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Posted on August 20, 2016 By

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Family


Simplification Is It Possible On The Current World

Posted on March 19, 2016 By

download (39)Over the years, off and on, dedicated and then less so, I have worked to simplify my life. In a world of consumerism it is easy to be snagged by great buys, new gadgets, the latest clothing, home accouterments, and on and on. While I try to turn a blind eye to the junk that I pass in stores or that I view in ads in my email or when browsing the Internet, it is tough to just say, “No!” to all of the goodies that I spy and think that perhaps I need.

Twice a year, or more often when I really get the urge, I purge closets, shelves, drawers, and cupboards. While I have tried and failed with garage sales for these remnants, there are a couple of thrift stores who accept some of my stuff and the landfill receives the rest. I say I fail at garage sales because I just do not seem to have the knack to set things up in a saleable fashion or I select the wrong day or maybe, and this is sad to ponder, my junk is just not very desirable. It is lovely, it is mine, but I guess my taste wanders far from the shopper’s who swing by on Saturday mornings.

Because I volunteer at one of the thrift stores I am quite careful with what I drop off as the store is already loaded with more stacks in the storage areas. I have made many trips to the dump with items the store couldn’t sell like old, soiled mattresses, broken strollers, filthy clothing, and disgusting couches. I cannot understand why someone leaves things that they don’t want at the store’s back door in abominable condition and think that someone else would want this nastiness. Since items are already loaded onto a truck to drag them this far, why not drive on to the landfill?

The dump also receives many of my items, too. As a county resident there is no charge and there are certain recycling areas such as for metal and aluminum cans. While I hate to throw other things away because so many are a long time in the biodegradable process, I am left with no alternative when I move into de-cluttering mode. Simplifying my life entails cluttering someone else’s or adding to a burgeoning garbage pile. Cleaning out and not refilling is the best choice I can make but it seems like even when I have rid myself of access junk, it sneaks back in when I am not looking.

Part of the problem is the size of my home. If I lived in a tiny house, I’d have less room for stockpiling miscellaneous items. In my town, however, home prices are outrageously high and to downsize would mean to return to mortgage payments. Now isn’t that silly? Instead I must analyze the contents of every nook and cranny and then just start hauling. A friend suggested buying several storage bins (you recognize immediately the struggle here with buying rubber tubs to get rid of stuff I don’t need, right?), placing questionable items that I might want in the future in them, and then sealing and stacking them in the storage room or the garage for one year. If I have not missed them after that time, I am to haul them away without peeking because a peek might lead to a removal of items that would then return to my muddle. I decided that while this is an excellent plan, I want to avoid buying junk to store junk to fill my house and garage.

Next week I plan to start my fall/winter reorganization simplification attack. I will unload every closet item, every stick of furniture, every cupboard ingredient, every bit of riffraff, and transport it to the hallway or kitchen counter. Then one by one I will sort and shift until the giveaway pile far exceeds the keep pile. I realize that this project may mean a week or two of absolute disaster in my home and will necessitate several runs to the thrift stores and dump, however I believe this will be the real solution to my own personal simplification project. It makes me antsy and excited with anticipation.

 

Family


Understanding Communication Within The Family

Posted on March 8, 2016 By

download (38)Lack of effective communication within the family is one of the major factors, which results in disharmony. When there is no communication gap among grown-up children, parents and grandparents, it will vindicate the supremacy of human being species. It is not easy to reach the objective, but it is a desirable goal for humanity. The spouses need to win over the ego clashes. These days old parents are practical and more realistic in their expectations from children.

Generation-gap or communication gap

1. We talk of generation gap between parents and children. It originates from variations in preference over: music, movies, socializing habits, spending style, and other priorities in life. Generation gap implies that the parents and grown-up children don’t share life effectively. It leads to communication gap between them. More often than not, there is a communication gap between spouses, which if left unattended, may lead to misunderstandings, resulting in disharmony in relationship.

Grand-parents, Parents, and children

2. There are generation gaps, among grandparents, parents and children. We may attribute the generation gap, to inflation. The grandparents could have a lavish outing or a get-together, in his younger days, at cheaper rates. They avoid outings with grandchildren, for two reasons: first, they think these are,” hell of a costly affair… We can do better with that sort of money at home,” and second, they feel uncomfortable and suffocated in crowded places.

