Category Archives: Flys or Flies

Finding a New Appreciation For Life After Cancer

I have just spent a delightful two weeks with my sister, Joy. Joy is the strong, energetic type who enjoyed a daily run before starting her teaching job. She had recovered well from a total mastectomy due to breast cancer twenty three years ago, and for the last two years had been having regular check ups for polyps in the bowel.

While running early one morning, she noted her foot was hurting. It was still troubling her several days later, so she decided to make an appointment with her doctor. The doctor examined her foot and suggested it would be a good idea to have a routine blood test.

This showed that Joy was anemic, which prompted the Doctor to do a colonoscopy. Wilma’s other sister rang with the disturbing news! The colonoscopy revealed Joy had colon cancer and faced the difficult decision to have the whole bowel, or a major part of the bowel removed.

Six weeks after surgery and in between chemotherapy, Joy came to me to recover. “I am going to enjoy every day,” she said. “This has made me appreciate life, as none of us know what is in the future.” And enjoy every day we did! During our bush walks the birds seemed to sing louder and sweeter, the moss appeared greener, the trees bigger. To Joy, the mountains were awesome, and the walk along the beach with the feel of the sand between her toes and the clear blue water were described as, ‘just beautiful’.

Joy praises God for every new day

As nature came alive and Joy took on a new appreciation of it, I was drawn to this thought for the week.

“When men invented   flying  machines they were noisy, but God made songbirds so they could sing the purest music on earth! (Genesis chapter 1, verse 21)

The sophisticated song mechanism of birds leaves scientists speechless. Birds are such skilled musicians that it often requires someone with a degree in music to fully appreciate their brilliance. Nightingales can have a repertoire of 300 songs stored in their brains! They will often sing 70 songs before they repeat the repertoire again with perfect accuracy. Many birds have ‘absolute pitch’, meaning that they can determine exactly what key they sing in without reference to anything like a tuning fork!

Some birds can perform antiphonal singing where two birds alternate notes in a song. This requires knowledge of the duet by both partners and split second timing in the execution of the duet. When human beings do this it’s considered very skillful and impressive yet birds can accomplish it easily! Since man-made music has an intelligent composer, it’s perfectly reasonable to assume that birdsong has an intelligent, divine Composer.

Some say that birdsong is only required for communication and mating purposes, but the complexity of their music goes way beyond any simple sounds that would satisfy these needs. We can safely conclude that birdsong was created for our enjoyment and that the dawn chorus was meant to remind us to praise God for every new day!”

It is a reminder to us all isn’t it, to stop and enjoy what God has given us to enjoy. Often we are so busy that we fail to stop long enough to listen to and enjoy nature.

By the way, the doctor never found anything wrong with Joy’s foot. Joy believes God used the foot to get her to the doctor, as they found absolutely no signs that would suggest there was another problem. If she had left it unattended, the outcome would have been worse. She wrote this poem before she  flew  home:

Cancer is such an ugly word

For me to get it, oh how absurd

But cancer came knocking at my door

And it was quite a shock, that’s for sure

But I know that God really loves me

And so from all fear I’m set free.

For God has promised to be with me all the time

Even when the mountain is real big to climb

The birds are singing and I’m still here

I have great support with the angels near

I’m so blessed in so many ways

I’ll live life to the fullest till the end of my days

For God has got special plans for me

He’s given me promises so that I can see

That there’s hope in the days ahead

So I’ve got a purpose to get out of bed!

Joy has found hope and comfort in knowing God really loves her and has her future in his hands. “I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace, and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.” Jeremiah 29:11

None of us knows what tomorrow may bring, but we can be sure of our final outcome. In the movie ‘Your Destiny Your Choice’, Ryan gave little thought to life after death until he faced death…he was afraid! His sister Nicky comes to visit in hospital and shows him a computer program that could make him sure of his destiny. Will Ryan choose to be sure of his final outcome? You will discover the answer when you download this movie free on my website.

