Archive for April, 2012

Children feeling worthwhile

April 26, 2012

Of course we all want our children to grow into self-sufficient and confident adults and we struggle from time to time with many things which deliver only part of what we want for our families.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could rely on a relatively simple principle and have confidence that this will provide a pathway to raising these kind of adults?  A woman who passed on in 1988 provided us with several ideas to be successful in this project emphasizing the importance of feelings of self-worth in our children from day one of the child’s life.  Over the years that she worked and wrote, Virginia Satir, a native of Wisconsin, led us into simple understanding of developing positive views of self and of others as well.  She was known as one of the first who told us that we needed ten hugs per day to maintain positive mental health.  

So, today’s message comes from a statement Satir offered time and again in her family therapy.  Can you imagine how children will grow in a family where this thought has a central position? 

“Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible – the kind of atmosphere that in found in a a nurturing family.”  -Virginia Satir

INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES ARE APPRECIATED:  Perhaps each of us needs to remind ourselves from time to time that different doesn’t mean ‘better’ and doesn’t mean ‘worse’ – only different.  Consider the life and contribution of one Itzhak Perlman, who had polio at an early age and has developed into a superb musician and benevolent human being.  Imagine this:  ‘At the age of three, he was denied entrance to the Shulamit Conservatory for being too small to hold a violin.’ 

MISTAKES ARE TOLERATED: Actually, I would go even beyond that position since I believe that one way to learn something new is to experiment with possibilities knowing that along the way someone will make mistakes.  Didn’t Thomas Edison attempt to build a workable light bulb many, many times before he succeeded?  And, didn’t he make nearly as many ‘false starts’ in his creation of many other things including the phonograph?  I’m going to assume that Edison learned from each of his many ‘mistakes’ (false starts).  

COMMUNICATION IS OPEN:  While I truly believe that parents should provide proper examples of practical and appropriate communication, we need to continue to let our children communicate with us in ways we might not at first glance understand.  They don’t have a well developed vocabulary and will strive to communicate with us as we communicate with them.  When we listen to our children, we provide an example for them to follow in listening to adults – including parents.  Inappropriate language needs to be addressed and gently corrected.  Open communication in the home can help children succeed in many adult activities later in their lives.

   -RULES ARE FLEXIBLE:  Flexible, in this context, does not mean wishy-washy, but rather implores the people involved in enforcing the rules can use common sense judgements rather than just ‘parroting the code’.  My personal belief is that the fewer rules we have, the more effective can be the interaction between parents and children.  And, by using adult judgment, we can truly make the consequences be appropriate to the situation.  I am not one who favors zero tolerance rules as they can create much unnecessary turmoil in the inappropriate enforcement of some rules.  “Three strikes and you go to prison” the law stated.  The young fella took a CD from a music store, he was out beyond the curfew for his neighborhood, and, as a third strike, he stole a package of gum from a grocery.  Would you send him to prison?  Will he experience a ‘nurturing’ experience there? 


Don’t Worry, Be Happy

April 13, 2012

You deserve to have a short blog reading assignment for today – it’s Friday the 13th and you’ll have to be on guard so that nothing awful comes your way, so . . . 

“You haven’t lost your smile at all, it’s right under your nose.  You just forgot it was there.”  -author unknown.

So, give it a try;  lift the corners of your mouth up, or if that seems to be too much, let the center of your mouth sag. 

And, today (and for the rest of your life) be aware of all that you have and look past the things you don’t have: 

“You have within you, right now, everything you need to deal with – whatever the world can throw at you.”  –Brian Tracy. 

Have a great day!

Good Friday Advice

April 6, 2012

No blog would be complete without at least one entry that gives out free and oftimes meaningless advice.  So today, I’ll send along some ‘old-fashioned’ tips gathered through the years as I’ve read and recorded old remedies.  I had actually clipped a column from the Laramie Daily newspaper called the ‘Boomerang’ and added little items as I read them in other sources.  I’m fascinated by these unique tips, bet you’ll be intrigued, too!  Let me know!



1) Flies or bees bothering you? Spray them with hairspray and they will take a quick dive.

2) Sealed envelope – Put in the freezer for a few hours, then slide a knife under the flap. The envelope can then be resealed. (hmmmmmm…)

3) Use Empty toilet paper roll to store appliance cords. It keeps them neat and you can write on the roll what appliance it belongs to.