Communication gap with the spouse

3. Whenever there is an ego clash, between spouses, first casualty is spontaneity in communication. There is a second reason too – economic disparity between spouses.

* A financially stronger spouse is often secretive with the other spouse – more so if greedy. This results in communication gap between spouses.

* There is inequality between the spending styles of spouses, which may embarrass the financially weaker partner, while socializing, over minor issues: purchasing gifts, giving tips, and planning outings.

Expectations and communication gap

4. An old person remembers his/her parents and siblings, gratefully, but all alone, because the spouse had limited association with them, and grown up children are busy in their careers and families. We marry, to win over loneliness. Invariably, loneliness is back in old age, as a self-inflicted state of mind. We refuse to: first, give up expectations from children, and second, to forgive the spouse to let bygones be bygones – because we are incapable of forgiving and forgetting.

* In old age, parents – even if financially self-reliant – want to share their life, their old memories, the grand parents, with the grown up children. The thought process is noble, but impractical as the grown up children are busy in their careers and families..

The solution

* We had intimacy, with some relations earlier, but now there is zero communication. Realize that the path of your destiny is different. Move on with life.

* Let’s learn from animals. They groom the cubs and once the cubs are self-sufficient, they are on their own, with no invisible chains of expectations attached as bondage.,

 

Family


Maintaining a Professional Relationship With Your Nanny

Posted on March 1, 2016 By

download (37)When hiring a nanny, employers are effectively allowing a stranger to have access to their most personal assets; the home and the family. Of course, this stranger is a qualified professional, who is trained to look after the children and possessions of others, but for those who have not hired a nanny before this can be an extremely daunting prospect.

However, thousands of people will confirm that employing a nanny is an incredibly valuable thing to do, especially for parents who are particularly busy on a day-to-day basis.

It is important to remember that a nanny can become like a member of the family, and while this may be desirable, it is still necessary to maintain a professional relationship during the employment.

Here are some tips for ensuring that the boundaries do not become too blurred.

Provide an informal dress code

For those who don’t already have a dress code in place, it can be beneficial to include one in the contract so that there are no disagreements further down the line. While it may seem appropriate for a nanny to wear comfortable clothing such as jeans and a t-shirt, it could be that this soon becomes denim shorts, or something that you deem unacceptable.

Refrain from inviting the nanny to social events

It’s understandable that a nanny will be present at children’s birthday parties, and possibly at family events where a child is in attendance. However, social events should be treated differently as they will no longer be on duty, and this may cause the lines between employer and friend to merge. Even those who employ a live-in nanny would be advised against including the employee in any social activities that take part in the home.

Treat the nanny as any other employer would their staff

Ultimately, employing a nanny for the home should be no different to employing a receptionist for an office, and both should be treated the same. All matters should be dealt with using respect and professionalism, while using the correct procedures. It is no more appropriate to give a nanny special treatment than singling out a particular co-worker in an office to receive extra benefits.

Bearing all of this in mind, it is still possible to have a positive and long-lasting relationship with a nanny, and one that can be mutually enjoyable for both parties. It is just worth ensuring that it is not forgotten that a nanny is an employee, and should be treated as one for the duration of the employment.

 

Family


Moving to Suburbia 6 Steps for a Smooth Transition

Posted on July 30, 2016 By

Our move out to the suburbs is a big change – the daily routine includes left turn arrows, sprawling parking lots, and winding streets that end in cul-de-sacs, just feet from the main road. Cursing myself for not using Waze to get to the grocery store, I wonder why the streets don’t go through, and which one does?! I may never get out of the maze.

The etiquette of living in the suburbs is quite different from in the city. Here are six tips to help you make a smooth transition:

1 – Don’t let your early rising children go outside and play at 7am. Though you may be sleep deprived, many people sleep until 9am on the weekends. They loathe neighbors who disturb their precious 10th hour of sleep. I learned the first morning my two-year old went outside to play with his popping mower. The toy makes a great loud noise, mimicking a real lawn mower. I could hear the swearing and windows slamming instantly. Welcome to the neighborhood!

