Tag Archives: Families

The Powers of Collective Prayers!

6 Oct

Dear All,

I finished my workout this morning and before leaving the gym I looked at my phone and found this text from my youngest daughter…

“Hi Mom, a good friend of mine from CC, Will Sullivan, got into a bad car wreck in Idaho and he’s in a coma with head trauma and swelling, breathing on a ventilator. Hid friend died at the scene. Please hold him in your prayers.”

Today, I humbly ask everyone no matter what God you believe in,( even if you don’t believe) to please hold Will and his family in your prayers and/or send up good thoughts to the spirits….Because at a time when I feel the most helpless, I do believe in the powers of collective prayers!

Thank you in advance!


…Much love to you all…

Happy Father’s Day!

15 Jun

“The heart of a father is the masterpiece of nature.”
― Antoine François Prévost, Manon Lescaut

The Giver!

10 Mar

Day Light savings arrived perfectly on time this morning. Which is also code for longer days of sunlight (yippee)! But for those who are not morning people, the time change leaves them very exhausted, feeling miserable for that lost hour of sleep.

But not me! I’m a morning person, I love springing forward and the clocks! Love jumping out of bed with the delight of an earlier start to my day or at least in my head it feels that way.

Today feeling a bit happier with a little more skip in my walk,  I walked over to my neighbors for my usually Sunday morning Thing One and Thing Two entertainment time.  Of course never knowing what activities I would discover but always filled with expectations of hugs, laughter and beautiful loving insights. This morning certainly did not disappoint.

As I let myself into their backyard heading to their backdoor I noticed bear size foot prints in the over night dusting of snow. At this point I need to mention their 110 pound Great Pyrenees English Setter Mix that looks more like a Shetland pony than a dog. And by the way, who loves to greet me by leaping up into the air landing her front paws on top of my shoulders with her enormous head towering above me. As she wagged her grand tail (swinging it back and forth), creating colder wind chill tempts, I did my best to push her down… Recognizing like everything else over at my neighbors house, she is filled with love.

But I’m digressing a bit….

Upon my arrival Thing One and Thing Two greeted me with smiles and giggles as they ran off to fetch their make-believe pizza (play doh) on little toy plates. I pretended to gobble it up with enthusiasm and delight. The next food delivery they thought should be tea.

When all of a sudden….

Thing One takes off like a shot (older, taller and has the athleticism of a gold medallist) was the first to grab the tiny plastic tea cup…

Poor harmony, poor, poor harmony… it ended up in the frying pan!

Thing Too wanted to be “the giver,” feeling his second giving would be considered sloppy seconds!

Which made me remember a quote by Theodore Roosevelt (a God wink moment)…”Comparison is the thief of joy.”

Because of great parenting, Thing Two learned no matter what he gave, it was still going to be very special…..Serenity arrived perfectly on time.


….To me, it became as obvious as the nose on my face, Thing Two had begun the journey that would lead him to being a very happy adult.




“The Best Kind Of All”

23 Jan
Dear Readers,

“There are all kinds of milestones in life,
the kind you expect to live through.
The first kiss,
If you’re lucky a wedding or two or even a new addition to the family.
Then there’s the kind you never dreamed you’d ever live through again…
And that’s the best kind of all.”
-Modern Family 1/16/13
Asklotta and staff will MIND YOUR BUSINESS today enjoying “the best kind of all.”
Again, it has been my pleasure to tell you what to do and what NOT to do!
Kindest regards,
President and CEO

No Such Thing As A Hallmark Family!

