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Posts Tagged ‘Thoughts’

Dear Readers,

Recently during a rain shower, the sun appeared from behind the dark clouds.  Oh no! I thought.  The devil is beating his wife!  At least, that’s what my Mom used to tell us whenever it was raining and the sun was still shining.  It was one of her folk sayings handed down through previous generations.

Here are a few other sayings:  It’s bad luck to rock an empty rocker.  If you drop a spoon, a fool is coming to visit.  If you knock over the salt shaker, there will be an argument at the table.  If the palm of your hand itches, you’ll soon be receiving money.  Step on a crack, break your mother’s back.  If the hem of your dress is turned up, spit on it and you will receive a new dress.  It’s bad luck to rock an empty cradle.

I find myself uttering these same sayings to my family.  I’m not sure where or how they originated but they sure do make life interesting.

My other random thought concerns the value of a smile.  I walk almost every day and one of the best parts of taking this daily stroll is being greeted by a smile from a stranger.  It feels so good to connect with another human being in this manner.  It lifts my spirits and brings an extra spring into my footsteps.  Just think, smiling doesn’t cost a dime but the benefit it bestows is priceless.  So the next time you spot an ole lady wearing silver sneakers striding down your street, give her a big smile.  You might just be smiling at Mimi!

Keep smilin’!

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Dear Readers,

When I write “women make great preachers”, I’m not referring to the “preaching” we do to our spouses and children such as “pick your socks” or “clean your room”.  I’m talking about spiritual preaching – the advice we receive from clerics that aid us on the road to eternal salvation.

During the past month I’ve had the privilege of listening to two female preachers.  The first sermon came from an Episcopalian minister named Georgine, who presided at a Sunday morning service in the Episcopal Home where my sister lives.

Her sermon was interesting, dramatic and very thought-provoking.  She spoke of God in a soft voice but her words were very powerful.  A number of residents at the home had died in the week preceding the service, so she gently reminded us that many times the people in our lives are only here “on loan” to us and we should seize the opportunity to make the most of our time with them.  That phrase “on loan” really resonated with me.

My second experience with a female preacher came this week, in of all places, a Catholic church.  The celebrant of the Mass was Hispanic and could only read phonetically the English words of the prayers.  A young female missioner (not a nun) was enlisted to read the gospel to the faithful and then deliver a short homily for All Souls’ Day.  (The entire Catholic Church traditionally prays for the dead on this day.)

The young woman instructed us not to worry too much about the trials we face in this life because our reward in heaven will be wonderful.  The manner in which she described the joys and delights of heaven along with the enthusiasm in her voice was like a booster shot-in-the-arm for my faith.  I was once again excited about the prospect of spending eternity in heaven.

Both of these reverent ladies gently stoked the fire of my faith with an approach best expressed by a woman.  Their choice of words and even the inflection of their voices invited me to listen and reflect.  I could completely identify with the truths they were uttering.  Their sincere feelings and emotions drew me closer to the softer side of God.

Sadly, I must ask:  Will the Catholic Church ever realize the treasure they are squandering by not permitting fervent women to preach the word of God as ordained priests?  I certainly hope so!  In the meantime try to

Keep smilin’!

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Dear Readers,

Come on, ladies, we all know what “wardrobe anxiety” is.  It’s that fear in the pit of our stomachs the minute we open a wedding invitation.  Our initial thought is not about the bride and groom.  No, it’s about “What am I going to wear?”  Usually a trip to our closet or the mall for that certain party dress is all we need to alleviate this stress.  (Men wouldn’t understand this because all they need is a shirt, tie, suit and dress shoes and they’re good to go!)

But the most intense episode of “wardrobe anxiety” descends upon us at vacation time.  Let’s see, we have to pack for hot or cool weather.  We need comfortable walking shoes but we don’t want to look like a dork or a dreaded tourist in white sneakers.  And, oh yes, all our clothes have to fit into a carry-on suitcase so we can avoid the $25 baggage fee.

Enough already!  I want to banish “wardrobe anxiety” forever and here are two possible solutions.  (All you inventors and creators out there, listen up.)