2 – Beware of bored children. We have a neighbor whose kid used landscaping rocks as baseballs. He slugged them over the fence and into the street with his new bat, causing dents on cars and near misses of passer-byers before someone rang the bell and told his parents. I must confess, I didn’t want to be the neighbor who told on him, but it had to be done.

3 – Don’t park your car in front of your neighbors’ house. Suburbia means watching out for each other and also claiming your part of the street. Neighbors believe the street in front of their house belongs to them. If you are going to park there or have a party, you’d better leave a note or bring them some cake with an explanation. When my parents came to visit, a neighbor told me, “That’s where I park MY car, so don’t let your parents take my spot.” Also beware of parking across from their driveways. They aren’t used to looking for cars and can back right into your side doors. That’s a fun day.

4 – Don’t let your grill smoke waft into your neighbors’ open windows. If you are excited about your charcoal grill, be sure the wind is blowing toward your own house. I heard a neighbor angrily telling someone to turn off their BBQ, because the smoke was stinking up their house. Someone should warn the HOA; the houses are too close together.

5 – Know where your property line ends, and make sure you mow right up to it. A neighbor complained to me that the renter’s next door didn’t understand how to mow their lawn. They were a foot off the end of the property line, and she wasn’t about to mow the difference. She couldn’t wait to show them the mistake. So much for friendly neighbors.

6 – If you are renting, don’t tell anyone. Avoid the topic altogether. Homeowners treat renters as second-class citizens and argue at HOA meetings that renters should not be allowed at the neighborhood pool, the community movie nights, or the annual block party. It doesn’t make any sense. Keep it to yourself and soak in the benefits suburbia has to offer!

Ever wonder what it’s like to move from the city to the suburbs? Here are some helpful tips to ease your transition. Things to do and things to avoid doing, so you don’t irritate the new neighbors!

 

Family


Im So Not a Morning Person

Posted on July 21, 2016 By

It’s 9:15am and so far I have showered, put on my face, dressed, drove my daughter to camp, dropped my car off for service, walked to a neighbourhood greasy spoon for a real breakfast and am now sitting on the patio of the local Starbucks, enjoying my Chai tea latte. Life is good!

The reason for my opening paragraph… I’m so not a morning person, never have been! I’ve had to be up early over the last two weeks to drop my daughter to volunteer at camp and I’m pleasantly surprised about how good it feels to be outside in the cool morning sun! One day last week I had dropped my daughter off, gone for a workout, done grocery shopping, had breakfast, showered and dressed then taken my son to buy a birthday present for his sister and it was only 11:00am when we were done. All of my life I have been a night owl but over the last couple of years I’m really having trouble sleeping, usually not falling asleep till the wee hours of the morning. It’s reminding me of how sleep deprived I was for years when my kids were little. I remember that almost debilitating feeling of putting one foot in front of the other trying to stay on my feet. Then there was the task of driving and really having no recollection of how I got from point A to point B! That feeling of being asleep before your head even hit the pillow… hope I’m bringing back memories for some of you and reminding you of the fact that you survived, you did it and are here to tell the tale.

The fact that now most nights I have insomnia and the fact that I have actually been enjoying my last two weeks of mornings has me thinking that maybe it’s time to make that change. I do seem to have been more productive these last mornings. I go to the gym in the morning, walk my dogs in the morning when it’s cooler. I can water my grass and go grocery shopping as its way less busy, therefore takes less time. Then I can get my work done in the remaining hours before its time for dinner and my kids returning home. Any evening activities which they have seem to be ending by around 9:30pm. So by the time 10:30 or 11pm rolls around I’m pretty bagged… something which is a new feeling for me again. I seem to always have way too much energy, so I’m liking the fact that tiredness is hitting me at night… I have in fact slept pretty well the last few nights.

But alas! I now remember it’s not going to last! Hockey season starts September and ends in April and both kids play a ton of hockey. Now since they are adolescents their games are the late games, 10pm or later! Which means after I wait for them to dress and drive them home, it’s close to midnight if not later depending on how far we had to drive. So for the rest of the summer I will try to enjoy my mornings and my most productive days till my sense of reality slaps me on the face again. Not sure I want to be up bright and early on those frigid cold winter mornings anyway.

