Tag Archives: joy

Front Row Living

Women on coaster with multiple reactions

You can choose to live your life with the joy of the front row or solemness of the third row. The choice is yours. ~ Author Unknown

I found this photo while browsing around Pinterest several weeks ago. The archivist in me loved it; it’s one of those everyday moments I wrote about yesterday, a moment captured in time. I adore the concept that these women, in what looks like their Sunday-best dresses and hats, are riding a roller coaster. I would love to know the story behind this picture.

But the expressions of the women and the perfect caption that goes with it also struck me on a personal level. It’s so true that we forget the simple joy in living, in experiencing the moments of life. I know a lot of “third-row” people, those who even in a moment of fun, simply can’t crawl out of their own shell to enjoy an experience, to find pleasure in life. And I know I have days like that, where things go wrong, or I have to do things that I don’t like or want to do, where I am not enjoying life in the moment. But I know those “third-row” moments are fleeting. Can you imagine living your life that way? I can’t. But I know some who do…….

The women in the first row are women who enjoy life, who can find the pleasure in the moment. And it is really about “finding” the pleasure. Sometimes it hides or takes some digging to uncover. But if you enjoy life, you are likely to discover pleasure where others may not. Even if it means having your slip show and dang near losing your hat.

It is a choice. In all honesty, I’m more the second-row woman in the hat with the slight smile.

So how about you — what’s your row of choice?

[Note: This post is #6 of 26 of the April A-to-Z Challenge. Please see the button on the right of the page for more information.
Last year’s “F” post: Farm Girl Meets Farmville.]


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Merry Christmas

Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time. ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

Merry Christmas!

Even the Grinchiest sentiments aren’t immune to the magic of Christmas day. The one day each year where the child in all of us hopes for the present dearest to their heart.

That’s me up there with the doll. The wish of my heart each Christmas as a young girl. My mother outdid herself that year – check out the fabulous buggy that came with the doll that is almost as big as I was then.

Now my wishes are for less tangible things. Things like peace and good health, good times with friends and the love of family.

These are my Christmas wishes for you this year. Thanks for dropping by, often or not. Thanks for sharing a comment, reading a post, and making this stop on the inter-webz part of your day. I appreciate your interest and your time.

Most of all, I’m thankful for the gift of your friendship.

And wish you all the best of Christmas, all year long.

Happy holidays!


Filed under Life

Monday Moments: A Magical Kingdom


The picture I use for my profile picture here on the blog was taken in June 2010 while my husband and I were at Disney World. The 2010 Romance Writers of America conference was in full swing, but we snuck away for a quiet dinner over at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge to have an evening just for ourselves.

And we fell in love. Not just once again with each other, but with the location. Built to resemble Yellowstone Lodge in the early 1900s, the place is a masterpiece of wood, stone and trees. Like other things at Disney, guests are swept into the ambiance of wherever they are and become a part of the story. It truly is a magical kingdom.

So why am I writing this now? Because this fine Monday morning, I get to wake up there again. In the building that looks out on the building in the picture. I get to wake up here every morning this week.

I am on vacation this week as my husband and I are using our Disney timeshare for the very first time. We are Disney-philes, and would live here if we could arrange it. (Okay, even close to the area would be good…..) We honeymooned here, and it is without question one of our favorite vacation spots. Some of my happiest memories come from time spent here, including our visit last year.

After a crazy year, we are treating ourselves to a week in a magical land.

And for those curious how Thanksgiving turned out…. here’s a picture of our 38-pound turkey:


I hope your Monday has some magic in it!

I’m off to see a Mouse…….


Filed under Life, Monday Moments

Hot Coffee

I have measured out my life with coffee spoons. ~ T.S. Eliot

I have more coffee cups than I can count.

Okay, not really. I can count pretty high…. but I have a lot. A whole shelf full of them. Maybe a shelf and a half when they are all clean and actually on the shelf. That doesn’t happen very often, though.

