Family

The Year of the Rooster

The Chinese Zodiac has always fascinated me!  This year is the Year of the Rooster or referred to as the Cock or Chicken and 2017 is its year.  It is the only bird included in the Chinese Zodiac.

How does this apply to you?  Well each of us has one of these animals for themselves depending on the year and month of birth.   It can be one of 12 animals; each has a fortune with it.  These include the year of the Monkey, Rat, Dog, Tiger, Horse, Pig, Snake, Goat, Ox, Rabbit, or Dragon.

Since these animals rotate every 12 years and they hold a fortune for that year.   The last time the Rooster showed up, I was in Singapore and it was featured everywhere.  I have a liking for Roosters because of our last name which is a derivative of Gallo which translates to Rooster.   My father-in-law had a metal one on his mailbox that was very colorful.   It is still in our garage.   In our kitchen-therapy room here in the office; it is filled with statues and a wall paper trim to match.

Forever Postage Stamps for the Year 2017

 

So have fun today and check out your animal and your fortune.  

Check out the Year of the Rooster 2017:  Find your luck, romance, personality or other traits at this site and put in your year for the information.

www.chinahighlights.com/travelguide/chinese-zodiac/rooster.htm

“Delight in Living”

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Who Has the Shoes?

Well, there is something very unique that goes on in homes where large families reside.   Silliness, chaos, and ongoing catastrophes.   The neat thing is that most of them become humorous if you let them.  Things seem to work out with a touch of humor.  So this morning I was privy to a family story that includes a mom, dad, and 7 children ranging from 24 years down to 13 months.  I think it is really pretty funny and had to share it!

The wife works nights and had a chance to sleep, since she had the night off.   The sweet thought of have a few extra winks was quite the gift.  The husband was “walking around like a nut case” (I am quoting the wife here). Apparently Dad couldn’t find his shoes.  “Like how do your shoes just disappear? It’s 5:20 am. He’s turning on all the lights throughout the house in a mad search for his shoes.”

In the process, he wakes up the 1 year old baby that mom needs to have asleep!   He woke up his wife who was not so happy  to be startled awake on her one free evening .  She is usually very easy going, but is now annoyed as the search for shoes begins.

So let’s recap here.   We have an annoyed daddy in a panic over losing his shoes, a 1 year old baby boy  who is unhappy, and a mommy who is trying to sneak in her 5-6 hour sleep time for the day.  Not the finest hour of the day.   The rest of the family is still asleep including the 16 and 14 year old boys, and the 6 year old little girl. 

Now the Dad begins to  surmise that the only logical explanation is that 14 year old was too lazy to get his own shoes on and wore them 😑🙄 Of course, how can that be?  The kid is still asleep, but mom goes into his room to check out the theory and starts looking like a crazy lady in search of Dad’s shoes.  It doesn’t play out. She already knew that was not the case. Now of course, this child is up and asking his mother, “what are you doing!”  She tells him she thought she lost something in there and proceeds on her search.

Now the annoyed daddy leaves with different shoes on his feet. Of course,  Mom is wide awake and still looking.   As she puts it,  she was “searching like a lunatic!”  Still no shoes. 

So now the sweet innocent 6 year old wakes up.  Mom figures it’s worth a try to ask her, but probably won’t get far.  Hey “honey” (actually was using the child’s name, but we will protect this identity) – have you seen daddy’s shoes?

6 year old responds: “yes!”

Mom then asks, “Um….. you have? Where?”

6 year old responds: “I hid them in the Kohl’s bag that you had in the dining room….. “

Mom, “Why???”

6 year old: “I don’t know- just……”

“She said it so calmly!”  Mom is now laughing so hard and runs to check out the bag. Yup, there they are as she stated.  Along with the original contents of the bag.

They should have checked in with the 6 year old who is always the “family informant!”  But, hold on, the scenario has one more punch.  Mom is going to get back at Dad for waking her up.

She calls Dad to tell him “yes, it was the 14 year old who had them!”   He said “I knew it!”   Turns out dad has to eat crow now and fesses up for judging the wrong suspect.  

