CATEGORY: Family and Friends

What To Do About Bullying

Stories of the school bully extorting lunch money from the kids who were smaller and more timid are common. Parents are also aware of the “mean girls” who start rumors for fun just to make other girls cry. What is a parent to do if their child is the victim? What if you discover your child is the bully? According to experts, these are things parents need to be aware of and here are some tips on how to handle these situations.

Bullying in school is common and widespread. If your child is a victim, reassure them that they are not alone. Let them know that you understand their pain or fear is very real and there are lots of tools available to make the situation better.

What Did You Say?

English is not my husband’s first language, although it is mine. He speaks English fluently, however, sometimes I say something that he just doesn’t understand and when he asks me to explain it, I am often at a loss as to how to do this. Idioms are cultural expressions that, to me, it just seems obvious as to what it means. Over the years I have noted some of these sayings as well as recorded expressions from other cultures that I have encountered when traveling or conversing with people from another country.

Upgrade Me, Please

This fall my husband and I plan to do some traveling. We don’t have loads of money to book first class accommodations throughout the trip. There are, however, some secrets on how to manage to receive upgrades and get the star treatment.

How can such a thing happen before you even arrive? How can an upgrade at the time of booking happen? How can you score a free room-service breakfast throughout your stay? How can you receive the privilege of late checkout with no extra charge? And a complimentary spa package you say? Yes! It’s possible!

What Are Hugs Made Of?

Some time after my mother had been widowed after fifty years of marriage, we talked about some of the things she missed about having her partner. She told me she missed being touched by another human being every day. She missed holding hands and hugs. Although I made it my personal mission after that conversation to give her as much contact as possible, I know I can never make up for the loss of my father. But it made me question just what kind of psychological and emotional stuff are hugs made of?

The Water Wars

In our household there has been the great debate, or Water Wars, depending on who you ask, about what is better to drink: tap water, bottled spring water, bottled purified water, or distilled water. What’s the difference between them all? Do those differences really matter to the average drinker?

Simple gal that I am, as well as cheap, I’m all for tap water. I believe our local municipality is doing its job to provide clean water for consumption as well as to be used in personal hygiene and cleaning. I tell everyone that if they are so paranoid about the city being involved in some kind of conspiracy to turn us into social zombies through our water supply we can always invest in one of those purifiers that attaches to the sink or sits in a water pitcher.

Feng Shui My Girl Space

I’m getting ready to redecorate one of my “empty nest” rooms. I want to try something different so I plan to do a “Feng shui” concept. This is not just a decorating a scheme but it is actually an ancient philosophy system that originated in China. It attempts to harmonize humans with the environment which surrounds them.  It teaches that there are invisible threads that connect everything in the universe.

Color is considered to be a form of energy expression. I want to create a reading space so, according to principles of Feng shui, I should use colors that create a calming and relaxing atmosphere. I should choose colors that reflect the elements of earth and water. These would be complementary shades blue, brown and green. Warmer and more vibrant colors should be used in moderation. Their purpose is to create balance.

Does Your Child Have Genius Potential

I have almost two dozen nieces and nephews that were all born before I had my first child. My experience being surrounded by babies all the time helped me realize when one nephew came along that he was special. He was different not in an abnormal, weird way but in a quirky, completely different kind of perspective way. Would this mean he would grow up to become a genius? Were his differences evidence of that kind of potential? Now that he is a grown man and embarking on his career as a bio-geneticist I can see that it did mean just that.

Children, Pets and Grief

Recently my family lost a beloved family member, Sparky. He had been with us for almost eighteen years and was also a hero. Sparky was a dog who wandered into our lives as a puppy abandoned at a city park and we brought him home with us.

In the beginning it was “iffy” if Sparky was going to be a keeper. He seemed awfully aggressive. Not with the family, but with anyone who passed by the front yard. He would get so agitated he would chew through the wood fence and chase their phantom passage down the street. The delay of the chewing through the fence assured the unsuspecting stranger had gotten well away but Sparky just had to make sure. Unfortunately, Sparky could never remember where his exit hole was so he would chew another entrance hole. Despite his destructive security measures, my children and I adored him. My husband, not so much. You see, he was the one who was always having to patch up the fence.

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