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Fernandina Pirates Wear a Patch

Fernandina Pirates Wear a PatchMembers of the Fernandina Pirates Club wear a patch, usually on their hat, arm or boot, to show that they are actual members of the Fernandina Pirates Club. During the Shrimp Festival, you may see many different pirates. There are short pirates, tall pirates, pirates wearing many colors, pirates with pistols, pirates with swords, male pirates and female pirates. Pirates come from near and far for the Best Beards Contest, for the Little Pirates Contest, to see the parade, or just to come and play pirate.

As the proclaimed Goodwill Ambassadors to Amelia Island and Nassau County, the Fernandina Pirates Club proudly promotes the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival. The Pirates will be invading before the fireworks show on Friday night and again on Saturday afternoon. In between and on Sunday, you will find club members at the waterfront, the Kids Zone, and everywhere in between, always ready and willing to pose for pictures.

When you spot a scallywag, wearing a Fernandina Pirates Club patch, wanderin’ the streets during the 50th Annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, don’t be afeared, they are your hearties. Just walk up and say Ahoy! or maybe Arrr!

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Tybee Island Pirate Festival to Feature Vince Neil of Mötley Crüe

Tybee Island Pirate Festival to Feature Vince Neil of Mötley Crüe Vince Neil, lead singer of Mötley Crüe, will be the headliner for the Tybee Island Pirate Festival. He will perform at a live concert on Saturday, October 6 at 7 p.m.

Neil will perform a variety of Mötley Crüe hits at his Tybee Island Pirate Festival performance including songs from legendary albums like Shout at the Devil and Girls, Girls, Girls. Since the band’s founding in 1981, Mötley Crüe has sold more than 80 million albums worldwide.

The 8th Annual Tybee Island Pirate Festival kicks off on October 4, 2012, with the Buccaneer’s Ball at the Crab Shack. This event that occurs each Columbus Day weekend transforms Tybee Island into a pirate village. Organized by the Tybee Island Tourism Council beginning in 2005, the Pirate Festival showcases the best of Tybee Island.

Lindsay Fruchtl, director of marketing for the Tybee Island Tourism Council said, “We invite everyone to get in touch with their inner pirate at this popular annual event. The Tybee Island Pirate Festival offers world-class entertainment with Vince Neil and family-friendly activities throughout the weekend at one of the liveliest celebrations along the coast.”

Other entertainment during the weekend will include live music by A1A, a Jimmy Buffett tribute band, pirate performers, street performers, magicians, puppeteers, and weaponry demonstrations. Additional highlights include The Pirate Victory Parade, Scallywags Costume Contest, Little Matey’s Cove, Thieves Market and the new Pirate Pub with live music. All of the events will be held at the South Beach parking lot located at Tybrisa Street on Tybee Island, Georgia. Please visit www.tybeepiratefest.com for a complete schedule of events and to purchase tickets.

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The Versatile Smartphone

The Versatile SmartphoneSmartphones combine the versatility of cell phones, gaming consoles, PDAs, and personal computers into one handheld device. I am constantly amazed at all the features of my smartphone that I somehow got along without for years. I used to believe that all I needed was a phone to make and receive calls and text messages, but that was before I synced my office email account to my smartphone.

That move has come with the good, the bad, and the ugly consequences. Now I can keep up with work email, but I can never completely “get away” from work. Add that to Angry Birds and Facebook and I never find myself with nothing to do. I find that my smartphone gives me a unique ability to balance my work and home lives.

The popularity of mobile devices such as smartphones changes how we communicate, seek out information, and do business. Internet experts are predicting that it won’t be long before we use our mobile devices more often than regular computers to access the internet.

Smartphones not only allow you to store and play your entire collection of music, they allow you to download and watch movies and television shows. You can also download and listen to podcasts. You can also keep up with your reading using either an eBook reader, or the smartphone’s ability to play audio books. Whether you’re stuck at the airport, trapped in a traffic jam or bored in a business meeting, your favorite media is at your fingertips.

Many web developers have created mobile versions of websites because of the growing trend in smartphone use to access the internet. Perhaps the greatest advantage to owning a smartphone is the availability of thousands of small applications, called apps. A wide variety of apps can be downloaded from online stores, allowing you customize and personalize your phone.

