Family

Is That A Calculated Risk?

Hi Hope your week has gone well.  This is Linda Gullo and I am delighted to be with you.   Welcome to Mini Miracles from Minor Moments where a few tiny changes can escalate in your life and create monumental JOYS.  Our small daily habits can add up to make our vibrant and alive.

Mini Miracles from Minor Moments is designed to help you find an insight about yourself.  My plan is to help you like yourself and love life.   Engaging in life and learning what works for you is the first step.  You don’t have to duplicate anyone else’s life or do things in a way that doesn’t fit.

How are you doing as we wind down the month of April and move into May?  Are you on task with your goals for the year?   Do you have them written down?  If you are like me, they are always changing and taking on a new look.  But that is fine as long as we have a plan in place to get things accomplished.

This is Podcast # 51 on Risk Taking.  On the Web page with this Podcast,  there is a picture of a bridge.   Many people are cautious about walking over a bridge, but if it is built well, it is a safe way to get from on side to another.  Constructions are made to be safe. Well I have a few stories for you to enjoy that bring up the topic of CALCULATED RISKS.  The first one is a rather funny one about teenage boys.  The following are about a Business options.

I recently heard a funny story about a young man soon to be 17 years old.  He was staying with his father and a group of soccer friends for a few days in St. Louis for a tournament.   It was a nice break for this Illinois lad.  This was a special group not affiliated with any school activities.

The fellas decided to meet up in the Lobby during a break one evening.  Meantime the dad took a moment to relax and unwind.  With a few minutes to just breath it would be nice.

Well, you know how it is with some teenage boys, they like to be funny,  and so his friends “dared” him to streak through the lobby in just his undies.  Did he do it?   Was the challenge daring enough?  Why, yes, of course the lad took on the dare and ran across the Lobby in his undies.  We must remember that he is a silly 16 year old.   And yes he got caught.  He was escorted up to the room by a hotel staff member in his undies.   You see, his fellow soccer comrades did the obvious.   They hid his clothes!  Why wouldn’t they?

You can imagine the Dad’s face when he responded to the knock at the door.

We all have taken calculated risks in our lifetime.  Think about the ones you have made and what resulted.

I know  a fellow who in his Mid 20’s was working as a Marketing Representative for a large well known Oil Company.   He learned the in’s and out’s of the Gas Station Business and understood the risks involved.   He also had a steady salary, an allowance for traveling expenses and entertaining clients.  His insurance was covered and many other perks large companies can provide.

In a quest though for bigger and better, he opted out of the position and bought into a Franchise from the company.  It was not one the company really liked to see happen.  Company representatives knew so much and had been trained in a special Master’s program.   They hated to see their time and training go to waste.   You can tell me at the end of the story though if their training was really lost.

After all it was a new station and in a “prime” location.  Did he do it?   What did everyone around him think?  Well his family was supportive enough, they wanted him to do what would make him happy.  And so he opted in to the idea.

He became the owner of a 24-hour Service Station on the North Side of Chicago.   It sounded good and he was young and able bodied.  Savings were poured into the business.   At first, the job gave him an adrenaline high while he tested, interviewed and hired people to pump gas and repair cars.   There was ordering to be done for parts, tools to be bought and inventoried, lockers to be set up, vending machines to rent, bookkeeping protocol, and proper identification that The Company insisted upon for all its franchises.   There was to be a Grand Opening with Promotional items that needed to be moved in and counted.

The lines at the gas pumps were full all the time. And the flow of traffic on a busy corner kept everyone hopping.  That was when gas was put in the tank for you and oil levels were checked.

His wife would come in after a full day of teaching school and help with the books.   The bank was set up to work with an armored company to pick up the cash and checks.   Credit card systems were set in place.   It was all consuming and a great deal of work.   Add in the time to clean the restrooms, the bay areas where the cars were worked on, and the endless deliveries of give away promotional articles kept him pretty busy.   So busy in fact that he began to eat poorly.   Although there was activity is was a lot of standing and working.

