Tag Archive | Mondays with Mimi

Have the best day ever.

It doesn’t take much to bring a smile.

 

This image sure does bring a smile to your face.

I came across it in my phone’s photo library. Don’t know if someone sent it to me or if I found it myself. But it immediately made me smile. So, I in turn sent it to two people. And both wrote back right away. One said it was just what she needed. And the other said she had been thinking about me at the same time so she found the timing just perfect.

 

No effort needed.

After hearing from both these ladies, I began thinking about how something so simple brightened their day. There was no cost involved. Very little effort on my part. But huge payoffs all around. They smiled. And that made me smile.

Let’s spread a little sunshine.

Knowing how easy it is to spread a little sunshine, let’s think about doing it more often. Here are just a few thoughts on how we can bless others.

  • The minute someone comes to mind, be proactive. For me that typically means using Siri to set a reminder for a time when I can actually do something or make a plan.
  • Don’t let anything get in the way. A quick “I’m thinking of you” text or note means as much to a recipient as a gift delivered to the front door.
  • Baked goods hand-delivered or mailed are always appreciated.
  • Pray for that person. Right then. Later, let them know. Praying for others is always so appreciated.
  • Do something tangible. Be specific. Offer to bring a meal, “babysit” a child or their elderly parents while they go out. Offer to clean the bathrooms or do some laundry.
  • Drop off a plant or a single flower.
  • Send a card. It’s rather old-fashioned but who doesn’t like getting fun mail rather than just bills in their mailbox!

The ways to bring a smile are endless. But don’t put it off. Find someone to bless today.

What are your thoughts? How do you bring a smile to someone?

Mimi

 

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Oh no! Not the scissors.

Aging has some fascinating aspects.

There are the typical face crinkles (wrinkles actually, but the word crinkles sounds a bit gentler), the annoying aches and pains that remind us we’re not as spry as we once were, the occasional brain fog where we tend to look for our glasses, only to discover we’re already wearing them. And a thousand other things that serve as continual reminders that though we’re not old, we are indeed aging.

But this reminder is annoying indeed.

While some reminders are mere annoyances, others seem to mock us. For example, something we all need to do but don’t necessary share with others: clipping our toenails.

Some opt for pedicures. But this frugal gal knows she can pocket $25 and do it herself, so she does. Typically, without any issues.

Of course, it is getting more difficult as each day goes by. Here’s why. I can no longer leave my feet on the ground, bend down with scissors in hand, and actually see what I’m doing. I wear progressive lenses and that very small reading or magnified portion is so small I am unable to get close enough to really see what I’m doing so I can ensure not only a straight cut across the nail but a straight cut without injury to my toe.

The solution?

Sample pedicure position minus the sock.

Glad you asked. As you can see in this picture, I lift my foot to the bathroom counter to get better access with the bright overhead lighting. This worked for years in my Orlando house, but our new house has higher counters so it’s nearly impossible to get the leg up, position the foot in the best light, and hold still long enough to make THE CUT.

This endeavor is quite the balancing act. And most times goes off without a hitch. But then this happens. As it did today. But I didn’t just drop the scissors; I yelled “Oh no!” like dropping them was the worst thing in the world. I guess at the moment it really was. Here I was, leg on the counter, ready to proceed with my own version of a pedi, but the scissors were now w-a-y down there. What to do?

Still the sock…but look down, w-a-y down on the carpet.

I had to detangle, get the foot off the counter, bend to get those pesky scissors, then figure out all over again how to get back into position to finish up.

In reality, dropping the scissors is just a minor annoyance, though at the time it seemed a huge hurdle to overcome, hence the “Oh no!”

Two things come to mind.

First: it really was no big deal. Annoying yes. After all, it’s not easy to “un-pretzel” yourself, bend those aging knees, then get all the way back up on the counter into just the right position to finish what you started.

Second: it is indeed a mocking reminder that I am aging and need to embrace adaptations that make life more manageable, sometimes easier.

Does this mean I’m old? Of course not. But as each year marches on, my body changes. My abilities physically and mentally are different than they used to. And my perspective needs to change as well. Because how I feel about all this will set the barometer for whether I can embrace this new phase I find myself in or whether I will despair and lament what’s been lost.