I am a Law of Attraction Life Coach and a Counselor
I have many years of experience working with children and parents in the Children’s Aid facilitating the PRIDE course. I have worked in a group home setting and school setting. My experience covers facilitating peer groups of school age children, a peer support group of pregnant teens. Many years of my experience has been working with special needs kids, with mild intellectual delays to many variations of the Autism spectrum. I am the proud, sole parent of 2 terrific teens.

I help disconnect families to reconnect by empowering and teaching parents and children better communication skills, positive parenting strategies and the importance of healthy lifestyle choices.

I WALK MY TALK, PREACH WHAT I PRACTICE AND AM INVESTED IN HELPING FAMILIES LIKE YOURS

 

Family


Words That Parents Love Hearing From You

Posted on July 1, 2016 By

Dad, Mom, Daddy, Mommy, Papa, Mama, Pa, Ma, Nay, Tay, Ina, Ama, etc… We’ve got different “names” to call our parents yet it’s a heartbeat for them every time we say it.

“Our parents deserve our honor and respect for giving us “life”. Beyond this, they always made countless sacrifices as they cared and nurtured us through our infancy and childhood. They also provided us with the necessities of life and nursed us through physical illnesses and the emotional stresses of growing up.” – Ezra Taft Benson

Let’s put ourselves in our parents’ shoes. It’s nice hearing the words “Thank you, Dad and Mom!” However, I think it’s more heartwarming if we thank them more specifically. For example, after their long and tiring day, they deserve this phrase instead, “Thanks for our flavorful dinner, Dad/Mom! The best cooking in the world!” It may sound scripted for some, but nevertheless, our parents really love communicating with us. Even with the smallest things.

This is my open letter for my parents and I am excited to acknowledge all the things that they’ve done for me.

Dear Dad and Mom, thank you for giving me the chance to live and see this wonderful world. Thank you because you fed, housed, and clothed me. I am beyond grateful to be part of our family.

Dear Dad and Mom, thank you for taking good care of me when I was younger. Your touch made me feel better whenever I feel sick (headache, stomachache, etc.) I believe in the saying that “The best medicine in the world is a mother’s hug.”

Dear Dad and Mom, hearing your voice makes me feel comfortable and everything seems safe. I can still remember your kisses that made me fall asleep when I was a baby.

Dear Dad, growing up I know that I’m getting hard-headed like every kid out there but you kept your calmness and didn’t hit us, not even once. You managed to discipline us without your hands, your stern voice makes a difference!

Dear Mom, your strictness gave me a headache! (not so kidding, LOL) In spite of that, you showed us that you are a tough mom even though I know you’re hurting at times.

Dear Dad and Mom, thank you for giving me a chance to study and finished college. We are not plentiful but both of you are generous enough to help other people.

Dear Dad and Mom, thank you because you didn’t spoil us. You provided the necessary things and didn’t fall for “crazy child tantrums”.

Dear Dad and Mom, thank you for protecting us always. Thank you for unfailingly being there when things go wrong. Thank you for comforting us knowing that you needed comfort as well.

Dear Dad and Mom, thank you for not giving up on us. Thank you for the sacrifices that you made. Our family has its flaws too, that being said, both of you kept strong and stayed together.

Dear Dad and Mom, I want to apologize for all the disappointments and pain that I’ve caused you. I am sorry if I didn’t become the daughter that you wished me to be. Yet, you still chose to love me unconditionally.

Dear Dad and Mom, I am sorry if I’m too shy to express how much “I love you”… Deep down in my heart, I love the both of you very much. Without the inspiration, drive and support you gave me, I might not be the person I am today.

“Love your parents. We are so busy growing up, we often forget they are also growing old.” At the end of the day, every word, facial expression, gesture, or action on our part gives them some message. Let’s realize what messages we are sending.