No blog ends without the questions.   When have you lost something and found it is an unusual place?  (Just found an earring on the shelf of our freezer door, go figure).  When have you had a family episode that turned out funny?   When have you had to put your shoes under lock and key?  (he, he!)

Music Makes a Difference

Music has the ability to take us away from our problems for sure.   It is equally as helpful in passing the time when one is running or exercising.  It can be equally annoying when one has to sit on the other end of some prerecorded “waiting time” piece of music on the phone.  It is usually not our choice of music.

No doubt you have a favorite form of music.  Can you name it?   Do you have several?   When do you listen to it?  Why and how did you come to enjoy it?  Is music therapeutic for you?

Are you a musician and if so what do you play?   I had a college friend who’s whole family had musical talent.  I recall being their one afternoon as they were jiving.  One would be playing the trumpet and suddenly switch to another instrument.   They were all very versatile and so relaxed!  Their music was therapeutic and fun.

They played for weddings, for their churches, and just to unwind as a family.  They still do enjoy music with the next generation.   I think the love came from their parents.   The dad was among the players.  I don’t recall the mom’s talents, but she was always smiling and very hospitable as well.

Now sometimes music is annoying.   This is important to address, because we want it to be of comfort.  I do know that when I need to really concentrate there are only select things I can listen to.   If you check out “focus music” on the internet you will find there are musical pieces just for this purpose!

So the reason I am blogging on this topic is due to a video clip I viewed on Facebook this past week.  It was of a therapist walking with a man who had Parkinson’s.   He was working so hard trying to move and push his walker along.   When music came on he suddenly picked up the tempo and began moving with ease at a normal pace.   Ease to the point that he began to move without the walker and actually danced with the therapist.   What joy!

Well my husband also has gait issues resulting from a partial paralysis some 27 years ago.  Although he regained movement, it is stilted and difficult for his to move smoothly.  In spite of that, he danced with me and my daughter-in-law at her wedding.   She reached out to him and it was magical.  He was able to dance comfortably.

Small joys like this in life bring on great memories forever.   Turn on the radio, put on a CD or just begin playing your favorite instrument to enjoy!  Let the tunes lift your spirits like the mini miracles in life.

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Loving Our Pets

I have friend who is so good to animals.   He volunteers his time in helping at a rescue site each week and trying to help the less fortunate animals.  He buys them collars, brings them needed supplies, and provides TCL for the dogs there.

In listening to him, it dawned on me how lucky we are as people to be able to make our own decisions.  We can choose our own doctors, and decide when and if we’ll go to see them.   Dogs if lucky are taken to a vet that they may or may not like.  They have no choice in the matter.

We have a choice to the food we’ll prepare and eat.  Dogs get whatever you feed them; good or bad.   They may get scraps or a regimented diet.  They get water in bowls that are either washed frequently or just constantly refilled.  They need to rely on others for their needs.

We are lucky in many ways.  As children, our parents care for us and see to it that we are educated, medicated, and socialized.   When we become elderly, we are once again at the mercy of someone else to do these things for us.  That includes providing food for us, taking us to the doctor, helping us to make decisions, and waiting for others to find time to help us.  It becomes a task to change a light bulb or carry things when you are older and we revert.  Life is definitely a cycle.

Personally I find being independent such a great gift, don’t you?  We get to make our own schedules and follow our own directions.   We are also very much aware that we pay the consequences of not following through with important things as well.   Being responsible is so important.

So this blog is a call to action.   If you are among the healthy and capable people, be kind and thoughtful to those around you.   There may be a time when you will be on the receiving end.  Be grateful for all that you are able to control; many things are not in our control. Let the Mini Miracles in your life rain down upon you.