Some encouragement.

The Bible, my life guide, reminds me of what God has in mind for my aging years:

  • Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained by living a godly life. (Proverbs 16:31 NLT)
  • Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding? (Job 12:12 NIV)
  • Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. (2 Corinthians 4:16)
  • Grandchildren are the crowning glory of the aged. (Proverbs 17:6 NLT)
  • I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. (Joel 2:28 NIV)

With promises like those above, there is never a reason to lament. I still have much to offer others. I am being renewed every single day. And God is still speaking to and through me. And that’s not the half of it! There’s so much more.

Here’s to each of us finding the “more” in our own lives. The more that God promises. And the more that He takes delight in giving us.

Mimi

A delicious bite for you.

Credit: Gimme Some Oven

Oh my, oh my

Just a quick post to share some deliciousness with you, courtesy of Gimme Some Oven.

Went to visit friends for dinner and game night. My part was to bring a little something sweet that didn’t destroy your day’s calorie count.

A quick internet search brought me this goodie: chocolate and bananas. Super easy, super-fast, super delicious. (https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/salted-chocolate-frozen-banana-bites)

Salted Chocolate Frozen Banana Bites

You’ll need: 3 ripe bananas, 1 cup chocolate chips, 2 Tbsp. coconut oil, coarse sea salt, and toothpicks.

Step 1: Cut the bananas cut into 1” or 1-1/2” pieces. Place them on a foil or parchment lined baking sheet. Insert toothpicks in each one and freeze for at least 2 hours.

Step 2: While bananas are freezing, prepare homemade Magic Shell by microwaving (in a large bowl) the chocolate chips and coconut oil for 30 seconds. Stir, then continue in 15 second segments until melted. Set aside and let it come to room temp. (By the way, this mixture can be stored at room temperature for up to 30 days.)

Step 3: Dip banana bites into the chocolate covering all the way or part way (your choice). Sprinkle with sea salt before the shell hardens. Eat immediately or return to freezer. Remove from freezer 5-10 minutes before serving.

That’s it for this week.

Just the recipe to share this week. It was indeed an exciting week and I’ll share a little about it next Monday.

Please plan on making these soon. They look so nice and the taste is just wonderful. As an added bonus, it’s easy to keep a bunch in the freezer to have on hand anytime a little “sweet” is called for. And, these would be a great activity for when the grands are visiting.

Mimi

 

 

Medicare? No way; it can’t be!

Me, eligible for Medicare?

I turn 64-1/2 next week and my daily mail is now inundating me with offerings of various Medicare plans to consider. Many of these offers include a seminar and free meal. I figure these meal invitations could really amount to something. And I just might be able to manage a free meal each week right through the open enrollment period later this year.

Twenty short years ago my kids were out of high school by a few years, we were in our mid-40s, and Medicare seemed a long way off…and for old people! That 20 years flew by and now I’m one of those OLD people! Funny thing…(1) I don’t feel old at all and (2) it doesn’t bother me in the least to sign up.

What does being old look like anyway?

Ever wondered what old age was supposed to look like or feel like? I think I always had a fairly good idea of it. I never pictured grey-haired and wrinkled people, bent over and walking with canes. That was a caricature for sure. But I do think I pictured a wise person who had enough life experience behind them to offer sage advice to others. I pictured grandkids flocking around who thought I was great fun to hang with.

I figured an older person now had the time to pursue hobbies, volunteer experiences, and perhaps travel. I thought that person’s days were filled with things to delight and the complete flexibility to enjoy those delights as often as they liked or wherever they presented themselves. I figured for the most part that person would be happy and content knowing they had lived a full life.

What’s the reality?

Reality isn’t very far off. I’m definitely not a bent-over person walking with a cane. My hair is about 50% grey at this point, and wrinkles? Well, let’s just say I have a bunch, but I tell myself each one is a brush stroke in the portrait of my life so why would I want to remove even one.

I do have aches and pains and tend to grunt out loud when getting up after sitting awhile. But I’m fairly healthy and still able to do most things I want to do.