 

Family


Kindness Still Exists

Posted on June 23, 2016 By

We are so used to acts which are selfish and cruel we often neglect acts of kindness, why do you think that is? I have my own theories on this subject. Many selfish and cruel acts seem to be committed by high-profile people like legislators or stars so they make the news. Once in a blue moon a high-profile person will do something very kind, but the ratio of kindness to selfishness seems to be very small. One of the things I consider to be cruel you may not agree with, but I can’t help but feel this way when I hear our lawmakers claiming Social Security and Medicare have to be cut, because they costs too much money. Meanwhile billions and trillions are being thrown away on garbage weapons which don’t work or are inferior and the intense corruption which exists in congress. It is very easy for us to get jaded and forget about the good people out there like CEO Dan Price, the CEO of Gravity Payments who took 90% of his salary and used it to give raises to everyone in his company. It is not a big company, but 30 of his workers will double their salary and the other 40 will receive a significant pay raise. The CEO made $1,000,000 and cut it to $100,000. Price thinks he can get back to his previous profits in about three years. Minimum pay for an employee of this company is now $70,000.

Just about everyone has heard of Jonas Salk. He invented the Polio vaccine and is called the father of biophilosophy. What many people don’t know about him is the fact it is estimated he gave up about 7 billion dollars to make the polio vaccine available to the world. Dr. Salk decided he would not patent the vaccine. Can you imagine a drug company doing this today, deciding we need a certain drug so badly they would let anyone manufacture it for the good of the world? Polio has been considered one of the most frightening diseases of its time. Children were the most susceptible. Dr. Salk was a great human being. There were many people famous people who had polio, among them were Itzhak Perlman, Donald Sutherland, President Roosevelt, Arthur C. Clark and others.

You never know who might commit an act of kindness. Witness what a Nazi officer did in World War II. Albert Battel was a member of the Nazi party and an Oberleutnant in the German Army. There was a Jewish ghetto in Przemysl, Poland and Battel was informed an SS unit was coming and they were going to take the inhabitants to a concentration camp. Battel ordered the only bridge to the ghetto to be blocked and then ordered his men to open fire on the SS if they tried to cross the bridge. He and his men must have known this would not be received well by the SS and especially by Himmler who was the psycho who was the head of the SS. When the war was near the end, Himmler ordered the arrest of Battel, but died before he could execute him. When the war ended Battel, a lawyer, was forbidden from practicing law, because of his former membership in the Nazi party. Here is the amazing part of the story, his superior Major Max Liedtke agreed with him. Battel was only able to save about 100 Jewish families before the SS got into the ghetto. He had loaded them into German Army trucks and put them in his men’s barracks and they were guarded by the German Army and protected from the SS. It is still a mystery to me why Battel was allowed to remain in the army and Himmler was waiting for the end of the war to punish him.

A dry cleaning store put up a heart-warming sign, it said “if you are unemployed and need an outfit cleaned for an interview, we will clean it for free.” How incredibly thoughtful of the cleaners. Sometimes people want to help others but don’t know how to go about it. Clearly this business realized they had something to contribute. One Subway store also put up a sign which read, “Free meal for the homeless every Friday 3-5 PM.”

A house had been robbed and much of the stolen contents was scattered around a street. A homeless man saw it and gathered up all the contents while it was raining. He found something to indicate who owned it and returned it to its owners. Just because someone is homeless doesn’t mean they are not a nice person.

In Colombia, war has been raging for over 50 years between the government and right and left-wing groups. One group, FARC has employed child soldiers. Some of these soldiers have grown up. FARC has planted many land mines in Colombia and the former child soldiers regret what they had to do and now that they are adults, some have volunteered to find the mines and dig them up. This has prompted some members of the rebel group FARC to join in for the good of the country.

While most factories in Great Britain were hell holes in the late 1700s. The owner of the New Lanark cotton mill in Scotland, Robert Owen decided to make things better for his workers. He gave them free nursery care, educated the children, gave the workers subsidized housing which was clean and did away with paying workers in tokens only good in the company store. He did open a company store but it sold items for only a little over wholesale to his workers.

What do all these acts of kindness prove? In my view it shows there are a lot of good people in the world, but their actions are not recognized as often as those which are derisive. An example of this might be an act by former President Bush. When he appeared for a speech before a ground of wounded vets it seemed like a nice thing until we found out he was paid $100,000 to do it and these vets were wounded in wars which took place while Bush was in office. Many of the vets had lost limbs and the event was to raise money to help them. Not much milk of human kindness there. Laura Bush had been paid $50,000 to talk to the same group the year before.

