Thanksgiving: A Time to Treasure your Family


I have some happy memories of Thanksgiving when I was a little girl. My immediate family would gather round the table. This included my grandparents, my parents and my two sisters.  I was the youngest!  I felt very happy and loved in my family, and enjoyed those celebrations.

Although both my parents had big extended families,we never shared Thanksgiving with them. It was a pretty simple holiday. My mother insisted on being  alone in the kitchen preparing the meal. We knew to stay out of her way.  If we went near her or her preparations, she would get really upset. She wanted everything to be perfect.

It wasn’t a totally traditional American menu because it always included chopped liver, and Matzah Ball Soup. We had the other things: stuffing, turkey, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, green beans with mushroom soup,  cranberry sauce, a salad, and pumpkin pie for dessert.

My mother never changed the menu.  It was the same every year. Later, my sister added her cherry jello mold (with sour cream) which I later added to my own celebration. Unfortunately, I never wrote down my mother’s recipe for matzah balls, chopped liver, or stuffing. I’ve made all those things, but it never tasted like my mom’s.

One day my oldest sister offered to take over the Thanksgiving celebration. (By this time, one of my sister’s and her husband had moved out-of-town.) My mother was happy to relinquish her role as hostess.

Now, our celebration included my two nieces, my brother-in-law,  and their dog, Gus, who gleefully ate all the scraps. (By this time, my grandparents were long gone.)

Eventually, my family scattered, and Thanksgiving together came to an end.

I did get everyone together for Thanksgiving in 1979, but it never happened again.

Siblings: TOS

Siblings: TOS (Photo credit: rbarenblat)

Nothing lasts forever, even families. The best thing to do every year is be thankful for what you do have, and savor every moment together.

Happy Early Thanksgiving!

I’d welcome comments about your childhood Thanksgiving celebrations! What’s your happiest memory?

10 good reasons to have children


Cute Kids in Children's Costumes

Cute Kids in Children’s Costumes (Photo credit: epSos.de)

1. You are patient, kind, and love children. You find them fascinating and fun.

2. You have a strong marriage or relationship  and want to share your happiness by having children.

If you’re single, independent and secure,  that may work too.  (I’d like to hear from you if you’ve accomplished that.)

3. You are a mature adult, and can put yourself second to others. It is amazing how you can have room to love your children. It’s a great feeling, natures’ way of putting you lower on the totem pole.

4. You like to get on the floor and play. It doesn’t hurt if you like play-doh, paint, and all that fun stuff. How about those little people toys?

5. You like fun activities like going out to the zoo, dressing up, and watching plays.( Ones they put on), There’s nothing like seeing activities through a child’s eyes for the first time. How about the surprise and delight when they get on that merry-go-round for the first time?   It’s like being a child yourself….all over again.

6, You aren’t having a child to recreate your life. They are not there to give you a second chance at athletics, academics, or a social life.  (Please don’t yell at your kid when they’re playing sports.)

7.You don’t care about having the best clothes, vacations, etc. Unless you are wealthy, of course!

8. You don’t mind tending the sick occasionally. It comes with the job description. Have a relief person when you get sick yourself.

9. You don’t mind being a disciplinarian. It is necessary. It’s the hardest part about being a parent.

10. Be prepared for your heart to break when they get more independent, and would rather spend time with their peers. You’re only a hero to them for part of the time.( When they get older and realize your human too, it’s always a little sad. )

Was I good at all these things? I would have to say no. . My report card would show I had weaknesses and strengths, like anyone.  But, these are conclusions I came to when all was said and done.

Maybe it can help you.

Anything to add? Disagreements? Please comment!

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10 Good reasons not to have children….some observations from a mature woman


Child 1

Child 1 (Photo credit: Tony Trần)

Let me clarify this by saying, I liked being a parent, but I’ve seen other people who shouldn’t have even thought about it for a moment.

As my children will tell you, I was not perfect, but I did my best. (Besides I had a husband who was very well-suited for the job.) I think it always helps when there are two of you, but I guess it’s not necessary.

Here are my observations. I can do this because I am very mature, and don’t care what anyone thinks.

I invite you to agree or disagree with me!

Don’t have kids if…..

1. You are basically selfish. There’s no room for selfishness here, only unselfishness.

2. You are trying to save your marriage. Children will topple over a shaky marriage, and it’s not fair to bring them into a bad situation. Only bring children into a good situation.

3. You are lonely…. get a dog or cat instead. They can’t speak, and will give you unconditional love.

4. You have a low-level of frustration. Nothing will try your patience more than little kids. Your frustration will plunge to depths you didn’t know existed. (However, if you’re lucky their cuteness will keep you from losing it altogether. I guess it’s nature’s way.)

5. You just want to dress them up like a little doll. Chances are they won’t share your taste. This preference for clothing shows up quite early in life. When they figure out what you like, they’ll go the opposite direction. (Besides when they’re infants they may spit up on the outfit.)

