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Home and Family

Financial New Year’s Resolutions You Should Definitely Keep

Home and Family
The New Year is a perfect time to overhaul your life. The first place to start is making financial resolutions that can get you closer to your monetary goals. It's easy to make resolutions, but not so easy to keep them. This is true for all resolutions, but especially financial ones. The key for all resolutions is to set achievable, actionable goals. Don't be ambiguous and don't aim too high. So, if getting your financial life in order is a resolution you would like to make this year, here are a few you might consider adding to your 2019 itinerary.Prioritize Your Debts Did you know that not all debt is created equal? Make a list of all your financial obligations and organize them by the interest rates. Debt with the highest rates (most likely your credit card debt) should be paid off immed...

A Bug on the Plate Is Worth How Much?

Home and Family
Did you ever have a smile on your face that no matter what you did you could not wipe it off?Well, that is quite a regular occurrence with me. But this past week was a "smile-on-the-face" to beat all "smiles-on-the-face." My only regret is that I did not do a Selfie.It all began in the morning when I suggested that we go out for lunch for a pre-Valentine's Day celebration. Sometimes with our schedule we cannot celebrate a celebration on that celebration day.Of course, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage responded in the positive."You," she said rather sarcastically, "will be picking up the check?""It's the least," I said in response, "I can do for your Valentine's Day present."Smilingly she said, "It sure is the least thing you could do."We chuckled simultaneously, which is something we...

Are We Addicted to Plastic?

Home and Family
Plastic is all around us. Just look around anywhere that you are sitting right now. There're probably plastic pens, folders, notebooks, and much more in your office. You are also probably surrounded by other plastic items too. Many parts of our car are made of plastic. Kitchen equipment and utensils are also made of plastic. We are surrounded by plastic everywhere.There many benefits to using plastic. Plastic is lighter than wood or metal, it is also cheaper to buy and produce. Plastic is also flexible, moisture-temperature-chemical resistant, durable and relatively inexpensive. There are also important roles that durable plastics play in certain settings such as hospitals and for computers, phones, safety and industrial equipment.But is all this plastic good for us? Many scientists are di...

What Is a Day Off, Really?

Home and Family
I'm not one who gets excited about holidays. If up to me there would be one holiday per month, and that's it.The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage loves holidays, no matter what it is. For her it is a time to have a "Day Off." If anybody knows how to celebrate a day off it is her.By January, she has all the holidays noted on her calendar and what she is going to do on those holidays.I do not even want to celebrate my birthday. With all my birthdays, you would think I would get tired of celebrating them. And, I have. The birthday just reminds you are getting older. I do not need that kind of reminder; the pain in my body does that for me.The problem with my birthday is it is two days before my wife's birthday. I am not quite sure how I planned that, but if I had to do it over again, I am n...

3 Easy Steps for Making Your Home A Sanctuary

Home and Family
People everywhere are beginning to feel more and more stress in their daily lives from the fast-moving pace of modern technology, rapid changing workforce, overload of information, and an unstable economy. As a result, it is becoming more and more important for your physical, emotional, and psychological/mental health to have a home you can retire to each day that allows you to de-stress your nervous system, to relax & release tensions in your body, and to recharge yourself with peaceful, restful sleep before going back out into the world the next day, to do it all over again.The problem is, that many folks are so submersed in the fast paced cycle of work, stress, and self medicate with unhealthy habits, that they aren't aware how easily they could stop the cycle long enough and get the ge...

What Time Is It Really?

Home and Family
Time is a strange thing, if you ask me. Even though I wear a wristwatch every day, most of the time I do not know what time it really is. And for that matter, how important is time?It came to me in a strange way this past week. I went to bed as normal in the evening. Once we had the grandchildren over and I discovered the difference between grandchildren and grandparents. Grandchildren try to come up with as many excuses not to go to bed while grandparents come up with excuses to go to bed early.I thought I was having a wonderful time sleeping when all of a sudden I began hearing strange noises and I could not figure out what it was. I thought I was just dreaming. Then there was an explosion in the bedroom and I jumped out of bed and noticed it was the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage wh...

Have Mouth, Will Stutter

Home and Family
I pride myself with the ability to express myself with the proper wording. I enjoy words and seeing how they relate one to another. Unfortunately, it has not always been the case.I have found through the years that I have developed quite the art of stuttering. It happens at the most inconvenient moments.It is like the story of Honest Abe Lincoln and his wife. The story is not true of course, but it is very interesting. Mrs. Lincoln asks Honest Abe, "Does this dress make me look fat?"Known as "Honest Abe" we all chuckle at that moment of stuttering for him.I have had such moments of my own.For example, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I might be sitting in the living room watching TV and all the time the person on the other couch is chattering. Me, I am not listening, just smiling...

It Was An Apple Fritter Kind Of Week

Home and Family
Have you ever had a week where everything went exactly as planned? Neither have I. Every week I start out believing this week is going to be different from all the other weeks of my life. If this has ever occurred, I cannot recall it.Take last week, please! I start every week about the same. I meticulously prepare my weekly to-do-list. This is not to be confused with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage's honey-do-list. Her list, and I learned this by experience, takes precedence over every other list in the world.My weekly to-do-list is a very important part of my week. I chronicle everything needing accomplished during the week along with appointments with people that I need to see. With the religious ferocity of the Pharisee, I follow this list throughout the week and dutifully check ...

Challenges of Modern Parenting

Home and Family
Families are building blocks of society and parenting is a blessed privilege but also a serious responsibility. In Today's World which is consumer oriented, lawless and sexually permissive, parenting has become a challenge. Too much exposure to audio and visual media from an early age coupled with ineffective parenting has made children selfish, self indulgent and seeking instant gratification. They are given to impulsive behaviour and are easily frustrated.Because the family is a training ground for preparing children to take their place in society as responsible adults, parents need to periodically assess their styles of functioning. They must have a progressive outlook while adhering to old world values. Child rearing principles are changing as the world changes and parental roles will ...

Organizing and Purging at Every Stage of Life

Home and Family
Purging is for everyone no matter what age or what stage of life you are in as it is not a one and done activity. Whether you are in college, single and living on your own, newly married, having children, an empty nester or grandparents, there is always something you no longer need or use. Life changes constantly and so do what and how we use things. Our taste in fashion and decorating changes as we age too. I had a client I helped when she lost her husband. She was in a condo as she and her late husband had already downsized to the condo a number of years prior. She and I went through every closet, drawer and space to eliminate what she no longer needed or used. She paired down on many items including 7 large totes filled with framed pictures that had come from her 4 bedroom home. We took...