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“Life is a train of moods like a string of beads; and as we pass through them they prove to be many colored lenses, which paint the world their own hue, and each shows us only what lies in its own focus.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson




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“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” –Oliver Wendell Holmes


What do you want people to say about you at your funeral? How will you be remembered?


I saw this video the other day and it reminded me how important it is to cherish the time we have with our loved ones (family and friends). It also made me think how sometimes we get caught up complaining about things that really aren’t that important. Be thankful for what you have, instead of complaining about what you don’t have.

Years ago Stephen Covey wrote a book that I mentioned in an earlier post titled, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. In Habit #2 – Begin with the end in mind, he means to “begin today with the image, picture, or paradigm of the end of your life as a frame of reference or the criterion by which everything else is examined. Each part of your life – today’s behavior, tomorrow’s behavior, next week’s behavoir, next month’s behavior – can be examined in the context of the whole, of what really matters to you most. By keeping that end clearly in mind, you can make certain that whatever you do on any particular day does not violate the criteria you have defined as supremely important, and that each day of your life contributes in a meaningful way to the vision you have of your life as a whole. Beginning with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination. It means to know where you’re going so that you better understand where you are right now and so that the steps you take are always in the right direction.”

Think about it. What do you want people to say about you at your funeral? What character would you like them to have seen in you? What contributions, what achievements would you want them to remember? What difference would you like to have made in the lives of other people?


Beautifully Imperfect



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Happy Mother’s Day!

Last year I came up with 25 Things My Mother Taught Me. This year I actually found a poem someone else wrote on things their mother taught them. I think we can all relate to a thing or two on this list.


Things My Mother Taught Me

My Mother taught me LOGIC…

“If you fall off that swing and break your neck, you can’t go to the store with me.”

My Mother taught me MEDICINE…

“If you don’t stop crossing your eyes, they’re going to freeze that way.”

My Mother taught me TO THINK AHEAD…

“If you don’t pass your spelling test, you’ll never get a good job!”

My Mother taught me ESP…

“Put your sweater on; don’t you think that I know when you’re cold?”

My Mother taught me TO MEET A CHALLENGE…

“What were you thinking? Answer me when I talk to you…Don’t talk back to me!”

My Mother taught me HUMOR…

“When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don’t come running to me.”

My Mother taught me how to BECOME AN ADULT…

“If you don’t eat your vegetables, you’ll never grow up.

My mother taught me ABOUT SEX…

“How do you think you got here?”

My mother taught me about GENETICS…

“You are just like your father!”

My mother taught me about my ROOTS…

“Do you think you were born in a barn?”

My mother taught me about the WISDOM of AGE…

“When you get to be my age, you will understand.”

My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION…

“Just wait until your father gets home.”

My mother taught me about RECEIVING…

You are going to get it when we get home.

And my all time favorite thing-JUSTICE

“One day you will have kids, and I hope they turn out just like YOU..then you’ll see what it’s like.”

And she thought no one was listening.

–author unknown


You might also like:
25 Things My Mother Taught Me
Mother’s Day Songs and Life Lessons
Mother’s Day Quotes and Sayings
A Mother’s Day Tribute


Hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day!

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“Visits always give pleasure – if not the coming, then the going.” –Portuguese proverb

Do you think you know how to be a good houseguest?

There are some things in life we take for granted — like assuming that everyone knows how to behave, what to do, and what not to do while visiting someone’s home. Even if that someone is a family member, you still need to remember you are a guest in their home. The holidays can be an especially stressful time even without guests staying overnight.

“When you’re invited to someone’s home for a weekend or longer, knowing what to do to maintain harmony is essential. Sharing living quarters can bring out tensions between guests and hosts like nothing else – and it’s up to you, the guest, to do your best to avoid tense situations.” -Sue Fox, Etiquette For Dummies

How to Be a Good Houseguest

Here are some important things to consider when you plan to stay over at someone’s home:

1 – Be sensitive. Did you call and ask if you can stay? Or did the host invite you to stay in their home? They may feel obligated to say yes, or even to invite you. Listen for anything between the lines. Do they really mean it? Is there space for you to sleep?

2 – When asked to spend the weekend with friends, never assume that bringing your pets, children, friend, or family member is acceptable if you aren’t directly told or invited to do so. Never ask if your children are included in a weekend invitation. Assume they are not unless your hostess specifies otherwise. Don’t ask to bring your pet.

3 – If you have special dietary requirements, please let your host know before you arrive. You may also want to bring some of your own food.

4 – If you’ve brought your children, bring along a supply of portable snacks.

5 – Bring a small gift for the host as a gesture of appreciation. Bring a bottle of wine (or liquor), a picture frame, candle, flowering plant, or a gift that you know your host would appreciate. Nothing too extravagant. Coming in the door bearing gifts is always a good way to start off the visit.