Hmm, the part about doling out sage advice. You’ll have to ask others. I try really hard (really, really hard—not always successfully), to keep my opinions to myself unless asked…especially with my grown children in mind. But sometimes…oh yes, sometimes, I do wish they’d ask. Because I certainly have learned a thing or two I would love to share. Advice that could save heartache. Advice that could make some things easier. Advice that could possibly reassure them that when they feel as if they’ve failed at something, they are not alone. Most of us have felt that way at one time or another and it’s just a feeling, not necessarily the truth of the situation.

My personal reality is that I look in the mirror and still see me but it’s definitely a me who has experienced a little more wear and tear. It’s a me who still has dreams to change the world or to simply make a difference in someone’s life. It’s a me who despite knowing there are way fewer years ahead than behind, still wants to make something of those years.

Some of my thanks…

  • I am crazy in love with my family! And I so enjoy the adult relationships I now share with my kids. I’m blessed beyond measure with my grandchildren and I love being called Mimi. It’s one of my favorite words at the moment. And the fact that my dad is still such an integral part of our lives is beyond amazing. Blessed, blessed, blessed am I.
  • Through the years I’ve always had a group of women in my life about 10-15 years ahead of me. They have lovingly shared themselves with me…their wisdom, their experience, their unconditional love. What a difference that’s made. And I’m so very grateful for them. What they have poured into my life cannot be described with words. They are my friends but more than that…they are my treasures.
  • I am so very grateful that I am at this point healthy. It’s something that can definitely be taken for granted. I can play ball with my grands, walk a few miles at a time, bike for pleasure, clean my house (occasionally), and have enough strength to accomplish most of the things I find important.

Your own experience.

There is so much more to be thankful for, but maybe I’ll leave that for you. Please comment below and let me know what you are thankful for. Or just let me know about your own experience with the aging process…what you thought vs. your reality.

Thanks for sharing part of your Monday with me. I appreciate each one of you.

Mimi

Silly Sayings, Idiotic Idioms, Random Thoughts

Happy Monday. Nothing too deep today. Read, enjoy, and feel free to share your own “absurdities.”

While lying awake the other night, my mind, in overdrive, started a slide show of random thoughts. Random, silly, and even absurd.  No. 1 and 2 are just observations but they led to the next three idioms. We have so many in our language and use them all the time. But some seem silly and many have questionable origins. In no particular order, here they are:

I live in an active adult community. The ages here begin at 55 and run into the 90s. Greg and I are retired and certainly aren’t as active as we were when raising a family and in the prime of our work careers. It seems absurd that an active adult community is for the older population. Shouldn’t an active adult community mean a community for adults who really are active: rearing children, working, schlepping kids to activities, enjoying vacations, working out in a gym, etc.? Just saying…

 

Ice cream socials. In reality they are where people gather together and eat ice cream. But the picture in my head a few nights ago (quite absurd I tell you) is of ice cream being social. Popsicles hanging with Ice Cream Cones. Sundaes being social with Banana Splits. I know, silly thought, but it was the middle of the night after all.

 

The elephant in the room. It refers to an extremely obvious problem no one wants to discuss…like if an elephant was in the room and you didn’t talk about it. But why an elephant? Why not another large animal or the Empire State Building, or the Atlantic Ocean. Who figured out it was best to mention an elephant?

 

Break a leg. Really? We use it to wish people well in a performance. But I looked it up and found the origin is actually listed as “obscure.” However, if you’re reading these and decide to come up with some of your own silly or absurd idioms then have fun and “Break a leg.”

 

Hold your horses. So, this one does indeed have an origin that refers to 19th century carriage drivers who were not controlling the speed of the horses. A horse was stopped by pulling its reins; this was called as “holding the horses.” And today we use it to mean “be patient.” But look at this picture. This is exactly what I picture in my mind whenever I hear the phrase.

Would love to hear the idioms you think silly. Just comment below and let me know.

Mimi

Off course.

Visited Costco two weeks ago. Typically, that’s a $100 or $200 hit. Today it was a $900 one!!!

