Helping you create your own close-knit modern family and village in a busy, lonely world


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The Growing Up Hemminger Stories

The Growing Up Hemminger Podcast

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Read The Growing Up Hemminger Stories


I hear that many people look back on their elementary school gym classes with fondness. Me. Not so much. My emotional experience of gym class ranged between mildly awkward to extremely humiliating. Three times each week, I loathed how my school day, that is the part...

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That God-Damned Trudeau

Dad, always left-leaning politically, was probably progressive in a way that was ahead of his time. He and my uncles would always bet a bottle of booze as to which of their favourite political parties would win each federal or provincial election. My Dad would always...

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Watching Movies With Elma

Mom said she was diagnosed with Saint Vitus Dance (or Sydenham’s Chorea) as a child. Saint Vitus Dance comes from a childhood infection often brought on by rheumatic fever. Although Saint Vitus Dance most often resolves by the time people reach adulthood, Mom...

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Because Being Kind Grows:

I am embarrassed to say that I have not always been kind. I have been that person at the other end of the phone with a customer service representative (my cell phone company, cable provider, or what have you) and became not only unkind but rude or abusive. I have, in...

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Introduction to Growing Up Hemminger

So, um, I have been working on a memoir about how I grew up. Here is me taking a stab at saying what it is about: This is a memoir written by a profoundly imperfect person. Despite this, she hopes her story is still worth telling. Val says that everything she creates...

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Listen To The Growing Up Hemminger Podcast

011 – How To Make A Family & The Story Of Michael

We all know how to “make” a family, but what does this mean in the broader sense? Val Hemminger explains how family is not limited to only biological connections. It has to do with the heart. Listen as Val shares the story of Michael who was adopted by another family,...

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010 – The Fabric & Threads That Thicken

How do you create the fabric and threads in your life? Imagine that every connection you have with other people is represented by a thread. The threads may be thicker or thinner depending on the person or circumstances, and they all form the fabric of life. The more...

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009 – The Neighborhood Walkabout

After a long workday, it can be tempting to sit indoors watching TV. However, getting out to meet people and make connections is likely much more fulfilling! Val Hemminger explains that even a simple walk around the neighborhood can lead to new friendships,...

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008 – Guidelines For Living

Do you have a set of guidelines for living? If so, what are they? If not, let this episode of Growing Up Hemminger serve as inspiration! Val Hemminger shares her top 12 guidelines for living. These include everything from forgiveness practice to keeping a clean home....

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007 – Cherishing Every Moment

Val has been focusing on the positive aspects of human connections and spending time with others, but today delves into some of the opposites. Sometimes people can irritate each other! It’s normal for this to happen, but always remember to cherish the moments and...

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006 – It Takes A Village

By definition, the word “sober” sounds boring. Since we generally use the word sober as relating to alcohol, does that mean anybody who doesn’t drink is boring? Of course not. Val reframes the idea of “sober” and explains why we aren’t necessarily sober simply because...

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Who’s Val?

Everything I create comes from being a Hemminger. Adopted and raised by Elma (and Julius) Hemminger, outstanding and loving humans who taught me the power and force of deep love. My Mom left this world a much better place for having lived in it and I am sharing her legacy.

Our ancestors thrived because they lived in extended family groups, tribes and communities. They did not flourish while living in small, individual, little nuclear family pods. Yet, this massive nuclear family error is how so many of us today live a lot of the time.

Add to the nuclear family dynamic how busy we are, and the fact that we spend oodles of time on our personal devices, it is no wonder we feel disconnected and lonely, even when we live with people.

It is my mission to share what I learned from my parents, and to take those lessons to help others create a broad definition of family that is meaningful and connected in our busy, lonely world.