly now, the rain is gone.    The  view has sharpened.  It has less to do with what I’m eating and more to do with (finally) putting my name on that d*mn “to-do” list I’ve carried for 30 years.  And when you do it, finally do it, the clarity you enjoy lessens tolerance for the curtains around you.

My colleague?   Settling for an unhealthy relationship with a guy who treats her badly.  I can’t save her.  She has to save herself.

Can you relate to this post?  Are you on your “to do” list?  What messages have you told yourself and are you willing to change the message?


“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” ~e.e. cummings

emjayandthem in grade one

emjayandthem in grade one

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Family, Growth, Joy, Life, Life Lessons, Personal, Quotes, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

5 for Friday ~ fudge, Christmas lists and hooligans

It’s Friday (whoo hoo!) and it’s random.  Here are 5 random happenings from my world this week:

1 Office potluck called for my first batch of fudge of the season — this one uses only 4 ingredients.  Ready?  a) 1 bag of chocolate chips (or peanut butter or butterscotch), b) 1 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk, c) 1/2 bag of mini marshmallows (3 cups) and d) 1 1/2 cups of dry roasted peanuts (or walnuts).  Directions:  Melt chocolate chips and condensed milk in microwave – on high – for one minute. Stir.   Continue for 15 min 15 second intervals until fully melted (mine took 1 min + 15 sec).  Stir in marshmallows and peanuts and pour into well greased (9 x 13) pan. Pop into the fridge to set for 1 hour then cut.   Take to office or family gathering, stand back, and watch these babies disappear.

rocky road fudge

2 Bought my first Christmas present this week – for the monkeys.  They circled their “ideas” (translation = everything) last weekend.  From that came THE list.  The best part of this (free) exercise are their comments during the activity:  Littlest one asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I replied I just wanted all of us together: playing games, enjoying each others company, yummy food and having lots of fun. So she replied “so you just want us?” and I said “yep,  that’s what I really want.” Her reply, ” well put a bow on me, Nana, – here I am!” Kids!

grands and xmas list

an Emjayandthem (C) photo

3 Had my first touch of snow this week – last night – and more on the way today.  Last year at this time we had 30″ of the white stuff.  Not complaining … yet :).

it’s coming

4  You know those Hallmark holiday commercials with the cozy “normal” families? Yeah, that is so not us.  Here are our boys as we try to take a birthday picture at youngest kid’s birthday.   You can see why I don’t write Christmas newsletters … most of what they come up with is not fit for public consumption!  But I never laugh as hard as I do as when I am with them :D.

hooligans at bday

an Emjayandthem (C) photo

5 Heard a quote this week that bears repeating, “The only way any of us can grow to be older and wiser is if we’ve already been younger and stupider.”   Boy if that isn’t true!


The wise old own .. the big black crow .. flapping their wings singing go, birdie go …

What random happenings happened in your world this week?  Are your family shenanigans suitable for a Christmas letter?  Craving a little bite of fudge now?

** Thanks to my friend Diane H. who caught the 15 min error above – if you nuke your fudge for 15 min instead of seconds, your kitchen might be smoking! 🙂

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Family, Food, Friendship, Fun, Holidays, Home, Love, Opinion, Personal, Recipes, Seasons, Thoughts, Useful Information | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Happy Franksgiving

* Originally posted 11/22/11

Thanksgiving is only 2 days away!

I’d like to pass on some hard-learned lessons gleaned from old dog, Frankie, who had 13 years of living in a busy holiday-filled home:

C'mon Grampa, drop something!  Thanksgiving 2012

C’mon Grampa, drop something! Thanksgiving 2012

  1. Be nice; greet your guests with gusto. (Everyone gets an enthusiastic sniff hello!)
  2. Take naps and stretch before rising.   (Being well rested = a happier experience for all concerned, trust me on this)
  3. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not. (When Frankie had enough of the company and confusion, he simply disappeared.  No feigned interest here. No drama either,  just slip away …. this works for people to people contact, too).
  4. On relatives: avoid biting when a simple growl will do. Come to think of it, he never growled. He stayed close to those he loved and, when he had his fill, he went back to step # 2 or 3 above.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  I hope that you are able to “go where you’re celebrated, not just where you’re tolerated” and, if a situation you don’t care for finds its way to you,  remember Frankie and simply slip away!

# # #

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Faith, Family, Growth, Holidays, Personal, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

on Acceptance

Growing up, I hated my curls.

H-a-t-e-d them.

They were temperamental, difficult and unruly.