Source by Wilma Watson

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Step Vans

Step vans have become more popular in recent years for a range of business and industry applications. While more people are beginning to hear about step vans, there are still lots of things the average business person might not know about them, such as what matters in various parts of the doors and body. This article will discuss 5 things you didn’t know about step vans but should look out for. This way you will be prepared the next time you are in the market for one.

The first thing you might not know about is that they come with a number of different configurations for the rear doors. There are only about three you really need to be aware of, however: roll ups, partial width barn doors, and full width barn doors. How you plan to use the van will help you decide the kind of doors that work best for you.

The second thing you might not know is that they come with two main kinds of body materials: steel and aluminum. Some vans will come with nose or trim pieces made of fiberglass, but the majority will not come with entire boxes made from fiberglass. However, due to the construction materials, aluminum might be better than steel because steel is more likely to rust than aluminum.

The third thing you might not know is that they come with varying box capacities. The box size that works best for you will depend on your needs. Besides making sure the box is big enough to accommodate your products, make sure there is a gate present between the back of the van and the cabin area of the driver; this is important not just to secure the products in the box, but to protect the driver in case   flying  packages head toward the front of the van in an accident.

The fourth thing you might not know is that they have weight capacities that must not be exceeded. If you simply use your van for everyday transportation of normal materials, this will probably not be an issue. However, if you plan on carrying pipes made of cast iron, such as if you are a plumber, you will want to pay close attention to the axle and general weight capacities of your step van.

The fifth thing you might not know about step vans but should is that the engine and transmission choices available are essentially those you will find in pickup trucks. You can purchase engines with 8 cylinders, 6 cylinders, and even 4 cylinders in some cases. It is possible to buy diesel engines, although the majority you come across will be powered by gasoline. You can also choose between manual and automatic transmissions. Keep in mind that you probably will not need a vehicle that accelerates rapidly or has a very high top speed; as long as you can reach highway speeds when you need to, you should be fine.

Source by Jim McCormack

Take the Quad Out!

While the most exciting portions of figure skating routine (for some) are the jumps, these high-flying athletic moves are the ultimate feats of a skater’s ability. Jumps, in figure skating, come in two varieties, rotational and positional. Positional jumps are short jumps that display an artistic position in the air. The primary objective of rotational jumps is to rotate while airborne. In these jumps, the skater appears to spin in the air. Skaters’ routines are measured partly on rotational jumps. For a quad, skaters have to achieve maximum rotation. While skaters need to develop as much rotational energy as possible, it is important that they obtain the best possible rotational position during the airborne portion of a performance as well.

Dick Button landed the first triple in 1952. Kurt Browning of Canada landed the first quad in 1982. Today, the quad jumps have become required elements in the men’s program. Quad toe loops seem to be the most frequently attempted quad jumps. While many skaters credit Jozef Sabovchik of Slovakia with landing the first quad jump, in 1984, at the Winter Olympics. The first official quad was performed by Kurt Browning at the 1988 world championships. Suddenly the quad is the rage. How far will we go with those risky jumps? Do we want five six rotations in the air? Are we looking for as many revolutions until we run out of numerical prefixes? What is the limit of jumping possibilities? Is a quintuple toe loop or a quadruple Axel in our future?

The jump is called a quadruple toe loop, and it is performed by gliding backward on the right skate, planting the left toe pick, lifting off with an outside edge of the right skate, spinning four times and landing on the same outside edge of the right skate. Art, science, agility and strength have all been used in describing skaters. However, it takes a high degree of difficulty to achieve the quad. The key is to get the optimal combination of height and rotation. There are four key events for the quad. Toe-pick: the instant the toe pick is planted onto the ice; Take off: the last contact with the ice; Height: the top of the flight phase; Landing: the immediate contact with the ice. Obviously, the quad alone will not win a title; it’s the total package, the artistry, the spins and the footwork. Obviously the focused should be on elements other than just the jumps.