30 Nov
Dear Readers,
As you probably could have guessed (or not) by my lack of postings this past week I was traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday and forgot my laptop at home. I remember the feeling I had in the security line at the airport when I realized I didn’t have a laptop to take out of my carry-on to place in a separate bin. A panicky feeling started to rise from my shoeless toes and for a moment, the thought of racing home (panic obviously arrived safely in my brain) to retrieve it sounded like a throbbing song in my head. 
But being a logical person I remained calm reaching for a Godiva peppermint filled in dark chocolate candy bar tucked away in an easily accessible pocket in my purse with now thoughts of; I can so live without my laptop! It is truly amazing the powers of chocolate not to mention peppermint filled chocolate. As the days continued to pass I had moments of feeling cut off from the world.  And I was right, I was cut off from the world but come to find out that was a blessing in disguise and exactly what I needed!
Please keep reading…
Now one of the most wonderful things about traveling is not being at home. I know that sounds obvious and please don’t get me wrong, I love home. But what I mean is, your routine is different, the foods are different, the times you eat are different, your activities are different, the people you come across and intersect with are different and so on and so forth. And my take away from all of this; the “Hallmark” family does not exist (thankfully).
Upon my return my friend Sandy and I were talking about the past holiday and the upcoming holiday season and I said there is no such thing as a Hallmark family and Sandy said “Norman Rockwell didn’t do us any favors by painting the perfect family.”
I immediately responded, did you ever think Norman Rockwell paintings of the perfect family/life is nothing more but an ironic joke, knowing full well his paintings were just his imagination with human figures and features? Or his paintings were more Martin Luther King-ish…I have a dream …that some day families/people would live in harmony and peace. It reminds me of the German born artist and choreographer Oskar Schlemmer’s. His 1932 painting of ” Bauhaus Stairway” represented idealism to the students and teachers of the Bauhaus.
Now is a great time to remind you not all of Norman Rockwell paintings were of an ideal state.  “The Problem We All Live With”  the 1964 painting of “Ruby Bridges, a six-year-old African-American girl, on her way in to an all-white public school in New Orleans on November 14, 1960 during the process of racial desegregation. Because of threats and violence against her, she is escorted by four U.S. Deputy Marshals; the painting is framed such that the marshals’ heads are cropped at the shoulders.[1][2] On the wall behind her is written the racial slur “nigger” and the letters “KKK“; a smashed tomato thrown at Bridges is also visible. The white crowd is not visible, as the viewer is looking at the scene from their point of view.[1] “ – Wikipedia
But somehow for some reason we always remember the painting of the perfect family “Freedom of Want” (the family at Thanksgiving) illustrated in “Four Freedoms” 1943 “Freedom of Speech”  “Freedom of Worship” “The Freedom from Fear” Those paintings to me represent an ideal state that didn’t exist then or today. Of course we have freedom of speech but when it is truly tested it is usually not simply with one man standing as a peaceful crowd looks on with support.  
The “Freedom of Fear” painting is of a mother and a father (together) tucking two angelic children into bed.  The father is in a white shirt indicating no manual labor void of any blue-collar hardships. There does not seem to be any guilt on the parent’s of two children sharing one bed, in fact I am starting to feel bad my children had their own beds…What perfect night/life did I rob from them? And of course this perfection comes in just one color, Caucasian.
So if you have survived Thanksgiving, pat yourself on the back! One down two to go (Hanukah /Christmas and New Year’s Eve)…and remember Norman Rockwell’s paintings were just paintings nothing more and nothing less… filling a canvas with artistic idealism – void of true realism! 
Asklotta and staff will MIND YOUR BUSINESS today so very happy I/my family do not live in a painting regardless of the artist!
Again, it has been my pleasure to tell you what to do and what NOT to do!
Kindest regards,
President and CEO

Two Days To Thanksgiving!

20 Nov
Dear Readers,

As we get one day closer to Thanksgiving…I feel it is really important for you to take a moment to view this short clip on families…please see below!
 “News Flash – Theres No Such Thing As A Normal Family.”
A book trailer for “Far From the Tree” by Andrew Solomon.
Asklotta and staff will Mind YOUR BUSINESS today in full appreciative of all my cast of characters that I call MY family!
Again, it has been my pleasure to tell you what to do and what NOT to do!
Kindest regards,
President and CEO

The Holidays!