My feelings about my hair were compounded by the fact that I had two sisters with bone-straight blond hair.

And then there was me.

Tumble-haired, curly, wild and unyielding, my hair refused to be tamed. I spent most of my time in braids and ponytails, wishing I could wear it down and swinging like my sisters could.

It wasn’t easy growing up as the younger sister to two blond bombshells.

Especially when you looked nothing like them.

Humidity?  Kapow – you’ve got hair with ‘tude.

Wind?  You’ve got tangles up the wazoo.

To this day, I wear it layered, use expensive products to manage it, and fight with it in summertime.

Then, I caught a view of something recently that completely changed how I feel:

2 1/2 year old Grand-daughter MJ's glorious curls ..

And as I listened to her mother, complain about this beautiful child’s gorgeous mane and how hard it was for her to manage, something in me shifted.

It occurred to me then that there was a reason I was given all that I was: I believe I was given these crazy curls to help a precious little someone understand that she’s absolutely perfect just the way God made her.

If I refuse to honor what He gave to me, how can I hope to foster self-acceptance in her?

I know one thing for sure: she’ll always have an ally in her Nana, who knows a thing or two about curls.

Me .. after an long day & a workout - yep- still curly!

And, just because her little face makes me smile, here’s a shot of wee MJ from the front:

"A grandchild is a gift from above; one to cherish, one to love." -Anonymous

Is there something about yourself that you’ve struggled to accept?


Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Faith, Growth, Love, Personal, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , | 41 Comments

Be happy, be wise

“Be happy. It’s one way of being wise.” ~Sidnonie Gabrielle

Today, I’m happy about many things including:

  • waking up without an alarm clock
  • a fridge full of left-overs
  • birds singing
  • dog snoring
  • loved ones near
  • the Sunday paper
  • and no schedule for the rest of the day!

What are you happy about today?

old dog is happy to doze in the sunshine

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Food, Friendship, Gratitude, Home, Joy, Love, music, Quotes, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: | 10 Comments


image courtesy of

Ever find yourself with something to say and later realize that what you meant is not quite how you delivered it? Oh crap. I have done this and sometimes with great embarassment.

The same applies to writing.  At work, I’ve learned to write important emails and save them as a draft; coming back later to re-read what I’ve drafted helps me to edit and clarify my commentary.  Usually, I edit out 3/4 of what was written and often, I start over.

The headlines below were forwarded to me via email so I can’t credit the author .. but I would if I knew who it was.

Regardless, while many made me chuckle, most cause me to ponder the importance of pausing – saving – and reviewing once more before hitting the “publish” or “send” buttons.

Actual (poorly-written) Headlines

  • Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says
  • Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over
  • Include Your Children when Baking Cookies
  • Plane Too Close to Ground, Crash Probe Told
  • Stolen Painting Found by Tree
  • Two Sisters Reunited After 18 Years at Checkout Counter
  • War Dims Hope for Peace
  • If Strike Isn’t Settled Quickly, It May Last a While
  • Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures
  • Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges
  • Kids Make Nutritious Snacks
  • Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors
  • Man Struck By Lightning Faces Battery Charge

How about you? Do you find yourself carefully editing your words?

Categories: Determination, Family, Forgiveness, Friendship, Home, Life, Opinion, Personal, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Work, Writing | Tags: , , , | 10 Comments

A Mother’s Advice

Mom & me enjoying a Killian's Irish Red at Waxy O'Shea's Irish Pub, Branson MO

“When your mother asks, ‘Do you want a piece of advice?’ it’s a mere formality. It doesn’t matter if you answer yes or no. You’re going to get it anyway.” — Erma Bombeck

So, as I often do, I called my Mom last night.  She’s recovering from a fairly serious fall and is healing at home. In her words though, “I’m fine. I’ve got my books, hockey, my newspapers, your brother, sister-in-law and sister are in and out of here doing things for me all the time. It’s all good and I have nothing to complain about!”  It was snowing and blowing and -30 C where she lives. 

Before I could comment on the cold (and how thankful I am that she has the good sense not to go out in it) she reminded me of the chicken coop on the farm.  Continue reading

Categories: Beauty, Determination, Faith, Family, Home, Life, Mom, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Random, Relationships, Thoughts, Women | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

My dog is an Accountant

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If you think your dog can’t count, try putting 3 treats in your pocket and only giving him 2.