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Welcome to Mrs. Santa Claus

Welcome to Mini Miracles from Minor Moments where suddenly your daily events begin to overflow with great joy. This is a podcast of hope and gratitude. Thank for joining us.file-dec-07-1-42-13-pm

This past weekend our Local Crystal Lake Kiwanis hosted its 4th Annual Santa Run — a 5 K for runners along with a 1 mile walk for families and their pets. We have had wonderful weather every year including the first year of 70 degrees. This Sunday as the run started, so did the snow. The run turned out well with lots of happy people in Santa Suits –
and the lovely white flakes added to the ambiance. The proceeds benefit the Girls on the Run, Casa, Turning Point, Main Stay, and Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Kiwanis also gives its share away to benefit the needs of children’s programs through out the year. I’d like to thank all those who participated either in the run, or helping to make the event so much fun.

For me, this 1st Sunday in December has become the kick-off for the Christmas Holiday Season. It makes the Season of Advent come alive. It is so good to see the families coming together in preparation of Christmas.

Today I have a very special and fun guest.  Welcome Mrs. Claus, you have to be very busy this season. Well probably all through the year, but especially now with the Holiday Season.

Check Out Deep Cut Gardens@daylilybloomfest on Facebook.   They have the most beautiful and healthy flowers!

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Smiles Do Go for Miles …

Smiles light us up and make life so much better.   It is a state of mind that helps us make the best of any situation.  I had once worked with a man named Wayne.  He always had a smile on his face even when things were tough, he seemed to be thankful and content.  Happiness allows us to be grateful for the things we have been given, and gives us a way to show appreciation.   file-oct-15-9-57-34-am

Smiling babies and happy people make friends.   They are usually comfortable with themselves and want to help others. A smile is a curve that sets everything straight. ~Phyllis Diller

I love looking at pictures of people smiling.  My dad always had a happy-go-lucky smile on his face and I keep a picture of him under the glass on my dresser.   Smiling pumpkins during this season remind me of  my childhood.  Just try for a few weeks to smile, as often as, you can.

Share the things that bring you joy.  Having been with my youngest granddaughter this past weekend was fun.   She was so eager as only a two year can be to show me her toys.   At one point she brought me an entertaining twirling pig.  I put a teacup on its ear and we both started to laugh.   She knew it didn’t belong there, but the toy kept dancing.

Family times are where some of the best memories tend to be so I need to get back to picture taking.   Which reminds me of the strips of pictures from picture booths.   I have a few of those under the glass on my dresser as well.  They were the only source of pics in the shopping malls years back before the cell phones took over our lives.   I bet you may have a few of those or even old faded Polaroids.   (Now there are new ones hitting the market again.)

Psychologically we all feel better smiling, so have a great weekend and break out a grin!   Delight in Living and watch the Mini Miracles unfold.

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Private

What does private mean to most people?  Does it mean something is truly private financially?  Does it mean a person is reserved and not communicative?   Or does it simply mean they prefer to stay to themselves? Does it mean this is their title in the armed services?

I have this label on one of the doors of my office.   It is meant that I don’t conduct business in this room.  It is reserved for working on files, talking on the phone, and doing computer work.  There are also areas for people to engage in conversation so this is only a small part of the office that I reserve.file-oct-04-2-41-04-pm

On social networking often people will keep their sites for a select few and make it by membership only.   Sometimes there are private country clubs or associations that are for members of a specific industry.  We all belong to families and some are more open than others.   Big families tend to be that way.  They are as a group more private and have their own code of honor.

I was raised by parents who were private people.   They taught us not to be nosy about our neighbors.  We were taught not to discuss religion, politics, or the amount we made.  In affect, they were teaching us social skills about knowing our boundaries with others.  We were taught to knock at the door and to step away when someone was on the phone. I still do believe we need stay out of other peoples business unless we are to be of service.

Today people freely discuss many things.   They talk religion and often try to persuade you of their religion.  They dump their political views on one another even when one doesn’t want to know what they think.  They intrude into our business and often are just busy being nosy.

Now that so many people use their cell phones as their only phone, it is more difficult to stay confidential.  Some of these habits are really out of control.   Today people take calls here, there, and everywhere.  They don’t seem to care who hears them.  One day while I was on a train going downtown Chicago, I learned too much about one of the passengers, who went on and on while she was on the  phone.  After awhile I could see she was annoying everyone around her.  I felt she was being too public, as well as, rude.

