Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Eat a Red Apple Day


By Akindman,
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You know the saying "an apple a day keeps the doctor away?” It's true! Apples have a high nutritional value to keep you healthy. The peel alone contains antioxidants that help reduce damaged cells and fight some diseases. Apples are also fat, sodium, and cholesterol free!
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Did you know that there are 7,500 varieties of apples grown throughout the world? They can come in a variety of shapes, flavors, and colors including all shades of red, green, and yellow.
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I love all variety apples and try to eat at least three a week.  This delicious fruit can be eaten raw, cooked, baked, or juiced. Apples are one of the few fruits that you can find fresh any time of the year. 

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Computer Security

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By Akindman,

Computer security is a branch of computer technology known as information security as applied to computers and networks. The objective of computer security includes protection of information and property from theft, corruption, or natural disaster, while allowing the information and property to remain accessible and productive to its intended users. The term computer system security means the collective processes and mechanisms by which sensitive and valuable information and services are protected from publication, tampering or collapse by unauthorized activities or untrustworthy individuals and unplanned events respectively. The strategies and methodologies of computer security often differ from most other computer technologies because of its somewhat elusive objective of preventing unwanted computer behavior instead of enabling wanted computer behavior. (Wikipedia)

20 Things to do on Computer Security Day

  1. Change your password
  2. Check for computer viruses
  3. Update your anti-virus/anti-malware
  4. Update your Windows (or other OS)
  5. Clean your computer and the immediate area
  6. Back-up your data (after being certain that it is virus free)
  7. Delete unneeded files and apps (and Facebook ‘friends’ that you don’t remember seeing in the last 5 years!)
  8. Update all your installed and relevant software such ad adobe reader
  9. Declare and amnesty day for computer security violators who wish to reform.
  10. Announce COMPUTER SECURITY DAY in your internal newsletter.
  11. Install and inspect power surge protection as appropriate.
  12. Develop a recovery plan for all computer systems that require one.
  13. Verify that passwords are not ‘Posted’ and all other keys are secured.
  14. Verify that backup power and air conditioning fir your needs.
  15. Hold a discussion of ethics with computer users.
  16. Volunteer to speak about computer security at a local computer club.
  17. Register and pay for all commercial software that is used on your computer.
  18. Consider the privacy aspect of the data on your computer and protect it.
  19. Help to propagate computer security awareness!
  20. Promote computer security best practice.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

National Mousse Day

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By Diane Forrest,

On Mother's Day this year my family went to lunch at the best restaurant in town.  I can't say that I remember what I had for lunch, but I will never forget the dessert!  It was two layers of moist delicious chocolate cake with a thick layer of chocolate mousse sandwiched in between.  One of the best things I have ever eaten, and like my daddy would say...it was so good make you wanna slap ya mama!
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Mousse is a dessert, like pudding, only light and airy.  In fact, the word mousse is French meaning foam or lather.  Chocolate mousse was once only a specialty of French restaurants during the 1800s, but can now be found in restaurants and households worldwide. The popularity of mousse can be attributed to the many varieties, accomplished by adding chocolate or pureed fruit into the mix.
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With Thanksgiving now over, you may have some extra pumpkin laying around, so here is a recipe for Pumpkin Mousse.  Today is National Mousse day, so celebrated by fixing some yourself, or if you are going out to eat, see if they have some mousse on the menu.

Ingredients
  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 (3.4-ounce) box pumpkin spice flavored instant pudding mix
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Pecans


Directions
  1. Place the heavy cream into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk. Whisk until medium peaks are formed, 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. In a separate bowl whisk together the pumpkin puree and milk. Add the pudding mix and vanilla and whisk to combine. Fold in the whipped cream and thoroughly combine. Transfer the mousse into 6 (7-ounce) dessert bowls or ramekins. Place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 4 before serving.
  3. Coarsely chop the Pecans and sprinkle on top of the mousse just before serving.


Diabetes Diet

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By Akindman,

I have Type II Diabetes with a few other ailments that put me at high risk for more than my doctor would really like.

A few years ago, my weight was out of control – between my doctor, nutritionists/ dietitian and myself we developed a plan to reduce my weight.

Then I went off it – but keeping my weight close to where the interim goal.  Now that I have retired and am more sedentary in my daily routine some of those pounds have returned.  A new routine is now in order for me – one that requires much more physical activity, better eating habits and a return to tracking my daily intake!

Work with your support team; track your intake, exercise; monitor your glucose and blood pressure; medications; and other key items daily.  You will be surprised at the results.

I hope you find the information below helpful and can use it to get on the right track to a healthier lifestyle.