We have to remember for every one of these crass acts there are many kind ones which go unheralded.

 

Family


Birthday Remembrance and Celebration

Posted on June 15, 2016 By

My mother would have turned 104 today. Born in 1911, she grew up during World War I, the influenza calamity, smallpox rage, the roaring ’20s, and the depression. I know each of these influenced her deeply. Her father died from a weakened heart due to the aftereffects of rheumatic fever. My grandmother, lovingly called Peggy, returned home to Salt Lake City with her little daughter to be closer to family. But after just a short time, she longed for Spokane and the home that my grandfather had built for them and so she bundled Mama and her few possessions and left. This, to me, was a very courageous decision as it was not accepted at that time for women to live alone or to raise a child without a spouse. To further break these rules, Peggy also went to work, something pretty unheard other than school marms and boarding house owners.

Peggy and my mom’s home was a darling Craftsman located on a quiet, tree-lined street. Peggy walked a few blocks to catch the trolley to her job as a milliner at the Crescent while neighbors tended to Mom. Mama loved the neighbors just as she loved her trips to visit Peggy at work. As a young child she was well guarded but she also had much independence. Riding the trolley at 6, walking to school blocks from home, and preparing dinner for Peggy’s return were just a few of these.

Peggy valued education and instilled this in my mom and so one January, after high school graduation held in the winter as well as the spring, Mama boarded the train for Washington State University, where she studied English and journalism. She enjoyed her time there and all of the special friends she made, including my dad. He changed her career to wife, Mom, and homemaker, a job that she fulfilled with excellence for many years. When I was born, the last of five daughters, Mama continued her home duties but with the motto, “An education is never wasted”, she decided to pursue a degree in library science and as I entered the third grade she entered the work force.

I remember being very angry with her about this choice. After all, a girl needs her mom at home when she arrives after school, right? Because it was her first job and because Mama was so dedicated, she spent long hours before and after school whipping her library into excellence. I may have pouted, to no avail, however, as she had found a rewarding job that also offered her the chance to become independent and increase her own sense of self-worth. I only understand this in retrospect. I can barely imagine going back to college and then starting my first job at 50, but it gave her pleasure and thus pleasure to me, as well, and she set a standard for chasing dreams regardless of age.

Mama was smart, clever, and very gentle. She had vast wisdom about so many topics, being well read and delving into many in-depth. She didn’t argue about most things because her knowledge and background superseded almost any other angle. She also knew how to keep five sibling daughters from tearing each other’s hair out and in line, a very arduous task at times. Once she returned to college, she immersed herself in more classes and activities, always gaining in understanding and outlook. And she was so gentle. I was the baby by eleven years and so my circumstances were different than those of my sisters as I was sort of an only child, but she never yelled at me, spanked me, swore at me or in my presence, and never even raised her voice. She led by her tender example and I have tried (rather unsuccessfully) to emulate this.

I realize that not every person has a wonderful Mom such as I had and that saddens me. A good Mom is such a strong foundation for being a good child and a future good Mom, Dad, and role model. All those little details add up to a phenomenal individual, and that was my dear Mama.

 

Family


A Boon or Bane to Humanity

Posted on June 11, 2016 By

Man is a social animal. To live peacefully in the society, he follows the rules and rituals of the society. Nobody likes a nail that sticks out, as it gets hammered down. The easiest path is 100% conformity, with social norms. We start smoking, and drinking as teenagers, when we see our friends enjoying their cigarettes and drinks. We try to conform. But is conformity to social norms a good practice?

1. Smoking. All teenagers want to act like adults. A typical adult in a society enjoys smoking. Thus when a teenager indulges in smoking, he/she acts as an adult. Unfortunately, it results in increased statistical data on cancer. The society gets revenue, but at a great risk to social health. Warnings in bold letters on cigarette packs are not adequate deterrents to humanity. We need new creative ideas to check the menace of smoking in society.

2. Drinking. We link drinking with affluence, power, and a strong personality. A teenager wants to act like an adult, and indulges in drinking, to conform with social norms.