Some of these apps can be extremely helpful. For example, according the U.S. Department of Homeland Security website, local Nassau County residents that received storm damage from Tropical Storm Debby can use the FEMA app can apply for federal disaster assistance. There is also a First Coast News weather app available to keep you informed of developing weather situations.

The small size of most apps, combined with the large storage capacity available on smartphones means you can have dozens or even hundreds of apps stored on your smartphone, an app for whatever you are in the mood for or whatever you need to get done. Basically, a smartphone is a useful tool to help you with your work and home life.

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Fundraiser for Micah’s Place

Fundraiser for Micah's PlaceRAY OF HOPE is raising money for a legal fund that is utilized by Micah’s Place for victims of domestic violence. Raffle tickets are being sold to raise funds for a chance at one of 2 prizes.

FIRST PRIZE: A WEEK OF DINNER
Dinner for two at 7 different local restaurants. The restaurants include, 29 South, BarZin, Beech Street Grill, Baxters, Ciao, Horizons, and Merge.

SECOND PRIZE: A DAY IN FERNANDINA
Manicure and pedicure at Magna’s Salon, lunch at Kelley’s Courtyard Café, shopping at N.3rd Trading, and dessert at Fantastic Fudge.

The drawing will be held on June 2, 2012 at the Savory Taste for a Savory Place event being held at the Atlantic Recreation Center from 4-7pm. You do not have to be present to win. The tickets are $20 each or 3 tickets for $50. There will only be a total of 300 tickets sold. All of the money raised goes to the victims’ legal fund at Micah’s Place.

Tickets can be purchased at the Purple Dove Resale Center, Island Hair, or from any member of Ray of Hope by calling (904) 491-6364.

Ray of Hope’s mission is to stop the cycle of violence, with the premise that a child who has the opportunity to grow up in an environment that is free from violence will be less likely to repeat the cycle.

For more information on Micah’s Place, please visit www.micahsplace.org.

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Making Mosquito Repellent with Mint Leaves

Making Mosquito Repellent with Mint LeavesMany of us grow mint leaves in our gardens to flavor ice tea. Recently, I learned that mint also repels mosquitoes and you can make mosquito repellent with mint! All species of mint, both wild and cultivated, contain aromatic properties repulsive to insects. The essence is contained in the stems, leaves and flowers of the plants. When the plants are brushed against or crushed, the pungent scent is released.

To make mosquito repellent, first you have to extract oil from the mint. Oil is extracted from both leaves and stems. If you are using mint from your garden, water plants thoroughly for several weeks before harvesting. Next, wash the mint and remove any brown wilted areas. Pack the mint into a plastic container. Fill the container completely and then saturate with vodka. Let it soak for five weeks.

Remove the plant pieces from the container and save the liquid portion. Freeze it for two days. Alcohol does not freeze well, so when you remove the container from the freezer, the mint oil will be the frozen portion. Drain off the liquid alcohol. Rinse the ice with water to remove the residue from the vodka. Put the ice in a container and let it thaw on a shelf or in a pantry. This is mint oil. Store the oil in a capped bottle. Keep the bottle on a cabinet shelf, out of the sun.

Since we did not have much of a winter, I expect that the mosquitoes are going to be plentiful this summer. To keep from being bitten, we will need to keep plenty of bug repellent on hand. Store-bought bug sprays are fine, but some people have serious skin reactions to DEET.

Here’s an effective recipe that I found to keep the mosquitoes away:

Materials:
1. 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar
2. 1/3 cup witch hazel (or cheap vodka)
3. 5 drops of mint oil

Tools:
1. Spray bottle
2. Funnel

Steps:
1. Using the funnel, pour all the liquid ingredients into the spray bottle.
2. Shake the bottle to mix the liquids.

Tada! You have created a bottle of your own organic mosquito repellent. It is safe to use on your pets or around food too. It is not waterproof or sweat-proof so you will need to reapply as necessary. It won’t protect you from ticks, but if you just want to keep the bugs at bay during your next barbeque, this should do the trick. This process takes a bit of time, but to get started I purchased some mint plants this weekend at Home Depot. They had apple mint, sweet mint, peppermint, and spearmint in stock.

