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A DIFFERENT APPROACH TO VALENTINE’S DAY NOT JUST A TASK TO CHECK OFF YOUR LIST:
O n Feb. 14 several years ago, I was standing in line at a grocery store with a bouquet of red roses in my hands. The line to pay was long, so I took part in one of the most practiced human pastimes: people watching. As I scanned the store around me, I felt like I was looking in the mirror. I was surrounded by dozens of men, all armed with fragrant flowers and exasperated expressions. From that moment on, I’ve opted for a different approach to Valentine’s Day. I asked myself, “What is this holiday really about?” The answer is simple: Showing those around you how much you appreciate them. When it comes to showing gratitude to the people I care about, running to the store for roses at the last minute simply won’t get the job done. I decided to take the time to plan for Valentine’s Day and celebrate for the entire week instead of just one day.
In my preparations for the holiday this year, I kept finding myself thinking about the way the expectations associated with Valentine’s Day change as we grow older. In elementary school, for example, I remember my teacher having us set aside time to make a valentine’s box, and then the entire class would bring in valentines for their peers. It wasn’t just a day for husbands to buy flowers for their wives. It was a day to commemorate friendships — I remember receiving a ton of superhero-themed valentines from my best guy friends. Even if you did have a crush on someone in your class, you could spare yourself the embarrassment of having to actually tell him or her how you felt. You could just buy those Sweethearts candies and give them to your crush to express your adoration. At the end of the day, celebrating Valentine’s Day isn’t about commercialized expectations and Hallmark greeting cards; it’s about sharing your appreciation for
This year, for example, the holiday falls on a Thursday. So I might bring home a nice dinner on Monday, pick up roses on Tuesday, and give my wife chocolate strawberries — her favorite — on Wednesday. Instead of waiting for a big culmination on Feb. 14, I do a gradual ramp up, and I’ve found that this approach is less stressful and gives me more time to adequately acknowledge and appreciate my wife. I’m no longer swinging by the store to buy expensive and kitschy gifts on the way home from work one day out of the year, and I no longer feel like I’m cheapening the experience by just checking a task off a list. I’m not celebrating the day just because I have to. I’m celebrating it because I want to.
those around you. Try to avoid treating it like a simple task you can check off the list. Instead, take time to ponder the ways you can authentically show your gratitude. It can be something as
simple as bringing in coffee to your coworkers or taking your kids out for a fun experience. You could even take a page out of my book and celebrate Valentine’s Day for an entire week.
From all of us here at Kramer Law Group, Happy Valentine’s Day!
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While Valentine’s Day tends to get most of the hype in February, there are several other holidays this month that hold immense historical significance. One of those days falls on Feb. 4, the birthday of civil rights activist Rosa Parks. Labeled by U.S. Congress as “the first lady of civil rights,” Parks is most widely known for her refusal to surrender her seat to a white passenger on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. “THE FIRST LADY OF CIVIL RIGHTS” A COMMEMORATION OF On Dec. 1, 1955, Parks boarded the Cleveland Avenue bus for her journey home from work. She took a seat in the first several rows designated for “colored” passengers. Soon, the bus began to fill with white passengers, and the driver noticed that many of them were standing in the aisle. He then ordered those in the “colored” row to give up their seats. While the three other riders complied, Parks stayed put. She said, “I don't think I should have to stand up,” and the driver had her arrested. Her arrest sparked the 381-day Montgomery Bus Boycott and served as a major catalyst for the overall success of the civil rights movement. Parks was a person on a mission to stand up for what is right in the world, and she paved the way for others to do the same. Over 60 years later, our current political climate often demonstrates that as profound as Parks’ actions were, there are still many people residing in our country who don’t believe
SPEAK FROM THE HEART
It’s May 1, 1969. As the war continues in Vietnam, people gather in the Senate Subcommittee on Communications in D.C. to fight for what they believe is critical to the American public. Proposed budget cuts to Public Broadcasting Services (PBS) threaten the programs that have become dear to so many, and $20 million is on the line. For a public television station, this is everything. Over the course of two days, Senator John Pastore, chairperson of the subcommittee, has listened to speech after speech about why PBS should be awarded the funding. He’s tired of hearing the same bland data and is eager to have the ordeal over with. Then Fred Rogers, host of the newly syndicated series “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” steps up to the microphone. Unlike his fellow speakers, Mr. Rogers doesn’t use numbers or research to persuade Senator Pastore. In the calm voice many of us associate with our childhoods, Fred Rogers shares with Senator Pastore the reasons why he’s concerned about what children see on television. Two minutes after Rogers has begun talking, Pastore’s demeanor changes — his face softens, and he can tell Rogers has something important to say. From his work in child development, Rogers has come to empathize with and understand the worries and fears of children. He explains to Senator Pastore that he’s created a show for children, saying, “I feel that if we in public television can only make it clear that feelings are mentionable and manageable, we will have done a great service for mental health.” He doesn’t speak from the piece of paper in front of him; he speaks from his heart. Rogers shares with Pastore what he tells viewers at the end of each episode: “You’ve made this day a special day just by being you.” “I’d like to see this program,” Pastore says. Five minutes into the speech, he is transformed, just like anyone who’s seen Rogers’ show. “I’m supposed to be a pretty tough guy, and this is the first time I’ve had goosebumps for the last two days,” Pastore tells him. How has Rogers swayed the senator? He hasn’t waved a magic wand or given a dramatic performance, but Rogers’ passion is so palpable, even Senator Pastore can’t help being won over. After Rogers shares the words of one the songs he features in “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood,” Pastore has heard enough. “I think it’s wonderful,” Pastore declares. “Looks like you just earned the $20 million.” If you’d like to see Mr. Rogers' testimony for yourself, you can check it out at youtube.com/watch?v=fKy7ljRr0AA. HOW MR. ROGERS SAVED PBS
all men and women are created equal. In fact, it almost seems as though we’ve reverted back to a time where it’s acceptable to be racist. We’ve gone against Parks’ efforts to prove that based on our constitution, every person should have the same rights, and we’ve gone against the very ideas symbolized by the Statue of Liberty. My own father immigrated to the U.S. from Holland when he was 18. He came here because he sought the equal opportunities embodied in our nation’s social fabric. He believed that America stood for liberty, but it truly seems that we’ve taken a step back. Hopefully more people will take time this month to commemorate Parks’ birthday and follow her example to stand up for the equality, liberty, and rights of all men and women.