Not only can our dog count, we’re pretty sure he’s an accountant. He keeps careful inventory of the Scooby Snacks, the chipmunk and squirrel population and exactly how many bratwurst remain on the grill.  He’s impeccably mannered, and has his timing thoughtfully planned out: when we sit down to eat, he hops into his bed and crosses his paws.  Usually this is accompanied by a small sigh, or a “look away.”  He does this knowing full well that, at the end of the meal, he will get a bite of something mixed in with his kibbles.  All he wants is a little of what we’re having as he is, after all, a pack animal.  He’s learned by experience, and with 10+ years of it, this dog has our habits down pat.


Categories: Animals, Family, Friendship, Home, Humor, Personal, Relationships, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 8 Comments

A relationship worth cultivating

Eaton’s girls photo from

“The most exciting, challenging, and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself.  And if you find someone to love the ‘you’ you love, well, that’s just fabulous.” ~ Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City

Ok, I know that a screenwriter penned those words for the character known as Miss Carrie Bradshaw but I still think they’re profound.

As a young girl, my mother did her best to stress the importance of accepting myself exactly as I was. She spoke lovingly of her late mother, my Nana, and Nana’s beautiful sisters, who were so polished and poised that they were often referred to as “Eaton’s girls.”  (Eaton’s was a national fashion department store in Canada, and Eaton’s girls were the prettiest of the pretty).   Mom made it clear to my sisters and I that we stood on the shoulders of industrious and intelligent women; women who were feminine, clever, practical and lovely. Just like me. Imagine the impact of such words on a developing and awkward young girl? Continue reading

Categories: Beauty, Fashion, Friendship, Home, Life Lessons, Mom, Quotes, Relationships, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

A little of this and a lot of that…

Mom & me enjoying a Killian's Irish Red @ Waxy O'Shea's Irish pub in Branson, MO

Chatted on the phone with my mom last night and here’s a sampling of topics we discussed:

  • American Politics
  • The Wikipedia leaks and their impact
  • The passing of Elizabeth Edwards
  • Hockey stats
  • Restructuring of the business tax,
  • Eye care in Canada vs. the U.S.
  • Economic changes in Michigan
  • Cost of imported fruit

Mom still lives on our family farm. She’s 80 now; a former school teacher and easily the smartest woman I know.  She’s Mom to 5, Nana and great-Nana to many. She’s funny, charming, interested and interesting. She’s diplomatic, has a cheeky sense of humour and an amazing memory. She was a loving wife and partner to Dad for 52+ years.   I know she misses him more than she would ever say.

Mom suffered a pretty serious fall recently and is convalescing at home. This has been a big adjustment for her;  equate it to having her wings clipped. Right now, limited mobility, no driving,  and regular assistance from my brother and sisters with perhaps more tasks than she’d like but …she’s gracious and appreciative.   Still … a very big change for someone so fiercely independent.

 Talking with her last night, her comment on the whole situation floored me: “Well at least I’m not flying.”


In response,  I sang to her my local radio station’s new hit song for the holiday, “Grandma got molested at the airport” and we both roared with laughter.

Positive. Intelligent.  Loyal.  Kind.  Determined.  Loving.  Fierce. Playful. 

If I can be half the woman my tiny little Mom is some day, I will have achieved all I’ve aspired to.

Categories: Confidence at any age, Determination, Family, Friendship, Gratitude, Humor, Life, Life Lessons, Love, Mom, Personal, Politics, Quotes, Random observations, Relationships, Self Discovery, Travel, Vote, Wisdom, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Give them some space..

 ..Without us in it.

Yes  I’m one “of those” who got up early to watch the marriage of Lady Diana Spencer to HRH Prince Charles some 30 years ago.  Watched the introduction of pudgy baby “Wills” to the press and to the world.  Saw the footage of Wills taking off to pre-school with “Mummy” by his side.  Watched with sorrow as he and brother Harry walked solemnly behind her, as the Royal cortege snaked through London to the sounds of the horses clip-clopped feet.

Miss Catherine “Kate” Middleton appears down-to-earth, level-headed, and poised. She’s older and more experienced than virginal aristocratic Diana was upon her engagement.  But what we know about her is what has been carefully orchestrated for us to know; I don’t know either one but yet, somehow I feel I do. 

So it’s with a bit of parental angst that I’ll take in all the excitement as the wedding plans unfold. After all, no one does pomp & circumstance better than the British Monarchy. But for Diana’s sake, I truly do hope they are granted a small measure of space…without us in it.

Categories: Family, Friendship, Life, Love, News, Opinion, Personal, Relationships, Traditions, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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