However, take care in how you plant mint, because it can become invasive. It is best planted in containers or in a manner that controls the spread of its roots. You can place containers of mint between garden rows to help keep nearby plants insect free.

It seems Jacksonville, Florida is one of the Buggiest Cities!

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In Like a Lamb

In Like a LambThe saying goes: If March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb. Is there any truth to this saying?

Weather sayings are as colorful as our imagination. While many are based on careful observations and turn out to be accurate, others are merely rhymes or beliefs of the people who came before us.

With March being such a changeable month, in which we can see warm spring-like temperatures or late-season snowstorms (in other parts of the country), you can understand how this saying might hold true in some instances. We can only hope that if March starts off cold and stormy it will end warm and sunny, but the key word is hope. However, this saying seems be to more of a rhyme rather than a true weather predictor.

Some other March related lore includes:

    -A dry March and a wet May? Fill barns and bays with corn and hay.
    -As it rains in March so it rains in June.
    -March winds and April showers? Bring forth May flowers.

What will the weather be like on Amelia Island in March? With the month starting out in the high 70’s and low 80’s, it seems more like March is coming in like a lamb.

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Leap Day

Leap DayFebruary 29, known as a leap day in the Gregorian calendar, is a date that occurs in most years that are evenly divisible by 4, such as 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016. Years that are evenly divisible by 100 do not contain a leap day, with the exception of years that are evenly divisible by 400, which do contain a leap day; thus 1900 did not contain a leap day while 2000 did. Years containing a leap day are called leap years. February 29 is the 60th day of the Gregorian calendar in such a year, with 306 days remaining until the end of that year.

The Gregorian calendar repeats itself every 400 years, which is exactly 20,871 weeks including 97 leap days. Over this period, February 29 falls 13 times on a Sunday, Tuesday, or Thursday; 14 times on a Friday or Saturday; and 15 times on a Monday or Wednesday. So, February 29, 2012, is one of only 15 leap days that falls on a Wednesday in a 400 year period!

A person who is born on February 29 may be called a “leapling” or a “leap year baby”. In non-leap years, some leaplings celebrate their birthday on either February 28 or March 1, while others only observe birthdays on the authentic extra (intercalary) dates. People born on February 29 are all invited to join The Honor society of Leap Year Day Babies. Almost 10,000 people from all over the world have joined since the website was launched in 1997.

For legal purposes, their legal birthdays depend on how different laws count time intervals. In England and Wales or in Hong Kong, a person born on February 29, 1996 will have legally reached 18 years old on March 1, 2014; in Taiwan and in New Zealand he or she legally becomes 18 on February 28, 2014.

There are many instances in children’s literature where a person’s claim to be only a quarter of their actual age turns out to be based on counting their leap-year birthdays. A similar device is used in the plot of Gilbert and Sullivan’s 1879 comic opera The Pirates of Penzance: As a child, Frederic was apprenticed to a band of pirates until the age of 21. Now, having passed his 21st year, he leaves the pirate band and falls in love. However, it turns out that the pirate indenture says that his apprenticeship does not end until his 21st birthday, and since he was born on February 29, that day will not arrive until he is in his eighties. As such, he must leave his fiancée and return to the pirates.

According to an old Irish legend, or possibly history, St. Bridget struck a deal with St. Patrick to allow women to propose to men – and not just the other way around – every 4 years. This is believed to have been introduced to balance the traditional roles of men and women in a similar way to how Leap Day balances the calendar.

If you have ever wanted to spend 24 hours a day at Disney, you can do just that on February 29th. As part of a “One More Disney Day” promotion, Disney is playing up the somewhat rare nature of the leap year’s extra day by keeping its two busiest stateside parks open from 6 a.m. through 6 a.m. the following day.

Similarly, some hotels are offering promotions to both those who stay over on leap day and to leapers themselves. There is even a special offer from the Jacksonville Zoo. Guests born on February 29th will receive free zoo admission on leap day only.

This day comes but once every four years so find a way to make the most out of the “extra” day this year.

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Promote Yourself

Promote YourselfWhether you are looking for a new job, a new direction for your career, or to be recognized as a subject matter expert, you need to promote yourself.

The government offered fresh data this month showing that the job market is gradually improving, but there still aren’t enough jobs to go around. To set yourself apart from the many other applicants, you must not only be the best at what you do, but you must also engage in self-promotion so that potential employers will recognize your strengths, interests, experience, and expertise.