The Basics of a Healthy Diabetes Diet

Contrary to what you may have heard, there is no "diabetes diet," per se -- and that's good news! The foods recommended for a diabetes diet to control blood glucose (or blood sugar) are good for those with diabetes -- and everyone else. This means that you and your family can eat the same healthy foods at mealtime. However, for people with diabetes, the total amounts of carbohydrates consumed each day must be monitored carefully. Of the different components of nutrition -- carbohydrates, fats, and proteins -- carbohydrates have the greatest influence on blood sugar levels. Most people with diabetes also have to monitor total fat consumption and protein intake, too.

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To keep your blood sugar levels in check, you need to make healthy food choices, exercise regularly, and take the medicines your health care provider prescribes. A dietitian can provide in-depth nutrition education to help you develop a personalized meal plan that fits your lifestyle and activity level, and meets your medical needs.

Learn the ABCs of a Diabetes Diet

The goal of nutrition for people with diabetes is to attain the ABCs of diabetes. The A stands for the A1c or hemoglobin A1c test, which measures average blood sugar over the previous three months. B is for blood pressure, and C is for cholesterol. People with diabetes should attain as near as normal blood sugar control (HbA1c), blood pressure, and healthy cholesterol levels.

Alcohol and Diabetes

Use discretion when drinking alcohol if you have diabetes. Alcohol is processed in the body very similarly to the way fat is processed, and alcohol provides almost as many calories as fat. If you choose to drink alcohol, only drink it occasionally and when your blood sugar level is well-controlled. It's a good idea to check with your doctor to be sure drinking alcohol is acceptable.

Eating Right with Diabetes

If you have diabetes, it's important to eat right every day to keep your blood sugar levels even and stay healthy. Here are some easy tips:


  • Be sure to eat a wide variety of foods. Having a colorful plate is the best way to ensure that you are eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, meats, and other forms of protein such as nuts, dairy products, and grains/cereals.
  • Eat the right amount of calories to maintain a healthy weight.
  • Choose foods high in fiber such as whole grain breads, fruit, and cereal. They contain important vitamins and minerals. You need 25 to 35 grams of fiber per day. Studies suggest that people with type 2 diabetes who eat a high fiber diet can improve their blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Similar results have been suggested in some studies in people with type 1 diabetes.


Serving Sizes and Diabetes

Be sure to eat only the amount of food in your diabetes meal plan. Excess calories result in excess fat and excess weight. In people with type 2 diabetes, excess body fat means less sensitivity to insulin. Weight loss in overweight and obese people with type 2 diabetes helps improve blood sugars and reduces those risk factors which lead to heart disease. Your dietitian can help you determine the appropriate serving sizes you need, depending on if you need to maintain your weight, gain weight, or lose weight, and if you have high or low blood sugar levels.

  • In women with gestational diabetes, it's important to eat multiple meals and snacks per day as recommended.
  • Do not skip meals.
  • Eat meals and snacks at regular times every day. If you are taking a diabetes medicine, eat your meals and take your medicine at the same times each day.
  • Note: If you are taking some of the newer diabetes drugs, some of these tips may not apply to you; ask your health care provider the tips you should follow.


The Sweet Truth about Food and Diabetes

You might have heard that, as a person with diabetes, you shouldn't have any table sugar. While some health care providers continue to promote this, many -- realizing that the average person lives in the real world and will probably indulge in a bit of sugar every now and then -- have adopted a more forgiving view. Most experts now say that small amounts of sugar are fine, as long as they are part of an overall healthy meal plan. Table sugars do not raise your blood sugar any more than similar amounts of calories from starches, which is found in many foods that we consume. It is important to remember that sugar is just one type of carbohydrate.

When eating sugar, keep these tips in mind:

  • Read food labels. Learn how to determine how much sugar or carbohydrates are in the foods that you eat.
  • Substitute, don't add. When you eat a sugary food, such as cookies, cakes, or candies, substitute them for another carbohydrate or starch (for example, potatoes) that you would have eaten that day. Make sure that you account for this in your carbohydrate budget for the day. If it is added to your meal for the day, then remember to adjust your insulin dose for the added carbohydrates so you can continue to maintain glucose control as much as possible. In other words, readjust your medications if you do add sugars to you meals.
  • Sugary foods can be fattening. Many foods that have a lot of table sugar are very high in calories and fat. If you are watching your weight (and many people with diabetes must), you need to eat these foods in moderation!
  • Check your blood sugar after eating sugary foods and talk to your health care provider about how to adjust your insulin if needed when eating sugars.
  • Ultimately, the total grams of carbohydrates -- rather than what the source of the sugar is -- is what needs to be accounted for in the nutritional management of the person with diabetes.