A mistake in the quad costs dear while skaters can gain points on easier jumps. Doing a quad comes down to risk vs. reward in a judging system that puts emphasis on energy-sapping footwork and stiffly penalizes faulty jumps. The quadruple toe loop, is worth 9.8 points. The quad can come at a price. If you do it, you’re a star. But if there is anything wrong with it -for instance, a fall, or it’s under rotated, or too weak to do a combination after it, it’s downgraded. There are very few skaters who can make a mistake on the quad and still land it. A negative grade of execution can cost up to three points. A triple Axel is worth 8.2 points. When it is done well, it can earn up to three bonus points. So why risk falling on a quad when you’re more likely to land a clean triple Axel anyhow?

Rotational energy is the fuel that skaters work with, and they have to have energy to work with. The quad is an important jump. It’s fun. It’s interesting. It’s beautiful when it’s done right. While the quad is big news, I wonder if it will be some time before figure skaters are doing quintuple jumps. If you can do a quad well, by all means do it. But skating should never be about the jumps. It should be poetry on ice! No quad. While I agree that quad jumpers should be given more points, because of the tremendous risks involved, but I would rather be very pleased with the attention given to creativity and to the art we are so used to when it comes to skating.

The quad jump is a spectacular move. It is a neat and exciting. With the techniques and equipment currently used now, I think the athletes are pushing the envelope. I don’t see a quint any time soon or a quad Axel. I do see the other more difficult quads –Lutz’s and flips however– being done soon as well as more consistent and higher quality jumps. To add a revolution may take a while (or maybe not) and potentially some new technique, training or equipment modifications to the sport. I imagine that with different technologies in boots, blades, along with different training techniques, strength-training, and perhaps costumes, it might be possible for skaters to land bigger jumps.

There are limits to what the human body can do and I wonder how close we are to them in the sport of figure skating. I long for the good ole 6.0 system. Weir has complained of the new system, saying such things as, “It gives you points for being able to chew on your shoes,” Concerns for artistic expression has become secondary with the preoccupation of racking up points. Technical ability does not only pertain to jumps, but it includes spins, footwork, and a general flexibility. I just love to watch figure skating, and to witness the numerous feats of athleticism, skill, courage, endurance and passion.

Source by G Gautreau

Art of Succession Planning

Succession planning, like any business acumen, is both an art and a science. That is to say, there are many proven strategies that can and must be followed so that successful transition can occur.

Too often organizations address the succession challenge through the rearview mirror. They wait for someone to step down or even worse, be removed. Then and only then do they entertain thoughts of who or what should happen next?

One of the reasons little forethought is given to succession is evident in the fact that it rarely shows up in corporate business plans. Companies are quite diligent in forecasting-out 3, 5 and even 10-years but most of what they plan has more to do with finance, P&L, product evolution and little or no emphasis on who or how future leaders will captain the corporate ship.

It’s no secret senior executives, especially those new to the position, see themselves as bulletproof. In their minds, talk of succession is analogous to talk about potential failure – they will be there forever – so they have little appetite for negativities like that preferring rather to concentrate on positive things like how they will make the company successful – perhaps in perpetuity?

Professional consultants like Pat Micallef, VP of international consulting firm The Meta Group, takes a strong position when he says, “The success of any corporate succession, is predicated on the strength of the company business plan, and, it goes without saying,” he says, “leadership change is integral to future corporate strategies and should be built-in. The success of which, however, [succession planning] hinges expressly on whether or not the architects of the plan have a clear understanding of three important criteria:

a) What will it take to keep the company running and profitable?

b) What will it take to Grow the company? and,

c) What will it take to Change the company?”

It is here we begin so see more clearly that succession planning is an integral part of a much larger stratagem, more complex, perhaps, than seen at first blush.

Senior executives rise to the top based mostly on their unique and proven skills tacitly believed by corporate board members or company owners to be the stuff necessary to champion the needs of the corporation. In a perfect world, the corporate cream rises to the top in a comfortable and timely fashion – but we don’t live in a perfect word – in fact, one could argue we live in a more imperfect world than we’d like to believe.