Self promotion includes the things you say or do to make people notice you and become aware of your abilities and value. Think about self promotion as if you were a new product coming to market with no promotion in the mass media. Since no one knows about this new product, it disappears from the market. Failure to promote the product resulted in its failure. The importance of self-promotion is brought home when you consider that 55-80 percent of all jobs are filled through social connections, not “help wanted” advertisements.

Fortunately, social media on the internet is a simple and free resource you can use for self-promotion. You can make contacts, build your reputation, and even be seen as a subject matter expert in your particular area of expertise in a relatively short time. The sheer magnitude of the numbers of people using social media demonstrates its importance. Consider the “top three”:

    Facebook – With more than 500 million users, Facebook is now used by 1 in every 13 people on earth, with more than 250 million logging in every day. Nearly 72 percent of all US internet users are on Facebook.
    Twitter – Twitter recently announce it has over 100 million active users worldwide. Twitter also revealed that is now processing 230 million tweets a day, a number that has increased 110% since the start of 2011.
    LinkedIn – LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the internet with more than 120 million members in more than 200 countries and territories. Professionals are joining LinkedIn at a rate faster than two new members per second. There were nearly 2 billion people searches on LinkedIn in 2010.

Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have proven to be viable avenues for making contacts and connections that are vital to career success. In addition to these sites, you may choose to create your own blog or comment on blogs maintained by others, and participate in forums. Rather than jumping into every social media option at once, think about your goals and evaluate the various social media sites. Make your selection based upon what works best for you. For instance, if you are seeking employment, then you will want to start with LinkedIn so that your professional profile will be found by other professionals who may be searching for someone with just your talents.

Twitter is a microblogging site where posts are limited to 140 characters. There are many reasons to use Twitter. You can locate people, as quick questions and receive answers in an instant, learn about new trends in the industry, find articles posted on others’ blogs, and more.

Facebook is by far the most “fun” of the three. It is great for meeting people, tracing people from your past, playing games, and posting pictures.

The first secret to self-promotion is that what you do is not actually about you, but about the people with whom you are communicating. You may think this is opposite to your goal, but it is not. Your purpose for participating in social media is to attract followers, friends, and connections. You do that by being interested in, and helping, other people.

In addition, be personal and demonstrate that you are human. Post photos of yourself to show your personality, but not photos of you drinking, partying “hearty”, or doing something that would make your mother blush. You want your online story to promote your best attributes. Remember that future employers are searching social networking sites for information before they make a hiring decision.

The importance of self-promotion cannot be underestimated when your goal is career success. Social media sites are a perfect avenue for self-promotion and there is no denying they are now a major part of our lives. If you have not already done so, it is time to explore social media to learn what it can do for your future. Get out there and promote yourself!

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Good Luck for the New Year

Good Luck for the New YearCan you believe that 2012 is upon us already? 2011 was a difficult and trying year for many people and we could all use some good luck. New Year’s Eve is a time for partying and celebrating, but New Year’s Day brings the promise of a better, more prosperous year. Many cultures believe that eating specific foods on the first day of the new year brings luck, wealth and prosperity. It’s a tradition that’s worth upholding even if you’re not a believer in luck.

Here is a list of so-called “lucky foods.” What’s the harm in at least trying?

Black-Eyed Peas
Here in the South it is well known that it is traditional to eat foods with black-eyed peas. They are meant to symbolize money and wealth. Hoppin’ John is one of the most famous dishes to eat during New Year’s festivities. When paired with pork or ham, it’s even more appropriate for the holiday.

Greens
Greens, unsurprisingly, also symbolize money. Europeans eat dishes with cabbage or sauerkraut. In the South, people eat kale or collards, oftentimes stewed together with ham hocks. Eat your greens for a wealthy, and healthy, new year!

Lentils
Because of their coin-like appearance, lentils have long been believed to be a food symbolizing wealth and prosperity for the new year. All over Europe and even South America, people eat lentil soup or lentils with sausages on New Year’s Day.

Pork
Because a pig digs forward with its snout, it symbolizes forward progress. Eat pork or ham for prosperity, but stay away from eating chicken, because it scratches backward, and lobster, which scuttles backward. Pork on New Year’s Day is especially popular in Europe and the United States.