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INDICATIONS A CANINE IS GETTING READY TO CHOMP UTAH LAWS FOR DOG-BITE CASES
W hen it comes to dog bites, Utah law states that “every person owning or keeping a dog shall be liable in damages for injury committed by such dog.” In short, this means that under Utah law, if a dog bites you, the owners of the dog become strictly liable. To prevent dog-bite injuries, nearly every city in the state requires owners to keep their dog on a leash. Sadly, in the vast majority of dog-bite cases, children end up being the victims due to their playful and curious nature. Of course, no one wants to place blame on pets or children in traumatizing accidents like these. But even if the child provoked the dog through unwanted petting, hugging, or playing, the onus still falls on the pet’s owner to guarantee that attacks do not occur. More often than not, dogs will give some kind of physical indication to warn humans of their discomfort before a bite actually occurs. According to Barkpost.com, there are several signs that a dog is about to bite.
3. Their muscles may go rigid while their neck and back hair rises up.
4. Although it can also be an indication of happiness, a dog may slowly wag its tail if it feels reactive or on edge.
5. If you can see the whites of a dog’s eyes, it may be because
of visual fixation on a perceived threat, which can be a bite warning.
Dog bites can result in a lot of emotional trauma and medical expenses, and filing a claim in these situations can be very confusing and overwhelming. If you, a friend, or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, you should act quickly to preserve your claim. If you have any questions or need advice, be sure to give our office a call.
1. They may yawn, lick their lips, or avoid eye contact to demonstrate discomfort.
2. They may growl, snarl, or show their teeth to show more severe aggravation.
TAKE A BREAK
SPICY SALMON TARTARE
• 1 8-ounce boneless, skinless salmon fillet • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice • 1/4 teaspoon lime zest • 1/4 cup cucumber, seeded and finely diced • 1 1/2 teaspoons jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced • 1 1/2 teaspoons shallots, minced
• 3/4 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
• 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh cilantro, minced • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh chives, minced • 1 1/2 teaspoons grapeseed or vegetable oil • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste • Crackers or chips, for serving
1. Place salmon in freezer for 20 minutes to make slicing easier. 2. Meanwhile, prepare other ingredients for mixing. 3. Thinly slice salmon into sheets and cut sheets into strips and strips into cubes. When finished, you should have 1/8-inch cubes. 4. In a mixing bowl, combine salmon with all other ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. 5. Garnish with chips or crackers and serve.
Inspired by Epicurious
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE
1 2 2 3 3 4
A Different Approach to Valentine’s Day
How Mr. Rogers Saved PBS
A Commemoration of the First Lady of Civil Rights
5 Signs a Dog Is About to Bite
Spicy Salmon Tartare
3 Cheers for Chi Chi!
CHI CHI THE RESCUE DOG
A QUADRUPLE AMPUTEE WHO INSPIRES THE WORLD
I n our darkest moments, it can be hard to believe joy can be found again. But one amazing dog proves that no matter what happens, through love and patience, we can make the world a better place.
“She stole my heart,” Howell said, taken by how Chi Chi was still wagging her tail despite her injuries. After seeing Chi Chi’s perseverance and her will to live, Elizabeth and her family took on the challenge. There were struggles as Chi Chi learned to trust people again, but with time, Chi Chi found peace and joy with her new family. “She exemplifies resilience and forgiveness and willingly shares her love and compassion in abundance,” Howell has said. “Her sweet-tempered and gentle spirit opens people’s hearts and her perceptive spirit senses where her love is needed.” Chi Chi’s vet has called her a “miracle dog,” referring both to the fact that she survived losing all her legs and to the joy she brings to the world. Today, Chi Chi is a registered therapy dog, offering strength, love, and support to those who need it most. She visits VA hospitals, assisted living facilities, and children with disabilities. To celebrate her journey of survival, courage, and love, Chi Chi was honored with the American Humane Hero Dog Award in 2018. You can follow the adventures of this brave, loving canine at Facebook.com/ChiChiRescueDog.
Chi Chi is a golden retriever who was found in a dumpster by an animal
rescue group in South Korea. Badly injured and left in a garbage bag with her legs bound together, the only way to save Chi Chi’s life was to amputate all four of her legs. As she recovered, the call went out to find a family who could care for a dog with serious medical needs. As a quadruple amputee, just getting Chi Chi’s prosthetics on so she could go outside in the morning would be time-consuming. Fortunately, Elizabeth Howell from Arizona saw a video about Chi Chi’s plight online.
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