New Year's Day, January 1. Sing out the old, ring in the new.
National Science Fiction Day, January 2. An informal celebration of science fiction fans on the birthday of celebrated author Isaac Asimov.
National Bird Day, January 5. Nearly 12 percent of the world’s 9,800 bird species face extinction within the next century, including nearly one-third of the world’s 330 parrot species. The survival and wellbeing of the world’s birds depends upon public education and support for conservation.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day, January 16. A national holiday celebrating the work of the African-American civil rights leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner (born January 15, 1929).
Inauguration Day, January 20. Americans welcome our new President of the United States, Donald J. Trump.
Hot Crab Dip
This is a favorite dish from Chris’ childhood and came from his Mom. It is usually served as an appetizer. It is perfect for those Sunday football games or a friendly gathering. Consider this appetizer for Superbowl Sunday next month. In fact, I made it tonight before lamb meatballs:
Happy New Year to everyone. We met most of our goals and were able to help more people than the year before.
Last month was a great month. As a Christmas bonus to our staff, we gave them a downtown-spending spree as a surprise. We closed the office at 3:00 p.m. on a Friday and gave them each a generous amount of cash and with the requirement that they had only one hour to spend all of it downtown. They could only spend it on themselves. This was a gift to them, not to spouses or children. The rules were that they had to meet Chris and Eric at 4:00 p.m. with their purchases and receipts and that they had to return any money they did not spend. Needless to say, it was a fun time and everyone got to pamper him or herself.
We also held our annual Santa’s Bookshelf party and we got over 500 books to distribute to early learning reading programs in the Pensacola area and in South Africa.
We are looking forward to a great January and an even better 2017. We have set our annual goals and have a plan in place to meet them. If you have not had a chance to do yours yet, it is not too late!
The baby and the old man have been symbols of the new and old year since the time of the ancient Greeks. Here are a few more symbols and traditions of celebrating the New Year across the globe:
Each month, we like to feature people we work with, our neighbors, or people who are influential in our community. This month, we would like to feature Pathways for Change Family Center Gateway Triage Program.
Pathways for Change is an incredible program in Pensacola working to change lives one person at a time. Most people who have heard of Pathways for Change know of the Men’s Residential Treatment (MRT) program, which is a sentencing alternative for men who find themselves in the criminal justice system. We will feature MRT in a future Community Spotlight, but Pathways for Change has exciting news to share in this New Year. Pathways for Change has recently been asked to participate as part of the Gateway Triage pilot program the Florida Supreme Court has endorsed to help with access to the court system.
We recently talked with Connie Bookman, director of Pathways for Change, who shared with us what this promising new community service has to offer. The Florida Supreme Court, through a series of studies, has endorsed a series of programs to help address the justice gap that exists in many communities in Florida. The Gateway Triage program is a new development intended to address this gap. The intent of the program is to provide legal resources and some services to people in locations away from the courthouse based upon income, language, and other factors that create impediments to getting justice. Pathways for change will participate by setting up kiosks in the Family Center, which will provide access to the courts through on-line portals and perhaps retired lawyers or law students who can help facilitate participants with filling out forms and filing documents.
In 2012, Pathways for Change expanded its mission to eradicate poverty and created the Family Center, which is located in the middle of three area housing projects. People in this area can walk to the Family Center and get their GED or vocational training. The Family Center has a program to help people get their CDL certification and even has 3 hospital beds to use as training for people getting their home health aide certificate. Many folks who need help at the Family Center need childcare to complete classes, so Pathways for Change has free childcare for people participating in their program. Because the Family Center was already a place where lives are changed, and due to its proximity to impoverished areas, it was a great fit as a pilot Gateway Triage center.
Pathways for Change has begun the process of establishing the Gateway Triage center. It has recently rolled out the Steering Committee that will establish and implement the new program. The members of the committee are Connie Bookman, Andrea Krieger, Leslie Powell, David Donaldson, Melissa Moss, Margaret Haugan, and Alla Holmes. The committee is spectacularly gifted in many areas and skills from legal services to non-profit administrators and one of them are even an MRT graduate!