Some were presents, given for birthdays or our wedding. Some were souvenirs of places we’ve been through, stopped at, or stayed for a while. Many of them I collected while in graduate school, when coffee was a constant presence to fuel years of too-long days of studying.

Some of them are so special that I hardly ever use them, most notably the delicate tiny cups that I inherited with my “good china” from my mother, a beautiful set of Haviland blue garland. Those fragile cups never get taken out of the packaging except for company. Silly I realize.

My husband and folks that know me well say that can tell my mood at fifty paces just by the coffee cup I use each morning. If it’s saying-free or one of good humor, all is well. If the morning is off to a rough start, I’m more likely to have my “attitude” mugs — the ones with the pithy platitudes brazenly stuck across them. My favorite one of those kind is my Mary Engelbreit mug, pictured to the left.

Mornings for me start with a cup of hot coffee, but it is never enjoyed more than on a crisp autumn morning, stepping out into the invigorating air, mug in hand, sipping warmth against the nearly-frost temperatures of a just-dawn morning. I’m not a big fan of stylish coffee. I can only do basic, minimal flavorings. My favorite of the moment is Wolfgang Puck’s Jamaica-me-crazy, which has just the tiniest hint of coconut in it.

I got my Keurig about a year ago and am still in love with it. Being able to fix a fresh hot cup on a moment’s notice was worth the price. And I enjoy trying out different k-cup types, but was also quite thrilled to discover that my favorite Folgers also comes in conveniently packaged k-cups for my everyday morning sipping. Fall also brings a return of pumpkin spice coffee, another favorite. But otherwise, I rarely indulge in flavored coffees. I tend not to frequent Starbucks or Caribou, in part because they cost more than I want to spend on a coffee. But then again, I’m not a fan of instant or “cheap” coffees either.

I’m not a coffee snob. I just like a good, hot, strong cup of coffee. Sweetener and creamer, of course. I get that honestly from my parents, though. My mom used sweetener and my dad creamer, and since I grew up snitching sips equally from both, I got hooked on the taste of them combined and, even forty years later, I still prefer it that way.

And I’ve had so much over the years, most often I can enjoy a cup in the evening and it is only rarely that it keeps me awake. Occasionally it does, but not as often as I sneak a cup after the sun sets. Autumn evenings were made to curl up with a cup of joe and a good book.

So how do you like your coffee? Go get yourself a cup and tell us all about it! Let me know if you need a cup to put it in…. I’ve got plenty!

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You know when you have found your prince because you not only have a smile on your face but in your heart as well.  ~Author Unknown

How could you not love that face? If you’ve noodled your way around my blog, you’ve read some about my family. But I’ve neglected introducing one of its most important members, and there is no better time to correct that omission than on his birthday. So, I’d like to indulge for a bit and introduce you to the love of my life – my husband, Patrick.

That’s him, up there, as a little sprite. But those big blue eyes and cheeky grin are two of the many reasons I fell in love with him. Plus he’s intelligent, charming, sweet, and –as my mother would say– an all-around good egg. He’s far and away the kindest person I’ve ever met.

As I’ve gone through another round of family photographs, I’ve found a mix of pictures of him, so I thought I’d share some here, with his permission, of course, to celebrate his birthday.

And to round out the week of McCartney/Beatle references…. there’s just something in the way he moves……

*soft sigh*

In front of his house before heading off to school
Happy 14th Birthday!
His first computer, a Commodore 64….
Rocking the hat – Welcome to the ’80s!
With his kid sister, Joanne.
With Joanne on her wedding day
We surprised him with a party on his 40th birthday!

The birthday man and his mother

He’s a Mac guy from way back, so the chance to get a “Mac & PC” picture was irresistible!
Letting ladybugs loose in the hydroponic gardens during the “Behind the Seeds” tour at Epcot’s The Land.
One of my favorite recent pictures, just before dinner out with some good friends.
At one of his favorite places, with the Mouse in Charge!

Happy Birthday, Handsome Man!

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