* Doctors tell us: one small peg is good for health. But how many of us have self-control, to abide by it. It results in huge social cost to society – in terms of disturbed, and violent family life.

* French poet Baudelaire wrote: ‘Get drunk by all means. But get drunk in love, in your work, and in your prayers to God.’ It will be a life long experience, without any hang over; unlike liquor, which gives a kick for few hours followed by a hang over next morning.

3. Boy-friends/girl-friends. Every teenager yearns for a boy-friend or a girl-friend, and later indulges in live-in relationships, to conform to social norms.

* We scorn upon the traditional child marriages in developing countries, but we tolerate teenagers indulging in sex in developed countries. We make free contraceptives available in schools to prevent aids, and avoid ‘unwanted’ pregnancies. A teenager conforms to social norms – a path of least resistance, and covets a boy-friend/girl-friend.

* First marriage – which is a teenager’s marriage – in developed countries, invariably ends in divorce. Stability in married life commences later – second marriage onwards. There are celebrities, who have tried 8 times, in search of stability in married life. Hope always wins.

4. Live-in relationships. Traditional marriages are on way out. The spouses – partners in the new role – prefer live-in relationships to safe-guard their financial interests. Divorces cost a lot to the wealthier spouse. The trend is fast creeping in Oriental societies, as well. The success of live-in relationships implies, lack of trust between partners – who didn’t marry and thus aren’t spouses.

* Feminism was overdue in human society. It will ensure independent identity for all women in the world. It has empowered women as equals. But, humanity wasn’t ready for this. Thus feminism has resulted in peaking of divorce rates, and broken homes, which has negative impact on children psyche, and traditional family strength in the society. We need proactive, creative, and educative media to help humanity – to have harmony between spouses along with feminism.

5. Religious rituals. Religions demand greatest conformity. Devotees of all religions sing from their holy scriptures or just sing in praise of God. Will God appreciate the devotees who sing in His honor, but don’t follow Godly principles?

* There is more emphasis on corporate marketing management to increase the number of devotees in a religion, than on qualitative improvement in behavior of existing devotees.

* We have deeply religious ISIS devotees, who will kill other religions’ devotees, to instil fear among them, and force them to follow Sunni sect of Muslim religion. God or Allah does not support violence. Unfortunately, devotees of religions know the rituals and beliefs of their religion, but their daily behavior is nowhere near Godly behavior, as ordained in their holy books.

 

Family


Our Family Unit The House That Flora Built

Posted on June 7, 2016 By

Wealth comes in many forms. Some people gauge wealth as having money or expensive homes, cars, toys, or the like. And for many, including myself, wealth is about family. For me, having a loving, supportive family unit is perhaps the truest of life’s invaluable treasures.

Why do I consider our family unit to be such a treasure? Let me illustrate with an image most everyone can relate to: a house. Consider for a moment what a house means to you. It’s a home, a place where you can be supported and surrounded by what makes your life meaningful. It’s your section of the world where you feel the most safe, where you can be the most “you,” and where you are most welcomed.

Our “house” starts with the foundation of faith. It is the base onto which the house will be built upon. With our “house,” Mama was the architect and builder of the structure. The walls, roof, and beams are our family members, attached and strengthened with our support, love, history, warmth, and joy. Daddy, who had been the provider and protector of the family, built a fence around our “house” in order to keep us safe.

The “walls, roof, and beams” included Mama, Daddy, six brothers and sisters, and me. Mama had set the examples and goals for our everyday living. We’d had a certain code to live by. Family came first and our values mattered. We were taught to love, accept, and support each other and to be there for one another in the good times and the bad.

Mama’s architectural design for our “house” had stemmed from her own experiences growing up in her family. Her parents had struggled during difficult social times including the Depression and World War I. And she, her parents, and her sisters had to endure wartime issues of their own with her brothers being sent overseas during WWII. It had brought their family unit even closer together as they prayed many times a day for the sons’ safe return.

Thankfully, Mama’s brothers had come home and the family unit was again, whole. So from this example and many others, Mama had become a master contractor of the family unit. Even today, though Mama and Daddy are watching us all from above, we are a tight family. We each have constructed our own “houses” and crafted our own families though we are still the beams and support system for each other. It is the constant that hasn’t changed over the years.