The Steering Committee has already begun serious work and intends to have the kiosks in place by the end of the summer. The Gateway Triage Center is going to make a huge difference in our community by helping to lift people up and into better lives.
If you ever want a tour of Pathways for Change and want to know more about the Family Center, call Connie. She will be happy to show you around and give you more information.
I have an idea about New Year’s resolutions. Over the holidays, I have been reading “The Dream Manager” by Matthew Kelly. It inspired me to try something different with the mental energy I devote to my “new year’s resolutions”.
If you are tired of resolutions, try this. Get a pad and pen. Before you start writing anything, it is vital to promise to give yourself mental permission to write down any crazy idea or dream of accomplishment… no matter how wild or far away it seems. Write down as many dream accomplishments you can think of.
As I did this exercise, my list naturally fell into four basic categories; visions of lifestyle, travel, personal growth, and material objects. For example, one travel dream is to cross the Gulf of Mexico in a sailboat, something I’ve never done, but want to do. Another one of my dreams is a long-term vision of lifestyle… to help on a daily basis to raise my grandkids (God-willing that I have some). I ended up with a list of about 50 dreams.
Once I started looking over what I had written, not that many of them were things that are completely out of reach, provided I work very hard, maintain my good health and have a bit of luck along the way. (I will give you that Eric’s and my band will probably never open for the Red Hot Chili Peppers at Madison Square Garden, but we will keep practicing for the love of making music anyway). For those dreams that are 10-20 years out, I can break them down into smaller steps and figure out how I should advance over 1, 5, and 10-year increments so I can start setting markers to measure progress.
Until now I’ve never had all of my dreams written down, or organized, in one place. What seemed overwhelming at the start seems more real looking now that it’s on paper. And, there’s a bit of a guiding organization and a rough plan. Having written my dreams down causes me to ask two questions throughout my day: Is what I am doing right now steering me toward achieving one of my dreams? And what are some of the dreams I have not thought to write down yet? I promise this list won’t be like any other “new year’s resolution” list you’ve made before. Next year in January of 2018, you’ll remember your dreams and be able to tell yourself what kind of progress you made. And, you’ll feel better because they are yours. You won’t forget them.
This month, we wanted to talk about “premises liability” cases. “Premises liability” is simply the concept that businesses or people who own property owe the people they invite to their property an obligation to keep the property safe for the visitor. Or, they must at least reasonably warn someone they have invited to the property that there is a known danger. For example, one business had a bathroom it allowed customers to use. The customer was electrocuted when he went to use the hand dryer that had become broken. There are different duties owed in different circumstances. Someone you invite to your house may be owed a different duty than someone that a grocery store invites to shop in a store.
If you know someone who has been seriously injured because a person or business’ property was unsafe in some way, please call us for a free consultation. You may be able to make a claim to help you recover from your injury.
Sam and Joe were hunting ducks in a boat on a lake. They had just taken shots at a flock of airborne ducks, but only Joe brought down a bird. Sam was a bit jealous.
The duck fell into the water on the other side of the lake, so Joe sent his dog to retrieve the bird. Sam watched in surprise as Joe’s dog jumped out of the boat and ran across the surface of the water to make the retrieval. Joe looked at his friend with an expectant smile, but Sam said nothing.
Later Joe brought down a second duck, and again his dog ran across the water to retrieve it. Sam still said nothing until Joe couldn’t contain himself any longer. “Don’t you notice something unusual about my dog?”
“Yep,” said Sam. “He sure can’t swim.”
Maria Feodorovna, the wife of Tsar Alexander III of Russia, was known for her charitable works. According to one story, she once saved a condemned man from exile in Siberia by moving a single comma in the warrant signed by her husband.
The original document read: “Pardon impossible, to be sent to Siberia.” The Empress moved the comma so the warrant read: “Pardon, impossible to be sent to Siberia.” The man was saved and released.