With that in mind, companies and industries the world over, are addressing the reality that a decade from now, their entire business landscape will be completely different!

Randy Moore, VP of York Region based Mister Transmission, knows the future looks bright for the products and services he sells. Mr Moore knows also, in a very short time, customers will have a greater choice – thanks to the Internet – to acquire similar solutions. The fact that Randy sees this as more of an opportunity than a challenge is recognition that even his marketplace is not static – this is a tribute to his positive and assertive outlook.

Company architects are [or should be] focused more diligently on grooming future executives on the strategic needs essential to run the business profitably in their NEW marketplace in the near future.

Let’s face it; few executives get by today without a reasonable understanding of how to work a computer, the Internet, Excel, PowerPoint and so on. Just a few short years ago, it wasn’t uncommon for senior exec’s to rely totally on assistants for technical support – rendering their [exec] desktop computers as entertainment devices showing pretty   fish  and  flying  toasters.

What will tomorrow’s corporate executives need to know? Will they need to be experts at computing? Will an MBA Degree be enough? Will the future of the company dictate a better understanding of Corporate Law – International or Domestic – Human Resources Issues, Strategic or Crises-Management expertise, Techno-Mechanical knowledge? … etc.

In order to groom the next generation of corporate management, planners must be absolutely clear on what [broad-based] tactical skill-requirements will be essential for corporate leadership and growth. A clear and unequivocal business plan in tandem with future leadership skill-set-deliverables is the integral ingredients necessary to ensure the success of leadership succession.

No one’s saying the CEOs of the future have to be experts in all fields or in all disciplines. Nevertheless, it will be increasingly more important that senior exec’s have a comprehensive understanding for the challenges and disciplines for which they are ultimately responsible and therefore must manage.

Although for some the challenge to find or make the next great corporate leader may seem daunting, we can take some comfort in what former President Ronald Reagan once said, “Great leaders are not measured by what great things they do but rather by what great things they get others to do.”

Bottom Line:

Succession Planning is strategic, tactile and deliberate involving a clear understanding of how corporations need to change in lockstep with strategies designed to groom future leaders to meet the need. Successful ‘Transitionists’ understand Succession Planning is both an Art and a Science.

Source by Paul Shearstone

The Bisexual Dating Dilemma

Sexual orientation is something that one does not have a choice about and even in this modern world most of us progressive humans have some difficulty in believing that. Even till not so long ago, being gay or homosexual was considered straight out bad. While that perception has somewhat changed today, and there is more acceptanceof gay and lesbians, there is another section of the society that still is a victim of marginalization. We are talking about the bisexual community here.

Insensitivity towards bisexuals is a real issue

The dating scene for a bisexual is difficult, and even the best of the dating websites do not do much to help on this regard. Make no mistake! There are plenty of choices you do have while finding a partner on a bisexual dating website. That is not where the problem lies. The real problem is with the attitude of people at large about bisexual orientation. It’s just that we, who call ourselves progressive and modern don’t quite make the effort to understand them in the first place.

For instance, the first dating mistake that people make while dating a bisexual is asking their partner whether they prefer sex with a man or a woman! This is downright humiliating for someone who is bisexual. It’s not like he or she is constantly checking out everybody and lusting after everyone. Just like a straight or a gay person they have standards and limits and make a gender choice based on their feelings. Many of the bisexuals who eventually get married, do so based upon love. So if you are dating a bisexual do not ask them what they “prefer” in terms of a sexual liaison. If they are out with you, it means that they have chosen to be with you!

Bisexuals are not “confused”

This is another perception that can absolutely ruin your relationship with your bisexual partner. People often have the perception that bisexuals are in a perpetual state of confusion and are in a transitionary phase. It is often believed that they will either “turn” straight or “gay”. While it is normal to worry whether your bisexual partner will have feelings for another man or woman, it is not so because of his sexual orientation. A straight man or a woman in a relationship or a gay couple may fall out of love and look for comfort outside the precincts of marriage or relationships. That is true of bisexual couples too. If you have chosen to enter into a relationship with a bisexual partner, concentrate on being the best “you” and try and consolidate your relationship based on your feelings and not just the sexual orientation of your partner.