Diabetes Diet Myths




Before you start a diabetes diet, get the facts. So many people believe that having diabetes means you must avoid sugar and carbohydrates at all cost, load up on protein, and prepare "special" diabetic meals apart from the family's meals. Wrong! Most individuals with diabetes can continue to enjoy their favorite foods, including desserts, as long as they monitor the calories, carbs, and other key dietary components and keep a regular check on their blood glucose levels.

Get the facts and start enjoying the foods you love on a diabetes diet.

How Much Fat Is Acceptable on a Diabetes Diet?

People with diabetes have higher than normal risk for heart disease, stroke, and disease of the small blood vessels in the body. Controlling blood pressure and limiting the amount of fats in the diet will help reduce the risk of these complications.

Limiting the amounts of saturated fats, increasing the amount of regular exercise, and receiving medical treatment can lower bad LDL cholesterol. This has been repeatedly shown in medical studies to help people with diabetes reduce their risk of heart disease and reduce the risk of death if a heart attack does occurs in a diabetic person.

Artificial Sweeteners and Diabetes

Artificial sweeteners can be added to a variety of foods and beverages without adding more carbohydrates to your diabetes diet. Using non-caloric artificial sweeteners instead of sugar also greatly reduces calories in your favorite foods.

(Source: www.WebMD.com)


Monday, November 28, 2011

Lemon Cream Pie Day

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By Diane Forrest,

Sunday lunch after church was always the same when I was growing up.  We had roast, rice and gravy.  Once I got married...we had fried chicken for Sunday lunch.  It was always followed by my husband's favorite, Lemon Pie.  Lemon pie is a favorite dessert here in the south.   Would be hard to find someone who didn't like it.  It is a light and cool treat on hot summer days, and delicious at holiday meals.

My mother gave me her recipe, which is not hard at all to make.  I do have trouble making meringue, so. .sometimes just use cool whip.  Below is her recipe for Lemon Ice box pie, and since today is Lemon Cream Pie day, why not try your hand at making one.  You will be glad you did!

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Lemon Ice Box Pie
  • 1 large graham cracker pie crust that says extra servings
  • 2 Cans Condensed Milk
  • 1/2 cup of squeezed lemon juice (probably 3-4 Lemons)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • Combine condensed milk, lemon juice and egg yolks and stir until all mixed and thickened.


Meringue
  • 3 egg whites
  • 5-6 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla


Beat egg whites until they won't come out of the bowl if you turn it upside down. Add sugar and vanilla. Mix good. Put on top of pie. Bake pie at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until it has as much brown on top as you want.

National Adoption Awareness Month



By Diane Forrest,

When my son recently got married his wife brought her dog to come live with them.  It wasn't long that she decided her dog was lonely and needed a friend.  They went to the local animal shelter and adopted another dog to join their family.  Charlie, the spaniel, has extra excitement to their home, but they wouldn't trade him for anything.


You hear alot about adoption these days.  Many celebrities are adopting children.  Some who are unable to have children, some who want to prove a home for abandoned children.  Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have adopted several children from different countries, Sandra Bullock recently adopted a baby boy, and Elton John recently adopted a baby.

A friend of mine was telling me about her cousin who adopted a baby girl from China.  She chose adoption because she was single, getting older, and wanted a child.  She was unable to adopt in the United States, so she traveled to China.  Chinese families have several girl babies for adoption because most families are only allowed one child, and it the child is a girl, they put her up for adoption and try for a son.  She told me that her cousin teaches her about her native country as well as her home country.

There are many reasons why a child is put up for adoption.  Some children have lost their parents, and are unable to be cared for by other family members, some are from unwed mothers, who are unable to provide a home, some who are handicapped, and abandoned, and some are used for financial gain.

There is a long history of children being adopted as early as the Roman empire.  Many were considered property and used as slaves; some were adopted into royalty by emperors.  Many children were abandoned during the depression when they couldn't be cared for.

There has been a decline in adoption rates since the 1970's.  Some reasons include the introduction of the birth control pill and the fact that being an unwed mother doesn’t have the same stigma attached as it once did.

Parents of adopted children not only enrich their homes and families, but also allow the children to live in a normal home instead of being institutionalized in an orphanage or other facility.  Whether an adopted child, or pet, each will have a much better, happier life.