Two eye exams, three new pairs of glasses ordered, and a $135 shopping trip. Yikes, that adds up fast!

Feeling Grateful

But today, instead of being miffed about spending all that money, I’m actually feeling grateful. I’ve been having daily headaches for about a month. Tough ones, every day around 4pm. The eye doc feels certain tweaking my script just a bit and getting a slightly bigger lens with more reading area will resolve them.

And ever since Greg got new glasses two years ago from a competitor, he’s been getting dizzy when he wears them while walking. His glasses are quite expensive so he didn’t want to think about purchasing new ones. But he’s basically been miserable and not wearing the glasses as much as he should. The eye doctor discovered his lenses were not allowing his eyes to work together so she tweaked his script as well which should correct the error and allow him an easier time while wearing them.

In both our cases, the scripts were close; they just weren’t close enough. And with some very slight adjustments, the encouragement is that our troubles will be fixed. Which means no more late afternoon headaches for me and the dizziness for Greg should abate as well.

Being off just a bit can have an effect on…well, everything!

Sometimes we make big deal choices and super bad decisions that really mess us up and take us further from God. And most of those are easy to spot. But other times it’s little things, like the prescriptions on our eye glasses. Things that seem insignificant. Things that most people would ignore.

But over time, these small decisions, small “disobediences” to God result in getting us further and further from Him. And they can have devastating effects.

It doesn’t take much to get us off course.

Our friend Bob Taylor used to remind us that even a tiny deviation at the beginning, if not corrected, will continue to get us farther and farther from the Lord. And this type of path is so dangerous because we don’t really know how far we’re straying until we’re really far away. At the beginning we feel as if we’re right next to the Lord but the illustration below shows how devious this thinking can be as we’re lulled into thinking all is well when in reality we’re in trouble. (Imagine this is one long piece of paper, rather than three segments. If you look at the far left of the top illustration and see the far right of the bottom one, you can see how being very slightly off course ends up with disastrous results.)

The Narrow Gate

“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)

Even choices that aren’t necessarily wrong but lead us just ever so slightly away from God rather than toward the narrow gate He is asking us to enter, carry consequences and can interfere with our relationship with God.

I want to be aware daily of my Christian walk. I want to make good choices that please God, where my utter dependency on Him is evident, and that result in an ever-closer relationship with the one who is my whole purpose for being.

Mimi

That beautiful sweet fragrance…

I take a walk about five days a week in my community. And it’s so very interesting. My walk begins in the low, flat section of houses where I reside. About 10 minutes in, however, a rather steep hill begins. Along the way up to my turn-around spot, I see palm trees, pine trees, oaks, and lots of magnolias. And those are my favorite tree along my walking route.

What a fragrance!

At this time of year, the flowers, which budded weeks ago, are starting to open up and release their beautiful fragrance. I often wish I had smell-a-vision so I could capture the sweet delight of their aroma much like I capture their beauty with my camera.

As I walk past these wonderful trees back down the hill to the flatland, the delicate aroma seems at first to welcome me. Soon, the delicate smell gives way to a glorious moment of saturation where all my senses seem to be completely captured within the amazing fragrance.

The aroma of Christ.

And it’s in these moments that I often think of 2 Corinthians 2:15 and Ephesians 5:1-2:

For we are to God a sweet fragrance of Christ…(MEV)

You are God’s children whom he loves, so try to be like him. Live a life of love just as Christ loved us and gave himself for us as a sweet-smelling offering and sacrifice to God (NCV).

Just one magnolia bloom emits so much of a fragrance that I can identify it without even seeing a tree. But when there is tree after tree, covered with blooms, you can imagine how unbelievably beautiful it is to be completely surrounded with the aroma.

And it’s this all-encompassing aroma that’s talked about in scripture. The aroma that pleases God, the fragrance of Christ on and in us as we become more and more like Him.

Do I love walking? Not exactly. And certainly not in the Florida heat. But getting to smell those blooms at this time of year, and realizing that I, too, am a sweet-smelling fragrance of Christ to God, well, that kind of changes my perspective a bit about taking a stroll each afternoon.

Mimi