Fish
Fish is an obvious choice for celebrating the new year, because fish also symbolizes forward progress and wealth (fish scales represent coins). In Italy, dishes of cod and salt cod (baccala) are traditionally prepared. Scandinavians and eastern Europeans often enjoy herring for the new year.

Grapes
In Spain it’s a tradition to eat 12 grapes at midnight, with each grape representing the months in the old year. One grape might be sweet and another grape may be sour, representing good and bad months that have passed. The custom is also popular in Portugal and South America.

Cake
Round and ring-shaped cakes and baked goods are traditional to have for the new year. Fritters and doughnuts are especially popular in Italy and Eastern Europe. In Greece they make an almond cake called vasilopita, in which a coin is hidden. Whoever finds the coin is guaranteed good luck in the new year. Other cultures also hide trinkets in their New Year’s baked goods.

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Cranberry Orange Muffins

Cranberry Orange MuffinsYou can bake these cranberry orange muffins a day ahead, and once they’ve cooled, they can be store in an airtight container. They freeze well too.

I have started my holiday baking and so far I have made pumpkin bread, chocolate chip cookies and snickerdoodle cookies. I also plan to make pumpkin bars, gingerbread and these yummy muffins.

Ingredients:

    • 2 cups all-purpose flour (about 9 ounces)
    • 1 cup sugar, divided
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 2 teaspoons grated orange rind
    • 3/4 cup orange juice (about 1 large orange)
    • 1/4 cup canola oil
    • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
    • 2 cups coarsely chopped fresh cranberries (about 8 ounces)
    • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
    • Cooking spray

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.
Set aside 1 tablespoon sugar.
Combine flour, remaining sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture.
Combine rind, juice, oil, and egg in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk.
Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.
Fold in cranberries and walnuts.
Spoon batter into 16 muffin cups coated with cooking spray and sprinkle evenly with reserved sugar.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until the muffins spring back when touched lightly in center.
Run a knife or spatula around outer edge of each muffin cup.
Carefully remove each muffin; place on a wire rack.

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ICE on Your Mobile Device

ICE on Your Mobile DeviceProgramming ICE on your mobile device could save your life. Recently I attended a personal safety seminar that focused on what individuals can do to improve their personal safety. The speaker offered many common sense tips, but the one that grabbed my attention was programming “ICE” into your cell phone.

The acronym stands for In Case of Emergency. Beyond personal security, having emergency contacts programmed on a phone that is handy at the scene of an accident could speed the process of seeking permission to treat injuries and be informed about allergies and other important medical information that may save your life.

Keep these points in mind:

    -When you assign someone as your emergency contact, the more they know about your general health and any allergies you may have, the better prepared they are to provide assistance. Alert them to the fact that you have designated them as an emergency contact on your phone so that they will be prepared for a call.
    – Keep your phone accessible. It is recommended that you have your phone somewhere on your body while you are in the car as opposed to on your console where it is liable to be lost in a collision.
    – Keep your phone fully charged and if you have a prepaid phone, be sure you have minutes. Phones without minutes can generally make 911 calls, but phones cannot make calls if the battery is dead.

    When an accident occurs, emergency personnel can trace a driver’s license to obtain a home phone number if the occupants are unconscious or otherwise unable to answer questions. Unfortunately, they may not be anyone at home to take the call. Programming ICE contacts into your phone or other devices is a way for emergency personnel to locate the people or information that is important to you in case of an emergency.

    The following applications are good ways to put ICE on various devices:

    BLACKBERRY

    A free application called, “In Case of Emergency” is available at Blackberry App World. It stores your name and lists contacts, important notification telephone numbers, blood type, allergies, your physician’s name and number, your meds and medical conditions. A red cross icon identifies where to find the information and it is available to emergency personnel even when the phone is locked.

    iPHONE

    iPhone (as well as iTouch and iPad) users can download “iEmergency+” from the Apple app’ store for 99 cents. The app’ includes an emergency contact list, a one-touch phone calling option, and an unlimited list for medical information. The information stored is available to emergency personnel even when the phone is locked.