Choosing a person from a bisexual dating website is difficult, but if you have plunged into the dating game, look for websites that have been in business for a long time now and give you the option of sending out emails to those who are single, sexy and are looking out at exploring their sexuality.

A good bisexual dating website is one that will give you the option of a bisexual search, will have blogs and videos about bisexuality and will treat you the same as they would treat a straight or a gay person. If you do not have such options on a dating website, that’s a clear sign that you’ve got to stay away!

Source by Shalini Mittal

20 Anytime Gifts That Will Last Forever

It’s that time again. You need a gift to take to a birthday, wedding, anniversary or any other occasion. Most of us don’t want to get just another gift, we all want to give and receive gifts that are timeless.

From the thoughtful custom necklace to the one-of-a-kind handmade trinket; we have you sorted out with our list of 20 anytime gifts that will never go out of fashion

The Thoughtful Gifts

1. Personalized Letter

In this day of technology, who wouldn’t love receiving a handwritten personalized letter? Personalized letters are particularly a great gift from children to grandparents or vice versa.

2. Memory Capsule

Memories are timeless. The best gift you could ever give a loved one is a piece of encapsulated memory. Recreate old photos taken with loved ones to form your memory capsule.

3. Quality Time

Sometimes your present is enough of a gift for that special person. Set aside ample time to spend a day together or go on a getaway.

4. Personalized Gift Cards

Personalized gift cards are still a timeless favorite from kid to parents or vice versa. Give out several with thoughtful tasks that they can be redeemed against.

5. Technology Lessons

Time has flown by and our grandparents, and parents, might need a little help catching up. Kids can gift their grandparents and immediate parents technology lessons to teach them about social media as well as the use of other gadgets.

Gifts for Him

6. RFID Wallet

Wallets are overly popular gifts for men, but not the RFID wallet. The RFID wallet will protect unwarranted card data theft, and it is one wallet he’ll be keeping for long.

7. Bartender Kit

Men love their drink, well most do. There isn’t a better gift for that drink lover than a bartender kit. A bartending set will also benefit you because, with it, he’ll be whipping up those delicious cocktails well into your hay days.

8. Balance Board

Balance is necessary for everyday life, and as we age, we lose our elementary balance. For the man looking to regain balance or just to keep fit, a balance board would be the perfect gift for them.

9. Smart Sprinkler Controller

Who is in charge of the sprinkler system, or just about any electronic, in your house? For that man, an intelligent sprinkler system would serve them well. Men love gadgets, and he will rave over the ability to control the sprinklers conveniently from a laptop/tablet/phone.

10. Watch

A good watch is always a great gift for that man in your life. It doesn’t have to cost much but go for a durable timepiece that will end up being an heirloom.

Gifts for Her

11. Jewellery

Let’s face it; time has proven it, women love jewelry. You can’t go wrong with a good custom necklace or just about any tasteful jewelry that she can pass on down the family tree.

12. Tea Set

Know a woman who loves tea? Then a tea set would make the perfect gift. This isn’t necessarily an age-restricted present; any woman who hosts company will like to add a good tea set in her collection.

13. Character Apron

Aprons are functional pieces of protective clothing and contrary to tradition; they don’t have to be flowery. Character aprons can instantly transform a lady into her beloved hero.

14. Scarf

Often overlooked, scarves are exquisite and complimentary outfit accents. Most women keep them for years, and that’s why they make it to our list of timeless gifts.

15. Handbag

Next to jewellry and shoes, women love handbags. Women also keep bags for years and getting her a good, quality bag is an ideal gift choice for any occasion.

A Custom Necklace and Other Custom Gift Ideas

16. Custom Pendants

A custom necklace is a good gift, but a custom locket is a great gift. A pendant allows you to take a treasured photo with you on the go. Anyone would love getting a personalized jewelry as a gift.

