Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” finds Steve Rogers leading the newly formed team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity. But after another incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability, headed by a governing body to oversee and direct the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers, resulting in two camps—one led by Steve Rogers and his desire for the Avengers to remain free to defend humanity without government interference, and the other following Tony Stark’s surprising decision to support government oversight and accountability.
Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” stars Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Emily VanCamp, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd and Frank Grillo, with William Hurt and Daniel Brühl.
Anthony & Joe Russo are directing with Kevin Feige producing. Louis D’Esposito, Alan Fine, Victoria Alonso, Patricia Whitcher, Nate Moore and Stan Lee are the executive producers. The screenplay is by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely. Get ready to pick a side and join the nonstop action playing out on two fronts when Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” opens in U.S. theaters on May 6, 2016.
An infographic created by Google shows how business ebbs and flows from Thanksgiving Day to when shoppers finally drop off. It also shows how the three busiest days of the year compare with other weekends during the holiday season.
Here are a few key insights from Google’s foot-traffic analysis:
- Store traffic peaks between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Black Friday, with Thanksgiving Day department store visitors peaking between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.
- Shopping malls, superstores and discount stores experience the highest traffic on the Saturday before Christmas.
- Dollar stores are busiest on Christmas Eve. (Stocking stuffers, anyone?)
Yards provide a safe and enjoyable place for families, their children and pets to play. These living landscapes also provide a host of health and environmental benefits.
Did you know? — A 50’ X 50’ turf area produces enough oxygen to meet the daily needs of a family of 4.
But in regions affected by the drought, it has been suggested that homeowners and communities remove the grass and replace it with rocks, mulch, catci and artificial grass. These changes can do more harm than good. Homeowners, children and pets can enjoy their backyard during a drought and be good environmental stewards with drought-tolerant plants and grasses.
With 63 percent of American consumers saying that Black Friday doesn’t offer the best deals of the year, the personal finance website WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis of 2015’s Best & Worst Items to Buy on Black Friday.
To find out whether shoppers are really getting the best deals, the WalletHub research team compared the “Pre-Black Friday Price” and the “Black Friday Price” of a broad selection of items and isolated the offers that are truly worth the hassle of participating in America’s biggest shopping craze of the year.
For a complete list of Black Friday deals updated daily, check out this WalletHub report:
- 68% of items will have a significant Black Friday discount (10%+), and it is thus worth waiting to purchase them.
- 14% of items will have Black Friday prices similar to what they currently sell for.
- 17% of items will be more expensive on Black Friday than they currently are on Amazon.com.
- “Books, Movies & Music” will be the most-discounted purchase category on Black Friday, providing savings of 28% relative to current prices, whereas “Jewelry” will only be about 4% cheaper on Black Friday.
“What My Mother Means to Me”
American Mothers (AMI) recently announced the launch of their 2016 National Fifth Grade Essay Contest. AMI, a non-profit organization that aims to honor mothers through educational programs and community outreach, has held the annual contest since 2004. The contest theme is “What My Mother Means to Me.”
The national contest was founded by former California Mother of the Year, Irene Blore, as a living memorial to her mother, Blanche V. Edwards. Each year since, American Mothers has held the essay contest for all fifth grade students in the United States and receives thousands of entries each year.
The competition centers around writing a 150 word, handwritten essay on “What My Mother Means to Me” and encourages students from around the country to celebrate their mothers at an age where they may lose awareness of the important role moms play in their lives. The contest is open to all fifth graders (or equivalent education level) and students may enter their state competition individually or as a class project.
Entries are being accepted from now through January 15, 2016. Each state will select a essay, which will then be entered into the national competition, where monetary prizes and an invitation to the AMI National Convention to accept their award will be given to the top three essay winners.
State winners will be announced February 15th and National winners, March 15th. Parents or teachers who would like their fifth grader’s class to participate are asked to contact [email protected] or visit the website for complete rules and information http://www.americanmothers.org/now-open-5th-grade-essay-contest.
“Besides giving children a chance to express their feelings and learn through creative writing, this contest asks students to reflect on their mom and the impact mothers have everyday,” says Dianne Dain Callister, American Mothers Inc. National President. “This is an event everyone at American Mothers looks forward to reading. It’s nice to see the simple things in life that really impact these amazing children.”
About American Mothers, Inc.®
American Mothers, Inc.® is an interfaith, non-political, non-profit organization for women and men who recognize the important role of motherhood through educational programs and community outreach. American Mothers, Inc is the official sponsor of Mother’s Day. It is also the organization responsible for annually selecting the National Mother of the Year and Young Mother of the Year from candidates across the United States, District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. To learn more, visit www.AmericanMothers.org.