19 Nov
Dear Readers,

Though the holidays for many are filled with much love and laughter…but sadly for others, quite the opposite.  The holidays seem to pull scabs off of old emotional wounds… whether by death, illness, divorce, loneliness, financial or due to really bad decisions. This all adds up to personal grief that becomes even more blown up and grows way out of proportion. It becomes oh so difficult to manage at a time when we think we need to create the “Hallmark” image. 
Even though it seems to be the Christmas holiday as the deal breaker for emotional health, I find for many it begins at Thanksgiving and we all should slow down and release the control we think we have but truly never did. A loud rendishen of the Beatles song “Let It Be” would be perfect right about now!
I find for many people Thanksgiving is the pre-gaming to the Bigger, Better, More frantic (hot mess) holiday! 
Already exhausted from the Thanksgiving cooking, the drunk comment made by Aunt whoever about whatever!… And then before the break of daylight  “Black Friday” up early to the stores, waiting in long lines, getting pushed, shoved, to make the deal that the retail Gods have led you to believe you can-NOT possibly afford to miss! Or possibly this year all that excitement will come at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving! If I am even still awake at 8 p.m. I will surely be in my p.j. trying to figure out how and why I ate so much!!!
Why, why, WHY I ask you do we do it?  For two reason, 
1) To create the Christmas magic for the ones you love. 
2) We feel we are going to miss out
AHHHH! We all have been drinking the retail kool-aide far too long!  
…AND with all that said
Celebrate the Moment

Despite our good intentions, remember that the holidays rarely turn out as planned. Focus on making them a special time for you and your family, no matter what the circumstances. Celebrate this season of hope and expectation. Celebrate the many blessings in your life.

Rev. Susan Gregg-Schroeder Coordinator of Mental Health Ministries

A great on-line article about emotionally managing the holidays with a wonderful six step action plan, please go to…
1) Know Your Limits
2) Don’t over schedule
3) Skip the holiday Toasts
4) Ask for help with holiday errands
5) Don’t forget your meds
6) Don’t ignore the warning signs
This year I plan to work really hard at finding my calm, grace and peace and relax my way into this years Christmas season. I am going to create the magic for the ones I love by being responsible for my actions and my actions ONLY. I am going to stay away from toxic people who only have greed, jealousy and hate in their hearts. I am going to attend church more often to be reminded that the birth of our savior is why we even celebrate Christmas. 
“…The newborn child to remind me the wonder and trust are the hope of the future.” -Psalm for the meaning of life
Asklotta and staff will MIND YOUR BUSINESS today by taking one day at a time remaining mindful of all my peaceful calm choices!
Again, it has been my pleasure to tell you what to do and what NOT to do!
Kindest regards,
President and CEO


30 Oct

Dear Readers,


I am going to say it out loud…I Hate Halloween! 


I know how it makes me sound like an anti-candy person, which I am NOT. Which is completely ridiculous to anyone who knows me, I could not survive without some kind of (sweetly, sweetfull, sweet-a-licious) indulgence everyday if not twice a day!


One would think with such a sweet tooth and sweet thoughts this would be MY holiday…keep reading!


I never have liked Halloween even as a kid growing up in Rochester, NY. Any Rochester child knows one of the most important decisions regarding a Halloween costume is; can you wear it over a snowsuit (will it still fit?) and will it lose its impact?


Do not get what all the fuss fun is all about.


I hate having my doorbell ringing every five minutes. I am a generous person, I love giving, I love giving candy…just ask Thing one and Thing two? With one hand on the bible, swearing under oath, they would scream from their sugar high…”YES!” I give them lots and lots of (candy/cookies) treats.

My dogs’ staffs go crazy with every footstep, voice and doorbell they hear! Inside my home a barking-fest, giving pause to even the biggest dog lover a question of my staff’s existence. Poor Elwood and poor Augie, thinking we are under attack, bless their protective hearts!…Maybe my Halloween blessing will be hurricane Sandy?


Elwood and Augie standing guard!


Target -1st floor


Target – 1st Floor


Do not get what all the bother fun is all about.