Then the miseries and mishaps started.   The station owner was held up by gun point one night.  A gun was put to his head. It was a traumatic and difficult issue.  Thank goodness no one was harmed and knowing a police detective in the area helped relieve some anxiety.  But there were police reports to file and concerns about future endangerment.   Maintenance was ongoing and took time.

Tools began disappearing and monitoring the equipment became a never ending job.   There was mentoring to be done and workers to watch. The 45 minute trip home often didn’t happen.  He’d end up sleeping in the car and not shaving.   Things were very trying, because the station was open on the Holiday’s as well.  One year his mother-in-law brought Easter Dinner so the family could still celebrate together.  It made it very hard to be with the family, yet alone his new bride of less than a year.   Money was coming in, but only after all the expenses were cleared and accounted for regularly.

And then one night when he had just gone home to his apartment to relax and sleep, the phone rang.   Someone had run over a pump.  It was mandatory  for him to return and take care of a potential fuel danger.  He had to report the incident for insurance coverage and cover all the bases.  Being the primary source of expertise made it hard for the business to succeed.

Oddly enough the owner was always running out of gas.  In the buzz of business and constantly running to pick up parts or keep things in place, he’d forget to put fuel in his own car.  It became a joke, as his wife was always meeting him somewhere to help him by bringing a gallon or two of gas.  Youth and being easier going was thankfully on their side.

This was a example of calculated risk of taking on a new business at the expense of relationships.   I have to tell you the relationships won out and the Franchise was not happy when the station closed down.   The officials from the company even said, “you can’t do that!”

What they forgot was that the X-Rep of their’s was trained too well and knew the loopholes.   Furnishings and  equipment was picked up immediately by a large truck and put into a building his family owned.  He dissolved the business and moved out within 24 hours of the decision.   Accounts were cancelled, vending machines with cigarettes, sodas, and snacks were picked up. Unfortunately, part time jobs were lost and the couple exhausted most of their savings.     It was an intentional move that was a good good decision.

Thankfully, another job was waiting.  After a short vacation, the couple returned to start again.   Income was assured as the young man returned to a family business that he had been trained in all his life.  To look back at this now many many years later, it was a risk with options set up along the way.   Thank goodness.

Many adults in business take calculated risks all the time.  They venture out with limited funds and try new things.  They don’t always have backup plans. Others invest in stocks that go bust or they try selling new products that soar with great profit.

Sometimes we learn from the mistakes; these become lessons no one could possibly teach us.   In many cases, life is a risk.   It may be for personal decisions, as well as, business.  

One drops out of school only to realize the mistake and has to begin again.   People return in a better state of mind and begin again not only to advance but to shine on the second or third time around.  It reminds all of us that we need to be encouraging and helpful to one another.

Medically medications and treatments for disease may be a gamble that pays off in many more years of life and the joys of living.  But then how much of what we do has guarantees.

Years ago, I embarked on a series of radio ads that were costly.   They did not pay off.   Although I did make a few good friends at the time and learned about an area of marketing I did not know about, I ended up with a theme song.   The return of the investment did not really pay off.   I guess it has helped me understand recordings that I now apply to Podcasting.

Gambling on the odds of something working out well is necessary or we’d make no advancements.  For even mistakes provide clarity and insight to help us in the future.

One of the shows we tend to watch on Sunday nights is the Funniest Home Videos.  The videos are funny, because things just happen when they aren’t expected.  They are so spontaneous.   Sometimes the pranks look they are set ups and I wonder how many people suffer serious injuries.  People don’t always think about the what if’s and that is the bottom line of thinking things through fully and completely.  Being dared to do something can be in fact foolish and have long lasting results in addition to feeling embarrassed!

Well as this week winds down, I hope it has been a good one for you.   If not, there are new tomorrows and opportunities for growth and advancement.   Take the small steps to put you on the escalator of success.   Peace for the week and I will see you next week!

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Learning from the Best!

What brings life and joy into your life?   Is it the fresh air of the morning, the smell of fresh flowers, the sound of a train in the distance, or the laughter of small children?   What memories do you want to create or have you created that give you a boost?  Who taught them to you?  What people do you turn to for advice and comfort?  Who impressed upon you favorable habits and a conviction to live a wholesome lifestyle?