This is National Adoption Awareness Month.  To find out more about adoption, visit this site:  http://nationaladoptionawarenessmonth.com/


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Bavarian Cream Pie Day

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By Diane Forrest,

My Uncle Jack is a really great guy.  Well I call him my uncle, but he isn't related, I have just known him since I was born.  When he comes for a visit I always make him Chocolate Éclairs because he makes such a fuss over them, and never shares them with anyone.  Most recipes call for a whipped cream filling, but I prefer the Bavarian cream filling in mine.  Bavarian cream is a cross between pudding and mousse.  True Bavarian creams first appeared in the U.S. in Boston Cooking School cookbooks, by Mrs. D.A. Lincoln, 1884.  Until today I thought Bavarian cream only came in vanilla, however, after doing so research, I learned that it can be any flavor you like.  Not only that, but fruits can also be added to the mix.   Below is a recipe for a quick Bavarian Cream.

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Today is Bavarian Cream Pie day.  Why not try this recipe, or one of your own, and try this instead of leftover pumpkin or pecan pie.

Bavarian Cream

Ingredients:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 (3 1/2 ounce) packages instant pudding mix
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 12 ounces Cool whip, thawed


Directions:
  1. Mix together cream cheese and dry pudding mix.
  2. Slow beat in milk.
  3. Fold in Cool Whip.
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Saturday, November 26, 2011

National Epilepsy Month

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By Diane Forrest, RN

When I started nursing school, one of our first visits to the hospital included a tour of a hospital room.   The medical equipment was pointed out and the uses were explained to us.  One of the items taped to the back wall, behind the bed's headboard was a thick wooden tongue depressor that had a foam padded end.  It was explained that the use for this item was to place in the mouth during an epileptic seizure to help prevent biting the tongue, breaking the teeth or obstructing the airway.

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that can be described from blank staring to violent shaking convulsions.   One of the earliest mentions of Epilepsy is mentioned in the Bible.  Mark 9:17-22 states that and someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.” And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.” And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. ...

There are several causes of epilepsy such as:
  • Stroke or TIA
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Dementia such as Alzheimer’s
  • Infections of the Brain
  • Brain Tumors


Epilepsy is diagnosed from physical symptoms and tests such as an EEG, MRI CAT Scan and blood work.  Treatment includes surgery or medication. Certain lifestyle changes such as diet and sleeping habits are also necessary.

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The main treatment is prevention from injury.  If you happen upon a person experiencing a seizure, do not attempt to restrain them; simply remove any objects from their path that could cause injury.  More tips include:

First Aid for Seizures
  • Stay calm
  • Prevent injury


During the seizure, you can exercise your common sense by insuring there is nothing within reach that could harm the person if she struck it.

  • Pay attention to the length of the seizure
  • Make the person as comfortable as possible
  • Keep onlookers away
  • Do not hold the person down. 


If the person having a seizure thrashes around there is no need for you to restrain them. Remember to consider your safety as well

  • Do not put anything in the person's mouth
  • Contrary to popular belief, a person having a seizure is incapable of swallowing their tongue so you can breathe easy in the knowledge that you do not have to stick your fingers into the mouth of someone in this condition.
  • Do not give the person water, pills, or food until fully alert
  • If the seizure continues for longer than five minutes, call 911
  • Be sensitive and supportive, and ask others to do the same


  • After the seizure, the person should be placed on her left side. 
  • Keep in mind there is a small risk of post-seizure vomiting, before the person is fully alert. 
  • Therefore, the person’s head should be turned so that any vomit will drain out of the mouth without being inhaled. Stay with the person until they recover.

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For more information about epilepsy and how you can help, visit this site:  http://www.epilepsyfoundation.org/getinvolved/neam/

Friday, November 25, 2011

National Cake Day

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By Diane Forrest,

My cousin got married this weekend.  It wasn't a big wedding, he and his bride have both been married before, so they had a small ceremony in his home, and their children were the only guests.  So I asked all the important questions, such as what are you wearing?  How are you decorating, and tell me about the cake!  A wedding cake is the centerpiece of a wedding reception.  It can be large or small, fancy or plain, layered with different flavors, or tradition white.   It is a tradition for the bride and groom to cut the cake together and feed each other a piece, and then freeze the top layer to share on their first anniversary.  I don't know who came up with that one, but one year old frozen cake is not very good!

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Cakes are used to celebrate all types of events.  Birthdays, parties, baby or wedding showers, holidays, and even just a family dinner at home.  My grandmother always made sure she had cake ready in case company dropped by.  She made the best pound cake!

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When my husband was first hurt, he found himself at home with nothing to do.  So, he took up baking.  While it was good for him...it was bad for me.  He made my favorite cake, Italian Cream, and when one was finished, he would make another right away.  I soon had to find him another hobby since my clothes were starting to shrink.

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Today is National Cake day, you can choose any cake you want, but celebrate with a piece...you may even have some left over from Thanksgiving.  Below is my recipe for my grandmother's pound cake.  Here is a hint, don’t mix the Crisco too long, or the cake will not turn out right.  Enjoy!