6. You are lonely. Don’t put another person in charge of keeping you from loneliness. It isn’t fair, and it doesn’t really work.  (Have you seen Octomom, she looks very busy! As you can see if you read the link attached to this, she’s resorted to porn.)

7.  You want to live as a millionaire. (Does this really need an explanation?)

8.  You want a friend . Good parents look at their children as their responsibilities not as friends. You want to fit in with your friends who have children. Your children might not get along with your friend’s kids. Then, you won’t see them at all.

9, You want someone to give you comfort in your old age. Sometimes that works, other times, they may live on the other side of the world. You shouldn’t bring people into the world to take care of you.

10. You freak out when you hear a lot of noise, or smell unpleasant odors.  Be prepared to be around a lot of noise and smells, at least in the formatiive years.  Sitting in a quiet odorless room may be a rare pleasure.

Any additions to this list. Feel free!

We are Family: The Columbus Ohio Group that gives: The Harmony Project


The Harmony Project led by David Brown gave everyone in Columbus, Ohio, a fun day of participating in a flash choir. It was all kinds of families: traditional, non-traditional, and just good friends. The definition of family is changing!

Come to our concert on July 18, and July 19th at the Southern Theater. You can buy tickets at OH CAPA,www.capa.com
We are 200 strong. This show will be fantastic, I guarantee it!

We raise money for projects in Columbus! Instead of talking about what we can’t do, we just do it! This group has been giving me joy since 2010. I can always count on attending either a rehearsal or an event, and coming home with a positive feeling.

Our amazing leader is David Brown. He is the conductor, and you can just see from this video how much positive energy he conveys.

*if you were there, look at the gallery, and then watch the video!

Remembering those Special Times Can Bring You Joy


Happy Family

Happy Family (Photo credit: goto10)

I decided to make a list of the moments in life I treasure.  You know, the happy times in your life. Even in the most miserable of lives, there has to be moments to treasure. I like to think about these moments every once in a while. It brings me a little bit of joy!

One of those moments includes being alone with my parents when I was about 6. I remember holding their hands, and being lifted in the air. My husband and I later did it with our  own children. And I saw a little girl at Cedar Falls being given the same treatment the other day.

Not one of those moments had anything to do with getting something materialistic.

It all had to do with family and love— Giving love, or being loved.  Or helping someone else.

Why do we think things will make us happy? If they do, it’s only for a  few minutes.  Get a new car, it might make you feel good for a week or two. By the time the new car smells wears off Then, the newness wears off, and that’s the end of it.

Of course we need to get our basic needs me, food, shelter, and clothing.

A lot of it has to do with helping other people, or making them happy.

Just something to think about….

You have any special moments you’d like to share?

10 top reasons a Baby Boomer still misses her mother


Cover of "Chocolatherapy: Satisfying the ...

Cover via Amazon

My mother died 5 years ago. She died a day before Mother’s Day. (It wasn’t this exact date, but close enough). I still miss her all the time. I miss her when I have some good news to tell her. I miss her when I just want to talk. How many of us will dial the phone number after someone we loved has died just to hear it ring? I don’t do it any more, but I did for a little while after she died.

Here are my top 10 reasons for missing her.

  • 1. She loved me unconditionally, and I loved her back.
  •  2. She was a good listener.
  • 3. she was a link to my past although she started to forget it at the end. She called me by my childhood nickname.  I miss hearing her say it.
  • 4. She appreciated any little thing I did for her, no matter how trivial.
  • 5. She still tried to mother me any chance she got. One time the apartment she lived in sent up some extra food for her, and she asked me if I wanted it. (It was sweet).
  • 6. She was always happy and excited to see me.
  • 7. She was someone I could be around without watching everything I said.
  •  8. We had fun together. We loved to go to restaurants together. By the end of her life, that’s about all she could still do.
  •  9. She cared about my kids and husband and  always treated them like royalty.
  •  10. It still kept my father alive in some way. She never forgot stories about him. My only hope is that they’re together somewhere in some way.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom wherever you are!

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How should children act at a private gathering?


Childhood

Childhood (Photo credit: Vineet Radhakrishnan)

I went to a  gathering where there about 40 people. There were tables and chairs set up, and people were eating snacks and drinks.

There were some kids playing tag right in the eating area.  The parents were sitting at a table and smiling while the kids ran around. They weren’t just walking around. They were going at break neck speed. The funny thing was they kept running around me, and avoiding the parents.

I said, to one in my best teacher voice, “you shouldn’t be running in here.”

He looked at me and said,”you’re kidding! ”

I finally went up to the mother and asked, “Is that your child?”

“One of them is,” she answered.

“Aren’t you worried they might get hurt in here? I have to tell you their running is really annoying.”

The man who was in charge of the event looked at me and said, “that’s how we roll around here.”

I couldn’t believe it. It wasn’t a playground, and nobody was supervising them. (Except for me).

Was I being an old curmudgeon or was I right?

What do you think?

Please comment.

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