    DROID

    The Droid Marketplace lists a couple of apps to add emergency contacts. The first from Appventive is $3.99 and stores important information for first responders and hospital staff to use in case of an emergency involving you. People, emergency contacts or doctors, can be contacted directly from the app and your insurance information can be stored there as well. If you get a new phone, the data is stored on a cloud server and your settings will be restored. The second app listed is free and it has a feature to allow you to add a widget to the lock screen so that it can be bypassed.

    OTHER CELL PHONES

    Some basic cell phones have features to assign contacts as emergency contacts, but if yours does not you can always designate emergency contacts by listed them in your contact list as “-ICE” (Contact Name). The hyphen will make this appear at the top of your contact list.

    Programming your phone only takes a couple of minutes, but could be crucial in a crisis. After you set up your emergency contracts for your own devices, encourage your friends, colleagues, and loved ones to do the same.

Slow Down and Reflect on Life

Slow Down and Reflect on LifeAs we hurtle through this holiday season, I urge you to slow down and take time to reflect on your life and how you can make life better for those around you. September, October and November quickly slid into December and now we are caught up by the hectic pace of the holidays. Not only are family demands increased exponentially at this time of year, but it seems almost impossible to get anything done at work between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. How can something as enjoyable as the holidays be so taxing?

Most of us become so enamored by the hustle and bustle of the season that we don’t even realize we are working so hard to have a good time. Slowing down and appreciating the truly important things such as family, volunteer work, and personal relationships is hard to do when you’re going the speed of sound with your hair on fire!

Everything in our lives is turned up a notch and the volume drowns out many of the small pleasures we need to remain calm, but it is a great time to volunteer. The increased demands on your time may seem to be overwhelming, but it is actually a good way to help you appreciate every little thing and moment in life. Giving of one’s self can be profoundly gratifying and calming.

If you need to find a place to volunteer, you can contact the Nassau County Volunteer Center at (904) 261-2771 or via email ncvcfb@aol.com.

Take time to enjoy the small pleasures and remind yourself that life, personal as well as professional, is more than goals and deadlines. Sometimes you need to realize that life is like a river that must flow and ripple. If you try to capture it in a bucket, you just end up with a bucket of stagnant water. Trying to “get ahead” by going faster and faster can have the same outcome.

Being able to slow down often has the effect of making things proceed more smoothly and efficiently. This can be true at work or at home.

A couple of quotes help to emphasize this message. Humanitarian Eddie Cantor once said, “Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going to fast, you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.” And, professional golfer Walter Hagan said, “You are only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry. Don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.”

Slow down so your progress will be better.

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Managing Your Time

Managing Your TimeTime management is the foundation of organization and planning is your best organizational tool. Many people spend their days in a frenzy of activity, but achieve very little because they are not concentrating on the right things. Stuff bounces around in our heads causing stress and anxiety. We’re too neurotic to stop thinking about it and we certainly don’t have time to actually do everything in one day. This results in running from one “fire” to another hoping that we haven’t forgotten anything.

Our primary resource is time. In fact, time is all that anyone has that is of intrinsic value. Even something as valuable as good health is of no use without time.

At the beginning of the week, making a “to do” list gives you direction, and at the beginning of each day, it gives you a plan. Your weekly planning session should begin with gathering papers, going through your in-box, and checking the calendar. Using a planner that includes a daily “to do” or task list is an excellent tool. There are even free online applications such as the one at www.toodledo.com.

It is important to be flexible with your plan, as even the best laid plans can get waylaid. Missions and goals give long-term perspective and short-term motivation. Setting goals also builds self-confidence. By setting sharp, clearly defined goals, you have a measure and can take pride in achieving those goals.

The first steps to organizing your time might be emptying your planner of clutter and junk, and combining your personal and business calendars to make a master list of all the things you need to do.

The “to do” lists should be prioritized and should include al the tasks that you need to carry out. The most important tasks go at the top of the list, and the least important at the bottom. This is often the beginning of being truly organized. If all the tasks you need to complete are in one place, you are less likely to miss anything.

The “to do” list process allows you to look at the time you have available and plan how you will use it to achieve the goals you have identified. Review each task and decide up front how long it should take and work to that deadline. Leave enough time for things you absolutely must do and preserve some contingency time to handle the unexpected. When you are confronted with occasions when your plans for the day are suddenly interrupted, don’t hit the panic button. Check your list, re-evaluate, and adjust your strategy.