It is good; however, to be inquisitive.  It is when we ask questions that we become clearer about our own needs and values.  We tell children to ask questions so they can learn.   I have thought about this a lot with the many dangers in the world at large.   We do need to be vigilant and aware of happenings around us.   What was safe years ago isn’t the case in this day and age.

So as a mother and grandmother, I think we have a duty to teach our children boundaries that will keep them safe.   Do you agree?  Think about how to implement these safeguards.  Are you setting a good example or acting like the lady on the train? Are there neighborhood watches around you? Is school involvement a way to be on top of things in your own area?

Hope this helps keep you and your loved ones safe and still able to “Delight in Living!”  Have a great week!  Feel free to sign up on our site for future PDF’s and helpful hints.

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Life is . . .

Life is a series  of adventures; some are monumental moments like graduation and others are simply small daily joys.  I couldn’t help, but watch a family that was a few pews ahead of me today.   The grandfather was beside two grown daughters and their children which ranged from a baby to teenagers.  Grandpa proudly introduced himself and was attentive to the whole group.   The daughters were preoccupied with tending to the littler children.

This small child is being entertained by an old cat.file-sep-17-3-47-22-pm  Children and animals are intrigued with one another.  Why is it we lose our joys in the small things as we grow up?  Do we get so immersed in the larger problems that we lose sight of the important things in life?  And why is that?

As kids we love cartoons, deal with the mosquito bites, and sleep so soundly.   We enjoy our friends and go with the flow at home.  We don’t get overwhelmed with trying to do so many things well, that we lose enjoyment in a few things.

As we get older, we don’t make time to watch cartoons (unless we have small children to sit with) or time to color.  That is one of the reasons, the new craze of coloring has taken off.  It gives us permission to sit and unwind.  Cartoons, playing hopscotch, and running after lightning bugs used to be fun and kept our metabolisms burning naturally.   We rode our bikes around after dinner and talked to the neighbors on the front porch.  We knew one another.

I have decided that I will consciously rejoice in the successes of everyone around me.  I mean to go out of my way to endorse those on Facebook, Congratulate those at church and the community for their achievements.  Although in my head I am happy for others, it takes only an extra few minutes to call someone or acknowledge their joys.  file-sep-17-3-48-36-pm

This week I intentionally stopped at a neighbors as I saw her sweeping her driveway.   It is the 2nd time this year that I have seen her outside and it is the end of September.   People just don’t hang out in our area like they once did.   I am going to connect more!!!  At one time, we saw each other daily as our small children engaged in playing.   Now we grown children we seldom connect.  What a shame!   How are you doing in this area?   Are your kids still young?  Are you finding you do or don’t connect?

Today I met one of the new Deacons at our church.   I saw that all the hard work he and his wife had put into his studying and time learning was now very exciting as he was ordained to serve the community.  He was truly excited and humbled by the new position.   It would have been easy to walk around him after the service and say nothing, but I thought about all the effort that had gone into this decision and education.   He is also setting the bar high for all the young people by his example.

All achievements whether it is raising children, playing with the family, working at a job, or cutting the grass add up to a life of happiness and fulfillment.   Life is ongoing and sets the way for the next generation.   Taking joy in our health and the many blessings that come our way is the most important thing we can do.

IF YOU HAVE TIME, PLEASE CHECK OUT  –Scottish Saints and Sea Horses! on U-Tube with Fr Roderick, he makes the mini moments alive and so worthwhile with his travels.

Enjoy your week, your families, pets, and neighbors.  Take time to Delight in Living!

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What’s on the Menu?

Have you ever tried to make out menus for your family?   One of the biggest joys for me is to go into a restaurant and read their menu.  It tells you a lot about the place you are eating.  Is it a single, small ice cream parlor with specialties that makes you feel special? Is it known for a hometown favorite?  Is it a franchise where everything is the same no matter where you go?file-sep-21-6-04-25-pm

Menus tell us the cuisine.  It may be all French food or strictly Italian. It may be Asian food or All American.  At home, our tastes may be varied.  I know in our home we were “the International home of foods!”  My husband being Italian had his favorites that I still make today.  There were the Mediterranean dishes of pasta with vegetables, garlic, and olive oil.  There were the Spinach patties and other family dishes that I make.