I recall a few habits my dad had developed that I have latched onto over my lifetime.   One was walking into a church on Sunday morning and stopping to Bless himself.   I asked him why he hesitated there?   He told me he would stop to thank God for another week.  It is important that we all find ways to be reflective and grateful.  Gratitude is a formula for growth.

Another thing he’d do is step out onto a small porch landing outside our kitchen door and lean there for fresh air.   I think it was to appreciate the apple tree he loved so much and his way of unwinding from stress.  We did not have air conditioning and summer days could be tiring after driving home his hour from the City of Chicago.  He had Polio as a child and his leg was tired after a day of walking and standing.  He’d forge ahead with cutting the grass or working hard and find a shower afterwards as a big reward.  Come to the water; drink it and be refreshed by it!

One of my favorite things I have adapted  from this is stepping outside with our dog each morning.   The sound of the birds tweeting,  the garbage trucks coming down our streets, or the kids waiting for the school bus set the stage for the next day.  It’s part of my morning ritual.  Do you have such a ritual?

Dad loved listening to sports on the radio in the garage.   He was always out there messing around with a project fixing something.   I have adapted a similar routine in our Laundry room.   It is a bright room facing the South and I also have a radio there.   It’s fun to iron, sew, and just do small  projects in there without any pressure.   In lieu of sports, my preference is listening to music that I can sing along with or enjoy,  or even audio CD’s of books.  That spirit of recreating and renovating things is still stimulating for me.   It is nice to take a torn garment and repair it in lieu of buying new.   Same with refinishing furniture or reusing an old pot for flowers.   It is just fun and so rewarding to repurpose items.

Finally, I recall my dad’s love for reading and learning.  It rubbed off well on me.   I am a lifelong learner; always seeking out new and different things.   He’d clip articles from the newspaper for reference.   When he died, I found a book that without a cover; it was worn out from use.   It was an old bible with things tucked between the pages.  Surprisingly I saw he had often told me things from it, but did not realize it as a child.

He knew well that we weren’t designed to go it alone in this world.   We need companions, friends, and family to keep us on task and for safety.   He was insightful and empathetic for other people.   I’d like to ask him all kinds of things now, but of course that is impossible.  It is possible to share and connect with other people though and that is something we are all called to do.

Seeking good role models is key to finding mini miracles and enjoying life fully.   My best for a wonderful and productive day.

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How Do You Spell Contentment?

So with vacation time coming around for school children and adults as well, people are thinking of going to Disney, driving to see family across country, or planning a summer of local activities.  Where are you going?  What do you plan on doing?  Are you going to see your parents?  Will you fly or drive?   What are your plans?   Will you have kids along?  Well I have a few thoughts for you to make this summer the best yet!

Maybe you’ll be going to an annual event in your neighborhood or doing local events.   Taking a one day trip rather impulsively to Wisconsin, down to Chicago, or to meet a friend for a play may be your mode of enjoying the nice weather.   Perhaps entertaining more or with people you haven’t seen in years?  All of these ideas are wonderful.   Usually they can be economical and scheduled according to the “FREE” days at the local zoo or museum.  Take advantage of them and enjoy the sites!

Why do we vacation?  Are we trying to get away from the day-to-day pressures that take the toil on our health and thinking? And if this is the case, why is that necessary?   I think of past generations who found the weekend picnic or time with family on a Sunday afternoon.   That was their pleasure.  Simple and easy, not so expensive that they would set back the budget.  So let’s take their example and expound on it.   Pick a site and go with a bunch of people for safety and a fun time to a picnic site or a big backyard.   It is fun.  Each person can bring a dish to pass or a fruit to share.   It takes down the stress that so many of us suffer from experiencing daily.

Stay connected with friends is so neat.   Well staying connected with those we value is neat.   We give away what it is we want from others.   It may be time, money, energy, wisdom or ?    We also seek out the wisdom we need to stay efficient.  Find friends and brainstorm.  Making time for others is the best gift we can get.   Blessings and “Delight in Living” today and everyday.

 

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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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