17. Picture Mug

Who doesn’t love a photo mug? Why not get her or him a collection of mugs with pictures of the people dearest to them?

18. Keychains

Everyone uses keychains at one point or another. Personalized keychains are thoughtful gift options.

19. Clocks

Clocks are also great options to personalize with custom photos. Go for a traditional wall clock or a wrist watch for a custom gift option.

20. Map

Have someone you have shared countless of adventures with? Get them a customized photo map to map out your travel memories.

There you have it; with our list of 20 anytime gifts that will never go out of fashion, you are equipped to give timeless and ageless gifts for any occasion.

Source by Bernadette Otieno

Maya Ceremonial Centers

The content of Maya classic civilization is very rich and can be summarized only in a briefest way. They consist of large pyramidal mounds and platforms made of earth and rock fill. Many of the Maya buildings are tremendously high and amazingly steep. As examples, the great temple pyramid of Tikal rise tower-like to heights of over 60 meters above the plaza floors.

The buildings which surmount the pyramids and platforms also were constructed of rubble fill and stone-block masonry. In some, as in the northern lowlands, the dressed-stone facing were no more than a veneer set in stucco. Walls of the buildings were thick and rooms were relatively narrow; roofs were vaulted with corbelled arches.

Doors were usually small and windows very rare so that the interiors of those structures still intact are dark and cool. Small buildings, of from one to three rooms, placed on the tops of steep pyramids, likely were temples; longer and larger buildings, with many rooms and set on lower, broader platforms, probably were palaces.

The ball court, a Maya Late Classic Period feature, was the other principal building type. The basic plan of Maya ceremonial centers, particularly in the southern lowlands, was a rectangular plaza enclosed on three or four sides by mounds. These plazas were often artificially dressed hilltops, as at Uaxactun, or terraced hillsides, as at Piedras Negras and Palenque. By successive layers of construction, the plaza unit gradually assumed the aspect of an acropolis, of which the famous “Main Group” at Tikal or the “Acropolis” of Copan is good examples.

Carved stelae and altar stones were set up in the plazas, frequently at the feet of pyramid stairways. High above the plazas, the temples and palaces were ornamented with intricate roof-combs, flying facades, and carved and stucco-sculptured decoration.

The Maya ceremonial centers were constructed and supported by sustaining populations of jungle farmers, but the archaeological record of this people is now only beginning to be set down. The ordinary classic Maya dwellings were probably much like the wood, mud, and thatch huts of their historic or modern descendants, and such buildings have left little trace above ground. Fortunately, many of them were built on small platforms of earth or stone, and a number of these “house mounds” have been discovered and studied. These studies indicate that dwellings were not closely packed in and immediately around the ceremonial centers. Clusters of mounds have been found close to the main plazas and mounds of the centers, but equally large clusters were scattered along the river bottoms or around the edges of lakes and bajos (swamps) several kilometers removed from the ceremonial centers.

There are some debatable exceptions. Some archaeologists claim that Tikal is the Peten was truly urban in its proportions, as was Dzibilchaltun in northern Yucatan. But for the most part, the over-all settlement pattern of the Classic Maya was a scattered hamlet dotting most of the suitable farming land. Interspersed among these hamlets were minor ceremonial centers, and somewhat more distant from one another were the major centers with their elaborate architecture and monuments. Presumably, several hamlets coordinated their efforts to construct and maintain a minor ceremonial center, and in turn, the total populations tributary to such minor centers coalesced with other similar groups to support major centers.

Source by Yazid Avicenna

A Brief Guide to Busch Gardens in Florida

Whilst many tourists head to Florida to visit the theme park heavy weights Disney land and Universal Orlando Resort, there are a number of other great parks including Busch gardens.

This Tampa theme park opened in 1959, has an African theme and is home to many wonderful animals. But unlike the UK where an animal park or zoo would mainly revolve around seeing the animals, Busch Gardens does what the Americans do so well and makes the experience exciting by including plenty of rides and roller coasters; to make learning about nature and the animals the most fun it has ever been.