It has never much mattered the actual size of our actual homes, the amount we had in the bank, or things like that. Our family’s success has come in the form of loyalty, abundant love and support. Sometimes, help came in the form of money. But sometimes, it came in just being there, listening, coming over and putting a supportive arm over a wounded shoulder.

Families come in all shapes, sizes, and variances. Though any family can be constructed, one brick, one board, one wall at a time. And in that family unit, its members will find greater wealth than anyone could conceive of.

 

Family


How to Correctly Lay a Dining Table

Posted on June 4, 2016 By

As a member of private household staff, it’s important that you are seen as not only educated to a certain level but also knowledgeable of standards which should always be maintained. Although it may not seem particularly important, understanding how to correctly lay a table will certainly impress your employer and show them that you are intelligent in your role. Laying a table properly is also important because it helps the diners have the easiest experience while eating, and therefore it’s important to get right. As a helping hand, here’s our guide on just how this simple art is achieved.

Working from the outside in

To start with you need to work out how many courses diners will be enjoying at the table, picking up a fork and knife or spoon for each. The forks should always go on the left hand side of the place setting with the knives and spoons on the right hand side. They should be placed in the order of usage, with the cutlery for the first course being on the outside and working in until the last course. Also, forks should always be placed with the prongs sticking up and the knives should lay with the blade facing inwards.

The only difference to the rule are dessert forks and spoons. If required, these are placed above the place setting with the fork pointing to the right and the spoon facing in the other direction.

In the case of a buffet rather than a formal meal, both knives and forks should be wrapped in a napkin and placed near the plates so guests can take them before moving on to food

China and Glasses

As the plates will sit in between the cutlery, the last aspect to consider is the china, wine glasses and napkins. Here’s exactly how you do it.

China

– You should always lay side plates to the left of the place setting.

– If food is to be eaten with fingers, you should provide finger bowls of warm water with a slice of lemon.

Napkins

– If the napkin is a simple half fold it should be placed either on the side plate on the left or to one side of the glasses to the right.

– If the napkin has a complicated fold then it should be placed in the middle.

Wine

– The wine glass should be placed just above the meat knife.

If you are providing more than one wine, use a corresponding number of glasses.

 

Family


Five Financial Tips for Stay-At-Home Parents

Posted on May 30, 2016 By

Putting your career on hold to be a stay-at-home parent can be rewarding, but this decision may come with significant lifestyle and financial changes. It’s important to review your family’s spending patterns and to set goals when transitioning from two household incomes to one. Here are five tips for parents undergoing this change:

1. Estimate your timeframe. Look into the future to decide if this change might be permanent and create your financial plans accordingly. If you plan to go back to work, establish the amount of time you expect to be at home and ensure that you’re still able to maintain your financial goals during this period. If there is a gap, you may want to explore other employment options like working part-time or contracting work. It’s also a good idea to stay in contact with your professional network in case you do decide – or need – to go back to work.

2. Make sure you’re insured. Examine your spouse’s insurance benefits and make sure that you and your children are still adequately covered in the absence of your benefits. If possible, plan to have life and long term care coverage for yourself and disability insurance for your spouse in the event that something would happen to either of you and you’re no longer able to work or care for your children.

3. Understand your value. A single-income family doesn’t mean that only one spouse is contributing financially. As a stay-at-home parent, you save your family many costs associated with working-parent households like daycare, cleaning services and other expensive convenience products and services. You may even find that in your new role you have more time to devote to money-saving activities like comparison shopping and cooking rather than dining out.

4. Keep your goals on track. Your household budget may need to be adjusted with your decision to become a single-income family, but don’t neglect your long-term goals. Consider working with a financial advisor who can help plan a family budget, prepare for the retirement of both spouses and to set realistic financial goals based on one household income.

5. Communicate with your spouse. It’s important to communicate your plans, desires and financial concerns with your spouse. Together, acknowledge the benefits and challenges that will accompany the decision to become a stay-at-home parent. Make sure you are aware of any possible career or salary changes that may arise in the near future for your spouse before you commit to staying at home.

 

Family