Tag Archives: Holidays

“The Holy Spirit Is In My Pocket”

26 Jan

“Does anyone want the Holy Spirit because it’s in my pocket” I hear from the backseat….


“I have the Holy Spirit in my pocket, does anyone want it?” 

I turn my head back to look at my three grown children in the backseat of our car as we are pulling out of the Church’s parking lot.

and SHE

…pulls out the communion host (wafer) from her front pocket.

Her brother yells…”I can’t believe it, I can’t believe it”…”What are you crazy?” “Why didn’t you just put it in your mouth? I’ve never known anyone to do this…This is sacrilegist!” 

SHE says…

…”Welll it’s flu season and the priest had it in his hands and I didn’t want to get sick.

 Trying so hard not to laugh at everyone and everything in the backseat while at the exact same time trying really hard not to offend God on Christmas Eve…I reach back extending my hand to accept the backseat communion offering and place it respectfully in my mouth. 

….AND after days of smiling and a lot of laughter well into January, it occurred to me, SHE did have the Holy Spirit in her pocket! 

Thanksgiving for all answered prayers!


FedEx And The Christmas Miracle!

15 Jan
Dear Readers,
I am off and running!
After three unsuccessful attempts for FedEx to deliver a package to my home (signature required, damn it) I had no choice but to go off and find the FedEx holding facility in Richfield, OH. Given today was the last day FedEx would hold on to my package before the dreaded back to sender.  So off I drove to the FedEx holding faculty, which come to find out is 31 miles from my home.
I was under a time crunch because I had a million and one things to do before leaving for a funeral in Detroit. Uncle Bill had a timely departure, he was well into his 80’s with some health issues but with all that said it was still somewhat untimely for me.
I had MapQuest directions, printed them up and now they lay on the seat next to me. Before leaving my garage I had in-put the address into my car’s GPS, confidently I drove out of my driveway. For those who know me, directions and confidence should never be in the same sentence.
While driving I must confess I was complaining to myself about how inefficient I thought FedEx was at this very moment. I was whining about all the things I had to do and this whole process just seemed ridiculous. They can send a man/woman to the moon but FedEx can’t figure out how to deliver a package when no one is home. You know what I’m talking about; you all have done the same thing a million times before. In the process of doing something, the playlist playing in your head is a list of complaints, injustices and annoyances, making new wave music sound mellow.
I took a moment to notice….
Today the sun was actually shining in Cleveland (a miracle); a chilly 26 degrees while ordering myself to stop complaining. Purposely reshuffling the playlist in my head and created a complete new list of music one of enjoyment, to help create a more joyful moment. I started to have fun wondering what layed ahead of me, who was going to cross my path and add something positive to my life…
AND…it happened…
The First Miracle: I didn’t get lost! This goes down in the history books! 
The Second Miracle: once inside the huge FedEx building, (which by the way, the street address is my son’s name) the appropriate person went to retrieve my package from the holding room (no mishaps). While waiting for my package I had the most interesting conversation with a gentleman name Abraham. A slender man with kind eyes and a smile that I still can see in my mind’s eye even seven hours later.
He said to me “All is good, I’m going home.”
I responded, you’re a lucky man, going home makes you happy, there are many who cannot say the same thing.
Being a little curious I asked, what are your days like if you work all night.
He said, “today I will take a nap then I’m going to play the ponies.”
Now this is where the conversation got interesting…
He said, “The ponies have done me well. As soon as I’m $60 up I go home. But the young guys don’t play the ponies because it takes patience and some figuring out.” He said, “The young guys do not know how to figure things out anymore.” He continued, “kids will do what is asked but nothing more and if things do not go exactly as planed, they can’t figure it out.”
His wife he said (a retired educator) feels the kids today are in an awful way. Parents over-schedule, prevents struggles/consequences and over empowers children at an early age by handing over control/decisions. He said in his church they now pray for parents as well as children.
We walked out together into the parking lot, sun still shinning, package now under my arm. Thrilled for my adventure to FedEx and for my meeting with Abraham… We bid each other goodbye and as I glanced back to see Abraham one more time (squinting in the sun) I wished him good luck, and with a smile on his face he waved his final goodbye!
The Third Miracle: As I traveled to my family function in Detroit, again I’m off and running, and in a moment of peace, it accrued to me, by the time my son gets this package, a late xmas gift for one reason or another (certainly not planned this way) it will be January 6, the 12th day of Christmas when the Three Wise Men arrived in Bethlehem and presented their gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh (FedEx package) to Jesus.
January 6 – the Epiphany – Epiphany is derived from the Greek epiphaneia and means manifestation or to appear. In a religious context, the term describes the appearance of an invisible divine being in a visible form. – University of Kansas Medical Center, Diversity Calendar
I now feel this was no mishap or inefficient process or behind the times technology by FedEx…Having to travel to the FedEx storage facility with the street address the same name as my son (especially me traveling) …. was a true Christmas miracle! I had been waiting for this moment since the holidays began…My Christmas miracle arrived and all I had to do was change my playlist in my head and allow it to happen.
Asklotta and Staff will MIND YOUR BUSINESS today in complete amazement of miracles!
Again, it has been my pleasure to tell you what to do and what NOT to do!
Kindest regards,
President and CEO

Tis The Season…To Giggle!