Halloween is a time for the truly gifted and artistic mothers to shine brightly (I am definitely Not one of them). YOU own the cluster of streets in your neighborhood, YOU own the Halloween party at school.  The Halloween talent light shines brightly on you, not your child (hmmm) Please do not confuse those who make a costume with those who CREATE a costume. Halloween CREATIONS would bring any Broadway producer down to his knees green with envy (no pun intended.)


Target – 2nd Floor


Do not get what all the aggravation fun is all about.

Halloween is a time when some adult women use it as an excuse to dress like sluts their fantasies.  Men (equal opportunist) use it as the same excuse, a gynecologist or Hugh Hefner…and they always think they are so original and oh so funny ewww. 


The Mall 10.27.12

Do not get what all the commotion fun is all about.

But what you all do not know (and must) about Halloween in Rochester, NY or I should say trick or treating at my house, MY FAMILY. After a night of hard work, running from house to house, screaming trick or treat at adults, getting rewarded handsomely with sweet candy to add to our already way too heavy pillowcases filled with sugared treats. Upon our arrival back home (I and my sister)…  would get greeted at our front door by my Mother with a smile on her face. We would empty all our candy out and Mother would have us pick six of our most favorite pieces of candy we wanted to keep (more then enough for any one child) and then for the rest of our sweet stash  (pounds and pounds of candy) my Mother would take it to the pediatric floors at our local hospitals for children who were unable to enjoy one of the most fun nights’ a child could possibly have!



Ok Ok…maybe there is some (lots) of fun in this orange and black holiday!  For I will be thinking of my beautiful, sweet and generous mother tomorrow with a smile on my face as the doorbell rings, the dogs bark and children screaming trick or treat! For it was the love of my Mother that made everyday sweeter for me and for so many children in hospitals on Halloween!


Asklotta and staff will MIND YOUR BUSINESS today… Halloween “ready and able” … a bowl filled with candy, 2 dog crates office cubicles, a huge sugar rush and a witch’s hat on my head! (Pun intended)


Again, it has been my pleasure to tell you what to do and what NOT to do!


Kindest regards,




President and CEO







Bullying 4

26 Oct

Dear Readers

From the blog Nhanfiction.com – My philosophy…My advice to all!



From Pinterest – My philosophy…My advice to all!




From Pinterest – My philosophy…My advice to all!




From Pinterest – My philosophy…My family!




Asklotta and staff will MIND YOUR BUSINESS today hoping you have read the words above more then once!

Again, it has been my pleasure to tell you what to do and what NOT to do!


Kindest regards,


President and CEO




“Eugene Johnson’s First Day of School”