Begin with the worst item on your list. Wasting time stems from delaying work that is unpleasant by finding distractions that are less important or unproductive. Procrastinators work as many hours as everyone else, they just tend to work on the wrong tasks. Schedule your most challenging tasks for the times of day when your energy is highest.

Organization is a systematic application of common sense strategies, yet most people need practice to perfect the required discipline. It requires little effort and it promotes time management by identifying wasted time and focusing on your prioritized activities. Organization gives people direction and enables them to take control of their time.

Time is all you really have, so managing that time is the most important decision you can make.

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St. Augustine Pirate Gathering

St. Augustine Pirate GatheringSt. Augustine Pirate Gathering is being held October 28th, 29th, and 30th, 2011 at St. Francis Field (next to the parking garage) in St. Augustine, Florida; Pirates will gather from near and far, too.

On Friday, from 9:00am until 4:30pm, there will be a live historical exhibit at the Spanish Colonial Museum De Mesa Yard on St. George Street. Florida history is taught to school groups with a fun twist that includes lessons in rope tying, sword fighting, and black powder safety. On Friday night, from 7:00pm until 11:00pm, there will be a Historic Pub Crawl through the streets of downtown. Dress in your best pirate garb and meet at the Drop Anchor Tavern at St. Francis Field for a night of rum and revelry.

Saturday brings the opening of the gates at 9:00am. There is a parade at 11:00am and a Pirate Land Battle scheduled for 12:30pm. Since it is Halloween weekend, the pirates will be sharing their booty of candy, coins, gems and beads with the wee ones after the Land Battle. A costume contest for the kiddies will be held at 3:00pm. The Thieves Market will be open until 8:00pm and there will be live music by some great performers.

The main tent will close to the public at 5:00pm for the Buccaneer Bash. The Bash is a privately catered gala for the best dressed pirates. Tickets for the bash are $35.00 each and can be found here . You can also reserve a table for $100.00. There will be prizes awarded for the best decorated table.

Sunday brings another day of music and fun. At 10:30am, there will be a Pirate Court and some of the rowdy pirates will be brought to justice. The festivities will continue until 5:30pm when “all pirates shall return to the high seas until next year when the fair winds blow them back ashore.”

The cost for admission to the St. Augustine Pirate Gathering is just a “buck-an-ear” for adults and children! More information can be found at www.pirategathering.com.

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The Colors of Cancer Awareness

The Colors of Cancer Awareness

Click to enlarge chart

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and thankfully it has become common knowledge that pink is the color that represents breast cancer awareness. Pink products are sold in stores all across the country so that we can show our support to friends and family that have been affected by this disease.

While many people know that pink stands for breast cancer, how many know that blue is for prostate cancer and orange is for leukemia, and purple for pancreatic cancer? Each type of cancer has been assigned a color.

Purple is also the official color of the American Cancer Society Relay for Life.

Millions of people are diagnosed with different types of cancer every single day. Though there is still no cure for this dreaded and life taking disease, there are treatments which can minimize its effects in the body. The Relay for Life events in local communities provide not only a chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, they also raise money to fight back against the disease by funding research and programs of the American Cancer Society.

Our local Relay for Life event takes place on November 5-6, 2011, at Yulee High School. This event offers the unique opportunity to participate first-hand in a landmark new study, the Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3). During the event, the American Cancer Society will be enrolling people into CPS-3, a long-term study that will help researchers better identify the lifestyle, environmental, and genetic factors that cause or prevent cancer.

During the event, teams of people will gather at the school to take turns walking or running laps. Each team tries to keep at least one team member on the track at all times. Relay begins with a Survivor’s Lap, an inspirational time when survivors are invited to circle the track together and help everyone celebrate the victories achieved over cancer. After dark, a Luminaria Ceremony is held to honor people who have been touched by cancer and remember loved ones lost to the disease.

No matter what type of cancer it is, most of us know someone that has had cancer. Even if you can’t make the event, there are ways that you can show your support. Show your colors in support of people you know that are survivors or who have lost the battle.

Please visit www.relayforlife.org/fernandinabeachfl/ to learn more about the local Relay for Life event.

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