My first concept is rental clothes for vacations.  Outfits could be chosen in advance from a catalog and selected according to the type of holiday; lots of swimsuits and cover-ups for the beach and ski pants and thermal underwear for the mountain slopes.  A user could experiment with a completely different wardrobe from the one they usually wear or stick to their customary manner of dress.  These rental duds would be delivered to your destination hotel room and hung in the closet ready for you to wear.  At the end of the holiday, simply deposit clothes in a laundry bag and proceed to the nearest airport without any burdensome suitcase.

Here’s another possible solution but this might take a few years of development to bring it to market:  disposable clothes.  And the company’s slogan could be “After you wear it, we tear it!”  All kidding aside, we do have disposable diapers and baby bibs.  Why not create stylish dresses, slacks and tops that are constructed of soft but sturdy paper and come in a variety of fashionable styles and hues.  These ensembles could also be waiting for us at our hotel or resort or could be mailed ahead.  They might be a little pricey but remember there’s no packing or unpacking and no laundry to do when you return.  The best part is no frantic searching for luggage on the carousel in the “baggage claim” area.

These ideas might seem far-fetched but I bet the day will come when rental and disposable paper clothes will be the norm.  Until then, I guess I’ll just have to suffer a few more bouts of vacation time “wardrobe anxiety”.

Keep smilin’!

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Dear Readers,

Let me begin by saying I usually don’t discuss politics but I can’t remain silent on the issue of the debt ceiling crisis.  Let me also state that Mimi is a registered “Independent” voter and does not subscribe to any far-left or far-right wing philosophies.

This past Sunday morning “Meet the Press” televised an intelligent discussion among a panel of qualified people.  The panel consisted of moderator, David Gregory, presidential historian, Doris Kearns Goodwin, news correspondent, Andrea Mitchell, Corey Booker, Democratic mayor of Newark, NJ, Chuck Hagel, a retired Republican senator and a freshman congressman from IL who won 3 medals and was an Air National Guard pilot.  I’m sorry to admit that I can’t remember his name.

It was a thoughtful and respectful dialogue, where each participant was allowed to give opinions without being interrupted.  Also the discussion was not peppered with talking points from either party.  Ms. Goodwin said compromise is needed and reminded us that we are a nation born from compromise.  The political courage to solve the dilemma by telling the unvarnished truth to the electorate is the wise advice offered by Senator Hagel.  Democrat Corey Booker readily admitted that the Republicans have valid points about the need to curb spending.  It’s just a shame that this panel isn’t a part of congress, because I believe they could get something done.

I’m not an economist just a homemaker but here is my take on the situation.  If I ran my household finances like the government does, I would have landed in bankruptcy court years ago.  Even I know you cannot continue to spend more than you take in.  You cannot continue to print money to buy today for what we will be re-paying for years to come.  And finally you cannot continue to tell the American people that we can have it all.  We simply cannot afford it!

What we need is a balanced approach to the debt ceiling crisis.  And that means we have to cut spending and raise taxes.  We have to do both until we can get our finances under control and the economy improves.

Democrats and Republicans in Washington, are you listening?  I certainly hope so!

And as you can tell, I’m going to try to

Keep smilin’!

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Dear Readers,

Recently my husband had out-patient knee surgery and as part of the admittance procedure, I was asked if I was retired.  When replying in the affirmative, the admitting clerk inquired who my employer was.  I meekly answered “I’m just a homemaker”.

Later in the day, I chastised myself for responding “just a homemaker”.  After all, the title “homemaker” is one that shouldn’t be regarded lightly, as it encompasses quite a lengthy roster of duties and skills.

In 41 years of marriage that roster has included over 14,000 dinners prepared and approximately 9,000 breakfasts and lunches served.  Loads of laundry washed and dried amounts to over 21,000.  Thorough housecleanings were performed over 1,400 times.  Wow, I’m exhausted just reading these figures!

Being both a mother and homemaker means changing diapers, wiping runny noses, shopping for school clothes, driving children to sports and other activities, organizing birthday parties, attending PTA meeting and purchasing supplies for all those complicated science projects.