Rhino Rally allows you to hop aboard a jeep which takes you through an authentic African veldt, where you will get up close and personal with some live wildlife. Another ride that is great for spotting animals is the Serengeti Railway that takes you through the majority of the park, stopping off at key points. On this ride you can expect to see Zebras, Antelopes and Giraffes.

If you have ever wanted to fly like a bird, you have two great options at Busch Gardens, the Jungle flyers are ideal for little ones as they can soar above the park at around 50 feet and see some stunning sights. Taller and older visitors can head on the Skyride cable car to fly across the park and see the majority of the park from this amazing vantage point.

Thrill seekers will not be disappointed with the number of rollercoaster rides on offer, Cheetah hunt takes you on a hunt for prey at around 60mph, Shiekra will see you take on 90 degree drop at around 70mph and Kumba will allow you to experience around 3 seconds of weightlessness as you spiral along the track.

The park is set to stage a brand new ice show at their Moroccan Palace Theatre at the beginning of February called Iceslporation. The 30 minute shows sounds like it will be a fantastic mix of everything that makes the park so great, costumes, music, puppets and live animals.

No one wants to visit just one park when they head to Orlando, so purchasing multi tickets are great ways to get entry to the many parks in the area for one great discounted price. Look online for specialist companies who will make sure you get the best prices for these combo tickets and you aren’t left out of pocket like some are who buy their tickets on arrival at the attractions.

Source by Thom Sanders

Thanksgiving Traditions

Pia Morelli loves Thanksgiving. It is the one holiday of the year that the Mendham mother of eight and grandmother of eighteen sees her entire family. Not even Christmas brings as many people to her home at one time.

“My children are scattered up and down the east coast. Between flying in and driving over, they need several days to make the trip, visit, and to return to their homes. I would love to have everyone here for Christmas, but that just doesn’t happen, especially when the holiday falls during the middle of the week and people are unable to take extended time off from their jobs.”

Since her husband, Joe, died in 1995 Thanksgiving has taken on an added meaning. “Prior to Joe’s death we would get together, but not under one roof or at the same time. We would see some of the children at Thanksgiving and the rest at Christmas or get together between the holidays. It wasn’t the same. Joe died suddenly and unexpectedly and each of my children have insisted on this annual reunion. What better time than Thanksgiving?”

While her family members would prefer to go out to eat, Pia insists otherwise. “I’m retired, living with Cocoa [her terrier] and have plenty of time on my hands. I start baking my pies on Sunday and by Wednesday the gravy, mashed potatoes, cole slaw, and green bean salad are done. On Thanksgiving morning, my daughter, Lisa, comes over and puts two turkeys in the oven. Joe Jr. and his wife bring the hams, while the stuffing and other fixings are completed by me in the morning. All the setting up, serving and cleaning up is done by the children. I kick back and watch football while eating pumpkin pie!”

Kyle McGathry will be continuing a tradition that has been going on in his family for nearly 50 years. With sons Kevin and Michael in tow, McGathry will be sitting in the stands watching a high school football game between Ridgewood and Paramus. “When I was a kid, it was Ridgewood-Fair Lawn. Years later Paramus replaced Fair Lawn and for awhile it was Bergen Catholic and Ridgewood.” The Ridgewood native looked at the Ridgewood- BC rivalry as hopelessly one sided. “Most of the games were never played on Thanksgiving because it was a given that BC would still be alive in the playoffs and would have just played the Saturday before. I think we had to wait until Saturday and it usually meant that Ridgewood was massacred.”

At this point in the season, Ridgewood is still alive in the playoffs with a scheduled meeting against Morristown on December 6th at Giants Stadium. “I know that Ridgewood just had a big battle with Hackensack on Saturday, but I think they’ll be ready. Funny thing, I think this is one Ridgewood team that could beat BC!” After the game, McGathry will be going to his mother-in-law’s house in Paramus. “My wife graduated from Paramus a year after I graduated from Ridgewood. She isn’t much of a football fan and stays home with our youngest. Fortunately, the rivalry isn’t dividing our family,” he noted.