4) For icy door steps in freezing temperatures: get warm water and put Dawn dishwashing liquid in it. Pour it all over the steps. They won’t refreeze. (wish I had known this for the last 40 years!)

5) Crayon marks on walls? This worked wonderfully! A damp rag, dipped in baking soda. Comes off with little effort (elbow grease that is!).

6) Permanent marker on appliances/counter tops (like store receipt

BLUE!) rubbing alcohol on paper towel.

7) Whenever I purchase a box of S.O.S Pads, I immediately take a pair of scissors and cut each pad into halves. After years of having to throw away rusted and unused and smelly pads, I finally decided that this would be much more economical. And now a box of S.O.S pads last me indefinitely! In fact, I have noticed that the scissors get sharpened this way!

8) Opening brand new jars can be a feat in itself. Well, I have found a way to make it the easiest thing to do. Instead of banging a jar of jam, pickles, etc., with a knife until it loosens up, I simply reach into the drawer and pull out the handy nutcracker. It adjusts to the size of the jar and I simply give it a good twist and off pops the lid!

9) Blood stains on clothes? Not to worry! Just pour a little hydrogen peroxide on a cloth and proceed to wipe off every drop of blood. Works every time!

10) Use vertical strokes when washing windows outside and horizontal for inside windows. This way you can tell which side has the streaks. Straight vinegar will get outside windows really clean. Don’t wash windows on a sunny day. They will dry too quickly and will probably streak.

11) Spray a bit of perfume on the lightbulb in any room to create a lovely light scent in each room when the light is turned on. Place fabric softener sheets in dresser drawers and your clothes will smell freshly washed for weeks to come. You can also do this with towels and linen.

12) Candles will last a lot longer if placed in the freezer for at least 3 hours prior to burning.

13) To clean artificial flowers, pour some salt into a paper bag and add the flowers. Shake vigorously as the salt will absorb all the dust and dirt and leave your artificial flowers looking like new! Works like a charm!

14) To easily remove burnt on food from your skillet, simply add a drop or two of dish soap and enough water to cover bottom of pan, and bring to a boil on stovetop.

15) Spray your TUPPERWARE with nonstick cooking spray before pouring in tomato based sauces and there won’t be any stains. (Key Word:- Tupperware)

16) When a cake recipe calls for flouring the baking pan, use a bit of the dry cake mix instead and there won’t be any white mess on the outside of the cake. (or you can sprinkle sugar in the pan and get a “crunchier” crust with no white mess!

17) Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting in the refrigerator and it will keep for weeks.

18) When boiling corn on the cob, add a pinch of sugar to help bring out the corn’s natural sweetness.

19) Cure for headaches: Take a lime, cut it in half and rub it on your forehead. The throbbing will go away.

20) Don’t throw out all that leftover wine: Freeze into ice cubes for future use in casseroles and sauces. 21). To get rid of itch from mosquito bites, try applying soap on the area and you will experience instant relief.

22) Ants, ants, ants everywhere … Well, they are said to never cross a chalk line. So get your chalk out and draw a line on the floor or wherever ants tend to march. See for yourself.

23) Use air-freshener to clean mirrors. It does a good job and better still, leaves a lovely smell to the shine.

24) When you get a splinter, reach for the scotch tape before resorting to tweezers or a needle. Simply put the scotch tape over the splinter, then pull it off. Scotch tape removes most splinters painlessly and easily.

25) Now look what you can do with Alka Seltzer. Clean a toilet. Drop in two Alka Seltzer tablets,wait twenty minutes, brush and flush. The citric acid and effervescent action clean vitreous China.

26) Clean a vase. To remove a stain from the bottom of a glass vase or cruet, fill with water and drop in two Alka Seltzer tablets.

27) Polish jewelry. Drop two Alka Seltzer tablets into a glass of water and immerse the jewelry for two minutes. Clean a thermos bottle. Fill the bottle with water, drop in four Alka Seltzer tablets, and let soak for an hour (or longer, if necessary).

28) Unclog a drain. Clear the sink drain by dropping three Alka Seltzer tablets down the drain followed by a cup of Heinz White Vinegar. Wait a few minutes, then run the hot water.