Have your feelings been bruised recently by someone for whom you’re providing care? You may be taking caregiving too personally. If you’re the caring type, you want to be helpful. But what happens when you become too helpful or become too controlling of the life of another person, especially IF this person IS family? Caregivers of all types have great difficulty setting boundaries between being helpful and taking control.
Balance in caregiving is a tightrope that challenges many caregivers and ruins many professional, personal and family relationships. For caregivers, feeling that we own the life of another is a danger sign that we’ve become too emotionally involved. The Care Navigator assesses situations of care and helps families plan and focus on what’s important. Here are 5 tips to help you maintain balance emotions in caregiving:
1) Realize that this person has a right to their own life and the choices they make even if they don’t fit within your personal standards. Accept that their standards, ideals and personal practices are different from yours. Accept that their life history may be different from yours and realize you bring your own biases to the situation. Eliminate judgment.
2) Remember that this person, who may be your parent, lived for many years, without your help. They were once totally independent. Help them do as much as possible for themselves so they don’t become too dependent on others prematurely. Independence fosters self-esteem and self-respect. Eliminate the tendency to rescue.
3) Ask the person how you can help instead of telling them what you’re willing to do, then be willing to do what they ask. Understand that we’re all different and may arrive at the same ending or conclusion, but the journey we take to get there may be different. Eliminate control and offer choice.
4) When you become frustrated with words or actions, walk away, take a break. Realize that frustration solves nothing and may only make the situation worse. Attempt to gain a new perspective. Work to see the situation from an opposite perspective. Doing this may help you become a more compassionate person and a better caregiver. Eliminate the possibility of harsh words that cannot be taken back. Eliminate guilt.
5) Remember that this person needing care may be near the end of their life. They may be in pain or suffering or behave horribly. Think about the end of your life and the kind person you hope will care for you. Eliminate regret.
Pamela D. Wilson, MS, BS/BA, CG, CSA, Certified Senior Advisor specializes in working with family and professional caregivers to navigate healthcare and aging concerns. Wilson, an expert in the field of caregiving, has personally helped thousands of family and professional caregivers since 2000 in her career as an advocate, a care navigator, and an educator. Through her company, The Care Navigator, she is an advocate and service provider in the roles of guardian, power of attorney, care manager, and transition specialist. She was producer and host of The Caring Generation®, from 2009 to 2011, an educational radio program for caregivers on 630 KHOW-AM. In addition to her work at the Care Navigator, Pamela gives back to the community by serving as chairperson of the Community Ethics Committee in Denver, Colorado.
Her new book, The Caregiving Trap: Solutions for Life’s Unexpected Changes, will be available on through all major bookstores as well as on PamelaDWilson.com.
Thanksgiving is the cornerstone feast of the season, with a traditional approach of turkey with mashed potatoes and gravy, seasonal vegetables like corn and squash, pumpkin pie for dessert … the menu options are only limited by your imagination. But to make the meal truly complete, make wine the centerpiece.
“The versatility of wine makes it the perfect complement for a big meal like Thanksgiving,” says Marcel Morgenstern, a sommelier from Pondview Estate Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont. “Adding a bold red wine to your gravy adds amazing flavor and heartiness. Pour table wines that pair well with turkey. A sweet dessert or late harvest wine goes nicely with your slice of pie.
“And of course, there is also the social side, swapping stories and catching up with family and friends over a shared bottle of wine. It brings the whole day together.”
To fully integrate fine wines into your Thanksgiving celebration, Marcel offers the following tips.
If you won’t drink it, then don’t cook with it. You cook with wine because it brings out new and exciting flavors to enhance your palate. If you aren’t willing to put it in your glass, don’t put it in your gravy.
Decant those big, beefy reds. Allowing a full-bodied red to breathe releases flavors and aromas that will delight. Decanting will also filter out any sediment from a wine that has been aging. You don’t want to treat younger reds too carefully: don’t be scared to aggressively pour them into a decanter and swish them around to help the bouquet to open up. Marcel suggests pouring the 2011 Bella Terra Cabernet Sauvignon into your decanter up to an hour before sharing it with your guests.
Pair it up. Wine and food are a great match, with the right pairing complementing each other. For fans of white wines, put a crisp Riesling or Gewürztraminer on the table. A Thanksgiving “must try” is the slightly off-dry Gewürztraminer-Riesling blend. If you happen to favor reds, a medium-bodied Cabernet Merlot blend with soft tannins is a beautiful match with turkey with a rich gravy or reduction.