Anne Chomesky doesn’t “do” Thanksgiving at least in the traditional sense. For years the single 40-something woman served food at a soup kitchen in Newark every Thanksgiving day. This year she will still be serving, but over at a friend’s house in Cedar Grove. Her friend, Clare, lost her father, who was her only living relative, this past Summer and Anne felt that she could be more useful spending the time with her. “The holiday season is very difficult for those without family. Clare’s father died in June and he was all that she had as far as family goes. Eight of us who either no longer have family or can’t be with them will be gathering together at Clare’s home to keep her company and to give thanks for what we do have. I thank God for this opportunity to be with friends who have become like family to me.”

However, wherever and with whomever you choose to spend the day, Happy Thanksgiving to all!

This article originally appeared on, a defunct site managed by Matt Keegan. It was part of his “Life in New Jersey” series of articles.

Source by Matthew Keegan

Why Santa Needs Travel Insurance

With the largest toy factory in the world, an army of elves and a red velvet fur-trimmed suit, it appears that Santa has everything he could possibly want for Christmas. However, if Mrs. Claus wanted to get him something really useful then she couldn’t go amiss with a cheap travel insurance policy. Here are five very good reasons for Santa to take out insurance before heading out on Christmas Eve:

Drunk and in Charge

When Santa   flies  over America they give him milk and cookies, but when he  flies  over the UK things really start to heat up with lashings of whisky and mince pies. Roughly 7.4 million families in UK have dependent children and as you can imagine that equates to a lot of whisky!

We imagine that Santa is used to driving in the North Pole, which Top Gear recently discovered had no drink-driving laws. In the UK and US Santa could receive a fine or even a night in the slammer if he was found to be drunk and in charge of a carriage. With 12 unruly reindeer to look after whilst inebriated, we doubt even Rudolph’s nose could guide him out of this one. But, with a cheap travel insurance policy, Santa might have his legal costs covered if the worst came to the worst and he was taken to court.

Missing his mode of travel

Rudolph gets a rather disproportionate amount of carrots, when compared to the other reindeers and this has got to create a few stirrings of jealousy amongst the herd. In the event that the reindeer were to get into a ruckus and scarper, Santa could claim on his cheap travel insurance for the distress caused by missing his preferred mode of travel. After all he’d have to wait a very long time for another reindeer-drawn sleigh to appear on the roof-top.

Missed Baggage

Santa may have made his list and checked it twice, but if he were to lose a few gifts in the blizzards of the North Pole, then they’d be some very upset children around the world. Luckily for Santa, missing baggage is definitely something that he can claim for on his
cheap travel insurance policy. Sadly he wouldn’t be able to get the gifts to the children before Christmas, but with so many excess presents we’re sure that Santa wouldn’t have any problem finding a suitable replacement in his stash.

Breaking and Entering

Breaking and entering is a serious crime, but surprisingly most people don’t mind if the perpetrator in question is a Mr. S. Claus. But Santa’s had a lucky break so far, and all it takes is a modern day Scrooge to stop him in his tracks and then it’s straight down to the nick for him. We’re not sure that there’s a valid defence to breaking and entering, but with a possibility of up to £25,000 worth of legal cover on some cheap travel insurance policies Santa could certainly afford the best representation available.

Food Poisoning

We’re not sure that anyone anywhere would wilfully poison Santa. However, the big man does eat an awful lot and with a mince pie at every house in the UK, chances are that there will be a bad one. In Bulgaria, tradition dictates that a carp is left out for Santa Claus and when you add that in the mix, food poisoning seems almost inevitable. Luckily for Santa much of Christmas Day and Boxing Day are spent sleeping, but if Santa had made any plans that he had to cancel as a result of food poisoning, then his cheap travel insurance would allow him to put in a claim for loss of enjoyment.

Source by Patrick Chong