Granny's Pound Cake

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup Crisco
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 6 eggs
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/4 tsp soda
  • 2 tsp butter flavor
  • 2 tsp vanilla flavor
  • 2 tsp lemon flavor


Directions:
  1. Have all ingredients at room temp, oven at 300 degrees. 
  2. Cream sugar and Crisco.  Then add eggs one at a time.  Beat well.  Then add flour and buttermilk a little at a time. 
  3. Dissolve salt and flavoring.  Dissolve soda in a tablespoon of water, and add last.  Pour in a greased and floured Bundt pan. 
  4. Cook at 300 degrees for 1 hour or more until done.  It always takes more.

National Parfait Day

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By Diane Forrest,

I remember the first time my daddy took me to Dairy Queen and told me I could order anything I wanted.  My eyes got so wide, I'm sure they were larger then my stomach.  Of course I had to get the biggest thing I saw, and that happened to be a peanut buster parfait.  This was a delicious treat that came in a large glass.  The bottom of the glass had a layer of chocolate syrup and peanuts.  This was covered with a layer of ice cream, and another layer of chocolate and peanuts, another layer of ice cream then topped with more chocolate and peanuts and a cherry on top.  Could there be anything more perfect?  In fact, parfait is a French word that literally means perfect.

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The parfait was first concocted in 1894 and usually involves ice cream, whipped cream, fruit, nuts and syrups.  In the U.S. however, there have been parfaits made from mashed potatoes, pulled pork and BBQ sauce.  Some places serve a breakfast parfait using yogurt, fruit and granola, well, its not just for breakfast.

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Today is National Parfait Day, so to celebrate, why not enjoy one of these perfect treats.  Oh, and no, I could not finish my peanut buster parfait, my eyes were bigger than my stomach!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Sale!!!

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By Diane Forrest
(Smart shopper)

Years ago when my 4 cousins from Texas were young, they would travel to Mississippi for Thanksgiving.  The following day was the Annual Crackerjack Sale.  The local department store would hand out boxes of crackerjacks to the early shoppers and the prize inside were percent off coupons.  Some 10%, 15% and 20%.  There was also a diamond ring and a gift certificate per store. Since my mother and aunt took a little longer to get dressed, I would take the 4 girls with me.   The store has several doors, so we would go in one door, get our crackerjacks, then go out and come in another door.  We would hit all the doors, then head out to my mother's, by then my mom and aunt would be dressed, then we would go back again for more coupons.  At the end of the day we would pour all the crackerjacks into a zip lock bag and give them to my grandmother who would take them on a church trip that the seniors would take following Thanksgiving.  We did this every year for many years.   It was wonderful fun and made for many good memories.  Later on my husband, who was unable to move around in the store in his wheelchair, was asked to hand out the crackerjacks to incoming customers, a job he really loved doing.

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Black Friday is not a "holiday".  It refers to the shopping day that takes place the day after Thanksgiving.  It is called Black Friday because it indicates the point at which retailers begin to turn a profit, or "in the black."  Black Friday has not been considered the biggest shopping day of the year until 2003.  In 2004 it came in second, but has held first place in the years that have followed. There have been occasional problems with Black Friday.  People lining up at the doors wanting to be the first in line, fighting over sales have resulted in police being called, and in 2008 a 34 year old man was trampled with the rush of shoppers, and later died.

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One of my best Black Fridays’ happened a few years ago, in 2007.  My stepson was getting married the following March, and I had been looking for a kitchen aid mixer for them.  I happened to look at Wal-Mart’s website and noticed a secret sale.  Each store was going to have one mixer for $199.00.  It was so secret even the employee’s didn’t know about it.  I went at 4 a.m., since the store is open 24 hours, but they were not going to ring up items on sale til 5 a.m.  I picked up the mixer, put it in the cart, and stood at the register until time for them to start ringing up.  I was the first to get the mixer, so I won!  I was so excited I told everyone I met the rest of the day.

The best way to shop is to check out the sales, make a map of the items you want, purchase your items, then head back to bed.  Be safe, have fun and good luck!

Did you know?
In 1939, retail shops would have liked to have a longer shopping season, but no store wanted to break with tradition and be the one to start advertising before Thanksgiving. President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the date for Thanksgiving one week earlier, leading to much anger by the public who wound up having to change holiday plans some even refused the change, resulting in the U.S. citizens celebrating Thanksgiving on two separate days. Some started referring to the change as Franksgiving.

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For the official Black Friday deals online, check here: http://www.theblackfriday.com/