Make it fancy. Many amateur wine lovers discount the importance of glassware, but it can make a huge difference in the enjoyment of your wine. The size, shape and style of the glass can influence everything from the flavor to the aroma to the temperature of the wine inside. A large bowl and narrow opening functions as a loudspeaker, intensifying the nuances of the wine. And if you can, avoid stemless wine glasses. They may be trendy, but the stem of the glass is there to keep your hands (and, thus, body heat) away from your wine — and greasy fingerprints really don’t look great on beautiful wine glasses!
About Pondview Estate Winery:
Drawing on more than three generations of winemaking experience, Pondview Estate Winery is one of the newest additions to the Four Mile Creek appellation in the heart of Niagara’s wine country. Family owned by Luciano and Adriana Puglisi, Pondview crafts exceptional Ontario VQA wines rooted in an Italian heritage. Luciano’s enthusiasm and respect for the winemaking process, alongside his dedication and commitment to excellence, earned him the prestigious title of Grape King in 2008, awarded by the Ministry of Agriculture to the finest vineyard operator in Ontario. The secret to the success of Pondview Estate Winery is the long-held belief of the Puglisi family: Great wine is a harmony of earth and vine.
This time of year, music often plays a bigger role in many people’s lives than it does during the rest of the year. School concerts, religious choir performances, seasonal community events, holiday hits playing on the radio — all offer abundant opportunities to take advantage of the physical and emotional benefits of music.
The magic of music shines exceptionally bright during the holiday season. It is important to encourage people to use this wealth of musical opportunities as a springboard for making music throughout the entire year.
Music can help families on many levels. It promotes development in babies and young children, bonds families across generations, and stimulates areas of the brain involved with motivation, reward, and emotion. Making or listening to music can actually result in increased levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that stimulates the brain’s reward system.
Here are five reasons you should be making music with your family this holiday season:
- Music-making is beneficial to development. Music stimulates social, physical, cognitive, and emotional development and promotes language and concentration skills, confidence, and self-esteem. During the early years, active engagement with music promotes brain development and naturally supports growth essential to life and learning, as well as increasing the bond between children and their caregivers. It’s easy to get started making music with children during the holidays: Sing your favorite carols in the car, dance to holiday songs, take children to a holiday concert or musical. A 2014 Harris Poll commissioned by Music Together revealed that only a low 17 percent of parents sing to their child daily. Music development is similar to language development. Imagine if you only talked to your child once a day! We teach children language by continuously talking and reading to them. Similarly, the best thing parents can do to support musical growth is to sing and dance with their children, as often as possible. And what better time of year to bring more music into your child’s life than the holidays, when music is in abundance?
- Music helps us create and recall powerful memories. Music can spark the recall of past experiences. It helps the past “come alive,” giving us access to deep feelings as we remember an event or moment from the past. Singing while you decorate the tree, at a holiday party, or at a religious celebration can help form memories and bonds with extended family and friends that will be recalled for many years to come.
- Music relieves stress. The holidays, while joyful, can also be stressful. Singing can actually relieve stress. Studies show that singing has the ability to slow our pulse and heart rate, lower our blood pressure, and decrease the levels of stress hormone in our bodies. Play music in the car while navigating the mall parking lot or sing along to a holiday recording while getting ready for company. It will help you stay calm and, most importantly, model for your children a healthy way to deal with the stress of everyday life.
- Music connects us. The holidays can be lonely for some people. Singing, especially in groups, can relieve this loneliness by connecting us to others in ways that no other activity can. Recent research indicates that music-making as a shared experience can activate and synchronize similar neural connections in all those participating. This synchronization can result in feelings of empathy and shared intention that can promote positive social interaction and bonding. When you sing with others this holiday season, whether it’s during a religious service, at a community event, or at a family gathering, everyone benefits.
- Singing is intergenerational. Music is an ageless way to connect with older relatives and create ties between youngest and oldest family members. Plus, music supports the aging processes. In later years, participating in music activities helps keep the brain active and engaged and supports us physically, socially, and emotionally. Sharing memories of holiday music-making from their past and teaching those songs to future generations can be joyous for both the elderly storytellers and the family members listening, forming new, pleasurable memories.
Susan Darrow is the CEO of Music Together an internationally recognized, developmentally appropriate early childhood music and movement program for children birth through age seven. First offered to the public in 1987, the Music Together curriculum, coauthored by Kenneth K. Guilmartin and Dr. Lili M. Levinowitz (Director of Research), is based on the recognition that all children are musical. All children can learn to sing in tune, move with accurate rhythm, and participate with confidence in the music of our culture, provided that their early environment supports such learning. Music Together offers programs for families, schools, at-risk populations, and children with special needs, in over 2,500 communities in 41 countries. The company is passionately committed to bringing children and their caregivers closer through shared music-making and helping people discover the joy—and educational value—of early music experiences. More at www.MusicTogether.com and www.facebook.com/MusicTogether.