6 – Know when it’s time to go home; don’t wear out your welcome. If you agreed to leave on Sunday afternoon, don’t extend your stay until Monday morning. Remember the old Benjamin Franklin saying, “Fish and houseguests begin to smell after three days.” He was speaking from the point of view of the host.

7 – Offer to pick up the tab sometime. You are saving money by not having to pay for a hotel. If your host takes you out on excursions to see the local sights or you go out to breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you should pay your own way or better yet, treat your host. A good guest would also offer to purchase the gasoline if they take you sightseeing.

8 -If you stay longer than a weekend (three days or more), offer to take your host and hostess out for dinner one night. If there are other houseguests involved, you can all split the cost.

9 – During your stay you must adapt to the host’s lifestyle. Don’t try to run the show. Be adaptable. Be open to the host’s suggestions for meals and recreation. Be ready for anything – or for nothing.

10 – Give your host some space. Usually, both guest and host need some “breathing room” away from each other. Depending on the length of your visit, you might want to spend an afternoon or an entire day out of the house (alone or with your family) and leave your host in peace. Don’t rely entirely on your host and hostess for entertainment. Don’t make other plans without letting your host know.

11 – Don’t accept an invitation before checking with your host. If you have friends in the area who invite you over to their house, tell them you have to check with your hostess before accepting their invitation and be sure to ask if it’s all right to bring your host and hostess with you.

12 – Offer to help. By simple observation, one should be able to notice what needs doing. Ask your hostess if you may help with any household chores.

13 – Clean up after yourself, make sure not to leave your belongings strewn around the house, and make your bed. When your stay is over, empty any wastebaskets and ask your host where to put the used bed and bath linens.

14 – Tidy up after yourself. If you are sleeping on a pull-out convertible sofa bed, take the sheets and blanket off each morning, fold them, and put them along with your pillows away in some out-of-the-way place (you can leave the sheets on the mattress before folding the bed). When it’s time to go to bed, it’s up to you to turn the sofa back into a bed.

15 – Keep the bathroom clean. Don’t splash water everywhere – if you make a mess around the sink, clean it up. Don’t throw anything on the floor, and don’t forget to flush! Men should keep the seat down.

16 – Before taking a bath, ask the hostess if there’s any limit to the hot water supply and, if there is, use the hot water sparingly so others will get their fair share. After the bath, clean the tub.

17 – Return a borrowed item as soon as you no longer need it – and in as good shape, or even better than as when it was lent to you.

18 – If you break it, you fix it. If you break a glass or piece of china, tell your hostess. If it’s something valuable, take it home and have it repaired. If you accidentally leave a stain on a bureau or side table, again tell your hostess and offer to pay whatever the refinishing charges will be. If you stain upholstery, rugs, or other fabric, insist on paying the cleaning bill.

19 – Telephone – Don’t tie up the telephone; if you make a long-distance call be sure to charge it to your credit card or ask the operator for charges and reimburse your host. Don’t answer your host’s telephone without asking. This rule applies even if you’re right next to the phone.

20 – Bring your own toiletries. Don’t count on your host having stocked the guest bathroom cabinet with everything you might need.

21 – Be on time for meals and other activities. If you want to have breakfast in your bathrobe that’s fine, provided you come to the breakfast table looking neat, hair combed, and wearing bedroom slippers.

22 – Be considerate of someone else’s house; don’t sit on furniture in a wet bathing suit; keep your feet off the furniture; don’t hog the bathroom.

23 – Keep your voice down late in the evening or early morning, and if the guest room has a television, keep the volume low.

24 – If you must smoke, ask the hostess if she minds your doing so in her house; if she does, then smoke only out of doors. Never smoke in bed.

25 – Don’t make the first move to go to bed. When to end the evening is the host’s prerogative. You can hint that you’re tired, but the custom is to wait for the host to give you the signal. The exception is when your hosts are family or close friends who won’t mind if you retire early or stay up late.

26 – On the day you leave, take the sheets, blankets, and pillowcases off the bed, fold them, and leave them neatly on the top of the bed.

27 – Appear to enjoy yourself. Even if you aren’t having the best time, act as if you couldn’t be more pleased.

28 – Check your bedroom and bathroom before leaving to be sure you haven’t forgotten anything. Then check it a second time. It’s inconvient for a hostess to have to mail something you’ve left behind.

29 – Be courteous. Treat any household help courteously.

30 – Always send your host a thank-you note or letter of appreciation.


“Hospitality is making your guests feel at home, even if you wish they were.” -Author Unknown


References:

Emily Post’s Etiquette, by Peggy Post, 17th edition

Amy Vanderbilt Complete Book of Etiquette: 50th Anniversary Edition, by Nancy Tuckerman, Nancy Dunnan, and Amy Vanderbilt

Miss Manners’ Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior, Freshly Updated, by Judith Martin

Etiquette for Dummies, by Sue Fox

EHow article

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My father usually shares jokes with me but every once in awhile he’ll share something on a more serious note. This is a tale, along with some life lessons, that my father shared with me. Note: He is not the author.