10 Sep
Dear Readers,
Even though Thing One and Thing Two (my neighbor’s children) had the most wonderful first day and days of school sadly there were others in Cleveland not as lucky…and who ever said money can’t buy love didn’t have a five year old in the Cleveland school system!
Unlike Mr. Morris (author “Eugene Johnson’s First Day of School”) I have no faith in blindly pouring more money in the hands of (idiots) Cleveland’s school administrators. They have not proven why they are still in their present jobs much less anything else regarding money (“large tax level”)! If the people in positions of power (Cleveland School Administrators) cannot figure out a school was demolished a year earlier how and why should we have any faith in their ability to manage even more money and more children. 
The Cleveland schools remind me of a quote; “Sometimes forgiving someone is like giving a gunman another bullet.”
You have to understand I am the kind of person that believes when it comes to an education luck should have nothing to do with it. Below is an article about Eugene Johnson’s first day of Kindergarten published in The Plain Dealer (Cleveland’s newspaper). As miserable as it was for Eugene Johnson, Mr. Morris comes to an incredibly inadequate conclusion. 
The article below confirms and reaffirms the knowledge the Cleveland schools need to be taken over without delay. Immediately firing the present administrators, institutionalize accountability, like the rest of corporate America! If you send a client to a meeting in a building that had been demolished a year earlier, you would get fired, as you should. 
Mr. Morris I stand firm in my opinion; pouring good money after bad makes absolutely no sense in fact could even in danger many more children’s lives. My conclusion – Fire all that were responsible!
Please read the article below…
“Eugene Johnson’s first day of kindergarten was a complete disaster: Phillip Morris
Eugene Johnson strapped on his Spiderman book bag early Wednesday morning and headed out the front door with a single thought in mind. Breakfast at the school where he would be starting Kindergarten.
He didn’t care that he and his mother had to walk 25 minutes down Cleveland’s 130th Street in order to catch the No. 22 RTA bus on Lorain Avenue.
He didn’t care that he would have to ride that bus for 10 minute, get off near 99th Street, and walk still another 10 minutes to Almira Elementary.
He didn’t even care that his mother woke him at 6:30 that morning and made him get extra clean for the first day of school.
He didn’t care because he’s 6. And when you’re 6, the first day of school is exciting – especially when you’ve been told that breakfast is going to be served.
There’s no way Eugene, a smallish boy, who dreams of owning his own computer, could have know that the Cleveland Metropolitan School district was about to teach him an important lesson, a lesson that will likely remain with him for sometime:
Life doesn’t always come with a breakfast.
“When he found out that he wasn’t going to get breakfast, he just started crying. I wanted to cry too,” Shanesha King, the mother, said Friday morning.
Eugene Johnson didn’t get his eagerly anticipated school breakfast Wednesday morning because the building the school district told him to report to at 3375 West 99th Street no longer exists.
He was instructed to report to Almira Elementary School, which was built in 1916 and demolished in 2010.
The place where the school once stood is now a large hole in the ground — the scene of a fresh construction site and home of a future Cleveland school.
Mistakes happen.
But try explaining that reality to a boy on his first day of school. Try explaining bureaucratic errors, like non-existent buildings or phantom addresses, to a kid who had spent days debating whether to carry the Scooby Doo, or the Spiderman book bag on Day One.
Try explaining to a boy, who had been dreaming of new friends and breakfast, that his first day of school is one he’s likely never to forget, for all of the wrong reasons.
Cleveland remains a sprawling district, filled with transient families that often move multiple times throughout a single academic year. It’s a difficult task to track students.
With a mobility rate of 30 percent, children can easily disappear within the system as families migrate throughout the city, and in and out of the district.
But how do you send a boy – and 293 other students — to a school that was closed in 2009 and demolished a year later?
No one seems to have a good answer. Roseann Canfora, the district’s communication’s officer, said the mistake was realized Tuesday, the day before school began. A phone message was hastily recorded and dialed to the 294 families that had been instructed to take their children to the vacant lot on West. 99th.
But it’s not at all clear how many children, like Eugene, still showed up at the wrong site, because the district didn’t have working contact telephone numbers for all of the parents.
Interestingly enough, no signs were posted at the erroneous address redirecting people to the proper location off of West 117th street. No district employee was assigned to the hole in the ground, to point parents and their young children to the building that now temporarily housing Almira elementary, some two miles away.
In the big scheme of things, the mistake of sending nearly 300 Cleveland school children to an active construction site is far from the worst thing that could happen to the district.
There’s no reason to believe that this embarrassing mistake need distract from the district’s stated goal of becoming “a premier school district in the United States of America.”
But still, one cannot help but wonder the following:
If the administration figured out, belatedly, that it had directed scores of families to the wrong address, why didn’t it simply have someone waiting at the hole in the ground with coffee, fruit and cookies?
That simple measure would have stopped one little boy’s first day of school from being a complete disaster. And it would have made an impoverished Cleveland mother feel a little bit better about the $5 she was needlessly forced to spend on an all day bus pass.
It’s simple things like that — and getting children graduated — that help get large tax levies passed.
By Phillip Morris, The Plain Dealer – Friday, August 24, 2012
Asklotta and staff will MIND YOUR BUSINESS today fed up with “bureaucratic errors” and “large tax levies” because putting money in the hands of the stupid and the entitled only creates a hot mess, as poor Eugene Johnson knows all too well!
Again, it has been my pleasure to tell you what to do and what NOT to do!
Kindest regards,
President and CEO
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