Because I’m a homemaker means there have been occasions when I’ve been called on to be a plumber, nurse, teacher, cheerleader and psychologist; not mention, disciplinarian, seamstress, family photographer and vacation planner.  I’ve also been known to tackle home decorating and flower arranging.

So the next time I’m asked for my profession, homemaking will be declared with a renewed sense of pride and accomplishment.  Mimi is a homemaker and damn proud of it!

Keep smilin’!

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Dear Readers,

We have a guest blogger today – my husband, Mike.  He offered to write a post and I eagerly accepted.  Hope you enjoy reading some of his thoughts.  Thank you, honey, for contributing to Mimi’s blog.

How Do You Define A Special Day?

Getting married, having a baby, winning the lottery, earning a promotion, getting a raise, moving into a new house; of course, all of these constitute special days in one’s life.  But if major events are the only way we define special days, we are limiting ourselves.  If all seven events listed above happened in one year, we would only have seven special days.  What about the other 358 days?  How do we make them special so we can learn to appreciate them?  We always hear that we should “live for the moment” but we know how difficult that is to accomplish.  We Americans are very busy people.  We get so involved and focused on mundane things that we sometimes forget how important it is to live for today.  Yesterday I did not forget.

My wife and I live in the south and we deal with humidity almost every day.  A good air conditioner is a necessity in our area.  If my state had a thousand divorces, you can be sure that 998 were filed when the air conditioner was broken.  But I digress.  What happened yesterday that made it such a special day?  Not a whole lot if one uses the criteria with which I began this post.

We woke up yesterday to a strange phenomenon.  There was no humidity in the air.  Our air conditioner could have been broken and I don’t think it would have affected our marriage at all.  There was a cool breeze hitting our skin, the skies were blue and life was suddenly better than the previous day.  My wife informed me that we were going to play tennis.  I nodded yes because I knew I really did not have a vote in this decision.  We played for about an hour, I told her that she was improving and she looked at me almost like she did 44 years ago when we started dating.  Well I guess that might be a slight exaggeration but at least I knew she was happy with the tennis date.  We then took showers, had a nice lunch and then the phone rang.  It was our daughter-in-law asking if we wanted to join her and our two granddaughters for a couple of hours at the park.  Off to the park playing with two granddaughters and the humidity was still very low.  Five o’clock was “wine time” on the front deck and this is my definition of a special day.

If we wait for the main events in life to define special, we can lose sight of the truly great things that happen on a daily basis.  Live each day really is a good idea and we should try hard not to forget it.

Keep smilin’!

Michael

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Dear Readers,

Mimi loves listening to music.  It can be any time or place.  I love driving along listening to a song from the 60’s, hearing a beautiful hymn sung by the church choir, and even cleaning house to the sound of country music.  Singing along with Reba McEntire helps me dust with wild abandon!  But can listening to music help your brain function better?  I discovered it certainly can.

Let me quote from the “Health Mailbox” column written by Melinda Beck appearing in the December 1, 2009 issue of the Wall Street Journal about the benefits of listening to music.

“There’s considerable evidence that listening to music-and making music-can help young children’s brains, and the link between music and brain function seems to persist throughout adult life.

Because music involves many parts of the brain at the same time, it seems to aid the brain’s plasticity, that is, its ability to form new ways of thinking and doing things.  There’s some evidence that listening to music can release endorphins, the brain’s feel-good chemicals.

And even simple forms of making music, such as participating in drumming circles, has been shown to help relieve stress, enhance mind-body coordination, focus attention and counteract loneliness.  Some communities, and some companies, have sponsored drumming circles as a form of recreation and team-building.

Scientists are still exploring all the ways that music affects the brain and listening to music while doing other things seems to provide an added cognitive challenge.

A study from Ohio State University, published in the journal Heart and Lung in 2004, found that when 33 men and women in a cardiac rehabilitation program listened to Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” while exercising on a treadmill, they not only reported feeling better but also performed much better on tests of verbal fluency than they had after working without the music.”

So Mimi says to keep the music playing and remember to

Keep smilin’!

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