The Wooden Bowl

A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year old grandson. The old man’s hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered. The family ate together at the table.

But the elderly grandfather’s shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth.

The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess. “We must do something about father,” said the son. “I’ve had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor”

So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner. Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl!

When the family glanced in Grandfather’s direction, sometime he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food.

The four-year-old watched it all in silence. One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, “What are you making?”

Just as sweetly, the boy responded, “Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mama to eat your food in when I grow up.” The four-year-old smiled and went back to work.

The words so struck the parents so that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done.

That evening the husband took Grandfather’s hand and gently led him back to the family table. For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.

On a positive note, I’ve learned that, no matter what happens, how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.

I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles four things: a rainy day, the elderly, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.

I’ve learned that, regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life.

I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life..”

I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.

I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.

I’ve learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you. But if you focus on your family, your friends, the needs of others, your work and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you.

I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.

I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.

I’ve learned that every day, you should reach out and touch someone.

People love that human touch — holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.

I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.

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Happy Father’s Day to all the great father’s out there!

Ever wonder how Father’s Day began? Click on the link below to find out the history of Father’s Day.

History of Father’s Day
http://www.theholidayspot.com/fathersday/history.htm

Worldwide Father’s Day Observances
http://www.holidays.net/father/fathers_day_global.htm

This video reminds me of a story from my childhood. My mother had gone out and left me with my dad. Dad fell asleep on his watch. It didn’t stop me from having fun. That was the last time he went to sleep on child watch. You’ll be able to figure out what I did to him when you see the video.

Humor:

1 – Thunderstorm

One summer evening during a violent thunderstorm a mother was tucking her small boy into bed. She was about to turn off the light when he asked with a tremor in his voice,

“Mommy, will you sleep with me tonight?”

The mother smiled and gave him a reassuring hug.

“I can’t dear,” she said. “I have to sleep in Daddy’s room.”

A long silence was broken at last by his shaking little voice:

“The big sissy.”

————————————————————

2 – Dad will never say…

Top Ten Things You’ll Never Hear a Dad Say

10. Well, how ’bout that?… I’m lost! Looks like we’ll have to stop and ask for directions.

9. You know Pumpkin, now that you’re thirteen, you’ll be ready for unchaperoned car dates. Won’t that be fun?

8. I noticed that all your friends have a certain “up yours” attitude … I like that.

7. Here’s a credit card and the keys to my new car — GO CRAZY.

6. What do you mean you wanna play football? Figure skating not good enough for you, son?

5. Your Mother and I are going away for the weekend … you might want to consider throwing a party.

4. Well, I don’t know what’s wrong with your car. Probably one of those doo-hickey thingies — you know — that makes it run or something. Just have it towed to a mechanic and pay whatever he asks.

3. No son of mine is going to live under this roof without an earring — now quit your belly-aching, and let’s go to the mall.

2. Whaddya wanna go and get a job for? I make plenty of money for you to spend.

1. Father’s Day? aahh — don’t worry about that — it’s no big deal.

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Have you ever taken the time to just stop and think about the things your mother has taught you?

On Mother’s Day many people take the time to express how great their mothers are and how much they love them. I happen to feel the same way about mine — but not everyone thinks their mom is the greatest. Regardless of whether your feelings are positive or negative towards your mother, I’m sure she taught you lifeskills and things about life. In honor of my mother, here is a list of some of the things my mother has taught me:

1 – How to love – showing others you love them through your actions

2 – Be quiet and listen to others

3 – Patience with others

4 – Acceptance – how to let others be who they are

5 – Kindness – be kind to others

6 – Manners

7 – Be helpful

8 – Be supportive of others

9 – Be independent – be able to support yourself financially

10 – How to be a wife

11 – How to care for others

12 – How to put others needs first

13 – How to live a balanced life – there’s a time for work and a time for play

14 – How not to cry over spilt milk – move on, life goes on

15 – How to be angry and still do what needs to be done, or what is expected

16 – How to shop

17 – How to cook; How to cook balanced meals

18 – How to entertain – how to make others feel welcome in your home

19 – How to do what needs to be done without waiting for someone else to do it

20 – How to give good gifts – give gifts designed with the person (recipient) in mind

21 – You mess it up, you clean it up – everyone needs to pick up after themselves

22 – Communication – remain calm and talk it out, no need to shout

23 – How to work together, how to work as a team in a relationship

24 – Broaden your horizons

25 – You are responsible for your own happiness


So, in honor of your mother, please take a few minutes and think – What are some things your mother has taught you?


You might also like:
Mother’s Day Songs and Life Lessons
Poem: Things My Mother Taught Me
A Mother’s Day Tribute
Mother’s Day Quotes and Sayings

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