11 Dec
Dear Readers,
Tis the season…
 To stay balanced…
 We must take time to eat well, exercise, take care of ourselves spiritually (a huge must) AND also take time to laugh!
So in the spirit of giggles…

A man will pay $20 for a $10 item he needs.
A woman will pay $10 for a $20 item that she doesn’t need but it’s on sale.
A woman has the last word in any argument.
Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.
A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband.
A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.
A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn’t.
A man marries a woman expecting that she won’t change, but she does.
AND with all that said and NOT said…
Asklotta and staff will MIND YOUR BUSINESS today with a giggle and a smile on my face!
Again, it has been my pleasure to tell you what to do and what NOT to do!
Kindest regards,
President and CEO

Actively Stopping!

10 Dec
Dear Readers,
Below is an insightful quote from Troy of aslongasimsinging.wordpress.com. I will take his advice and I hope you do too!
“In my humble experience, the “magic” of the holidays only happens when you actively stop. Just stop, and allow it to happen for you, instead of because of you.”

-Troy from the blog aslongasiamsinging.wordpress.com
Asklotta and staff will MIND YOUR BUSINESS today actively stopping and allowing it to happen!
Again, it has been my pleasure to tell you what to do and what NOT to do!
Kindest regards,
President and CEO

Carol’s Corner and Ben Stein!

5 Dec
Dear Readers,

Again, the following is from my dear friend Carol. Lets call this one “From Carol’s Corner.”
The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on a CBS Sunday Morning  Commentary.

My confession: 

I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish.  And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees…  I don’t feel threatened..  I don’t feel discriminated against.. That’s what they are, Christmas trees. 

It doesn’t bother me a bit when people say, ‘Merry Christmas’ to me.  I don’t think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto.  In fact, I kind of like it.  It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn’t bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu .  If people want a crèche, it’s just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away. 

I don’t like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don’t think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians.  I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period.  I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country.  I can’t find it in the Constitution and I don’t like it being shoved down my throat… 

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren’t allowed to worship God as we understand Him?  I guess that’s a sign that I’m getting old, too.  But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to. 

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different:  This is not intended to be a joke; it’s not funny, it’s intended to get you thinking.

In light of recent events… terrorists attack, school shootings, etc..  I think it started when Madeleine Murray O’Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn’t want prayer in our schools, and we said OK.  Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school…  The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself.  And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn’t spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock’s son committed suicide).  We said an expert should know what he’s talking about..  And we said okay..

Now we’re asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don’t know right from wrong, and why it doesn’t bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out.  I think it has a great deal to do with ‘WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.’ 

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world’s going to hell.  Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says.  Funny how you can send ‘jokes’ through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing.  Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace. 

Are you laughing yet? 

Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you’re not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it. 

Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us. 

Pass it on if you think it has merit. 

If not, then just discard it… no one will know you did.  But, if you discard this thought process, don’t sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.  

My Best Regards,  Honestly and respectfully, 

Ben Stein

Asklotta and staff will MIND YOUR BUSINESS today feeling enough has been said!
Again, it has been my pleasure to tell you what to do and what NOT to do!
Kindest regards,
President and CEO

From Carol’s Kitchen – Fennel and Some Fa La La La!

3 Dec
Dear Readers,

Tis the Season to give and share while remaining in the spirit of joy and fa la la la! Oh how I love the fa la la la of the season!
My dear friend Carol who is a meditation teacher shared her divine recipe with me and now I with you. It will not disappoint… yum delicious! It is literally an easy slice and bake kind of cooking and to anyone who knows me, this makes for the perfect kind of cooking! Thank you Carol!
From Carol’s Kitchen…
For six people
Pre-heat oven 425
4 Heads of Fennel
3 Can of Artichokes – drained, patted dry
4 Tablespoons of  Extra Virgin Olive Oil (saving 1 T for the end)
2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (for the end)
3 tablespoon chopped of flat leaf parsley (for the end)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan Cheese (optional)
Cut off the frond (green leafy part of fennel) And save for garnish
Cut into 3/4 inch wedges  
Cut artichokes in half lengthwise
Lay them all out on a rimed cookie sheet
Drizzle two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over everything vegetables 
salt and pepper to taste
Roast vegetables at 425 degrees for 35 minutes, tossing vegetables after 20 minutes 
When finished, drizzle 1 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil remain and 2 t of fresh lemon juice 
Add parsley and toss to combined
Throw it all in a bowl
Garnish with fennel fronds 
Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top if desired – completely optional 
Serve a fish of your choice as a side dish!
It is healthy option as the season brings less then desired feelings!…Thank you Carol for bringing warmth, nutrition and love to the holidays!
Asklotta and staff will MIND YOUR BUSINESS today in Carol’s kitchen!
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
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