My grandparents were European and so I also learned how to cook those dishes from Prague and Austria. My husband loved Julia Child and would make Vichyssoise and Lamb dishes.   We began to add in Mexican dishes of Pollo and Tacos.  As the kids grew our family tried new things.   We’d go out to restaurants and encourage them to taste new foods; there were Frog legs and Venison.

Shifting our menus makes us appreciate having food.  It helps us recognize how lucky we are to be able to go into a store for groceries and buy whatever we want.   It is easy to take for granted our freezers and the many opportunities to eat well.

We all have our local food pantries that are needed, because so many people are without jobs and incomes.  Young people have come out of school with loans that lurk overhead.

So what is on your menu today?   Whatever it is, feel blessed and thankful.  Have a beautiful day and savor the many flavors and opportunities to eat.

By the way, we are having a Mini Miracles Cafe start this Fall on Friday nights.  It isn’t a menu for foods, but for the “mind”.   Won’t you consider joining us?  It will be great fun!

There Are Lots of Firsts

Baby’s of course, have many firsts.   It is wonderful for the child and brings happy memories for the family. Here this baby had his first ride on a train.   I am sure he won’t remember it, but the advent of the phone with a camera made it possible for the family to document so many firsts.

We go through life experiencing our first days at Preschool, Kindergarten, and each year when school starts.   We encounter new teachers, new lessons, and new expectations placed on us.   Do you recall the firsts of your school days?  It is good to focus on the positive times!File Sep 05, 7 35 29 PM

Firsts include the time we get on an airplane or travel to far away places. My grandmother was thrilled back in the 50’s to travel to Florida via an airplane.   She loved to travel this way.   It was a first for her.   She had come from Czechoslovakia by boat to Ellis Island at the age of 3 in 1885.  She remembered being so hungry and trying to catch a loaf of bread being tossed over the railing.   A sailor caught her by the ankle from falling overboard; all in lust of  the moldy food.   It is odd the things we remember.  But those were certainly firsts!   Do you have grandparents or family members that share their special times?  I think we need to savor those happy times.

Some firsts we would rather have not experienced.   Flunking a test, going into a hospital, or financial woos.  The first time our country felt the pain of being attacked on 9/11.  Channel 11 aired the Special, September 6th called 9/11 Inside The Pentagon.  It revealed how survivors and the first responder’s  reacted.  It helped us remember all the brave people who tried to help, as well as, all the sadness that day.   September 11, 2001 was a first we didn’t ever want to see or witness.  We didn’t want to see the pain or loss of so many people in separate, but unified attacks that day.  That day is haunting to so many families.   I still recall watching it all unfold on television.  My love, prayers, and best goes out to everyone affected that day.  That is everyone, because it affected us and how we react today!

There was a famous movie in 2012 called The First Time.  It was a romantic teen comedy film written and directed by Jon Kasdan.  In 1957,  a folk song with the lyrics “the 1st time ever I saw your face”  was made popular.   Many famous people sang it.

My father talked about the first time he drove a car back in the 1920’s.  Those of us who hop into our cars and get around easily can’t imagine how difficult it was to get around years ago.  People either took public transportation, walked, or rode their bicycles. People needed to carry shopping bags or pull carts to carry groceries.  My first car was an old Pontiac that got me back and forth to  the train station, but my first new car was an Oldsmobile Cutlass S.   I loved that car!

Many firsts provide good memories.   The first time we dressed up for Halloween or the First Christmas we remember St. Nicholas coming to our home.   May you have some really good 1st’s this week.

Well the next blog is a Podcast.  I try to get them up each week.  A simple message of hope and a tidbit to us thinking.    Enjoy the Mini Miracles raining down on you today.

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