Thanksgiving is a low-key holiday that’s rife with traditions, most of which involve food and football. But if you’re looking to embellish the way you and your family celebrate the occasion, consider adopting one of these three activities.
1. Go on a fall hike. Once the turkey’s in the oven, work up an appetite with a family walk. It can involve a simple jaunt around the block or a full-on trek through the woods.
Keep the kids entertained by having them collect branches, leaves and pinecones. Encourage them to create a unique centrepiece or Thanksgiving wreath when they arrive back home.
2. Add to the family cookbook. Many families have traditional holiday recipes. Write them all down so that they don’t get lost.
Invite older kids to type and print the recipes and place them in a binder. Once the cookbook has been compiled, make it a point to add one new recipe every year.
3. Create a family quiz. A few weeks before Thanksgiving, send everyone attending your celebration a questionnaire. Ask your guests to share their favourite food, their bucket-list travel destination and what they’re thankful for.
During the meal, see who can guess what the others answered. The winner gets bragging rights until next year.
Did you know?
Though American Thanksgiving famously began in 1621, it was first celebrated by Europeans in Canada more than 40 years earlier. In 1578, Martin Frobisher and his crew made it safely through the Northwest Passage and arrived on Baffin Island. They celebrated their safe arrival with a meal of salt beef, biscuits and mushy peas followed by prayers of thanks.
Honoring Native American veterans
Native Americans have a long history of serving in our military. Since the Civil War, they’ve taken part in armed conflicts as U.S. soldiers. In fact, the terms of surrender between the North and South were written by Ely S. Parker, one of two American Indians to reach the rank of brigadier general during the Civil War.
Earlier this year, the United States Government announced the construction of a $15 million memorial celebrating Native American service members and veterans in Washington, D.C. In honor of Veterans Day on November 11, here are some of their achievements.
World War II
In addition, Native American code talkers played a crucial role in the war effort. Native soldiers formed telephone squads and together they used their native languages to craft coded messages. In fact, the United States asked soldiers from a variety of tribes to develop secret combat communication systems. Their codes were never broken.
Over 31,000 Native Americans serve in the Armed Forces today. They continue to be active in the military, serving all around the world.
After 9/11, a large number of newly enrolled soldiers were Native Americans.
Approximately 140,000 veterans alive today are Native American.
This Veterans Day, take a moment to remember the long-standing involvement of Native Americans in our nation’s military history.
The vet of tomorrow: no longer white and male
As the U.S. military undergoes significant demographic shifts, so too does the veteran population. In honor of Veterans Day, celebrated every year on November 11, here are some facts about the future of American veterans.
More veterans are women
According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, the proportion of female veterans will almost double by 2043, from nine percent to 17 percent. In the wake of increased enrollment following the events of 9/11, women are actually the fastest growing group of veterans. They face particular challenges when trying to adjust to civilian life, many of which aren’t addressed by existing resources.
The average age of veterans is changing
Currently, people aged 50 to 69 make up 42 percent of the veteran population. By 2043, however, the proportion of veterans under the age of 50 will increase considerably, as will the number of those over the age of 70. This means that the services offered to veterans will need to accommodate the needs of a more diverse population in terms of age.
Veterans are becoming more ethnically diverse
As the U.S. military becomes more diverse, it’s expected that the veteran population will exhibit the same trend. The proportion of non-Hispanic white veterans is likely to fall to 64 percent in 2043 from 78 percent in 2013.
Since non-White veterans are disproportionately affected by issues such as homelessness and lack of access to resources, it’ll be important for the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to work with community leaders to help ensure their well-being.
Veterans of all genders, ages and ethnicity have sacrificed a lot to keep our country safe. On November 11, take a moment to thank them for their service.
9 myths about hospice and palliative care debunked
In recognition of National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, here are 9 myths about these two types of medical care.
1. Myth: Hospice and palliative care are exclusively about controlling pain.
Fact: While pain management is an important aspect of palliative and hospice care, treatment programs also include psychological, social, practical and spiritual support.
2. Myth: My condition isn’t serious enough to warrant palliative care.
Fact: Palliative care isn’t just for those facing a terminal diagnosis. Most people with life-limiting illnesses can benefit from it.
3. Myth: My doctor hasn’t recommended hospice or palliative care, so I don’t need it.
Fact: Patients who think they might benefit from hospice or palliative care should bring up the topic with their doctor.
4. Myth: I can’t access palliative care without a hospice.
Fact: Palliative care can be provided at home, in the hospital, at a hospice and in long-term care facilities.
5. Myth: If I receive palliative care, it means my life is over.
Fact: The goal of palliative care is to improve patients’ quality of life during every stage of their disease. Many continue to receive curative treatment in conjunction with palliative care.
6. Myth: I’m too young for hospice and/or palliative care.
Fact: People of all ages can benefit from hospice and palliative care.
7. Myth: I shouldn’t talk about dying with my loved ones — it’s too upsetting.
Fact: Addressing your end of life wishes and any advanced medical directives will save your loved ones a lot of stress and uncertainty down the road.
8. Myth: Palliative care is only for people who are at the end of their life.
Fact: This type of care can help patients from the time they’re diagnosed right up till the very end.
9. Myth: Children don’t need hospice or palliative care.
Fact: Palliative and hospice care are given on the basis of need. Everyone should receive the care appropriate for their condition, age and level of understanding.
Dealing with a chronic or terminal illness is challenging, but you don’t have to go through it alone. Hospice and palliative care are available and can provide you with the physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual help you require to manage your disease.
Retire a millionaire: how to have more for retirement by saving in your 20s
The sooner you start saving money, the more you’ll have when you’re ready to retire. Here’s how to maximize your retirement savings from a young age.
Start saving regularly ASAP
If you begin placing money into a retirement fund while you’re still at your first job, you’ll pay less on a monthly basis over the course of your working life. This is a great way to ensure that you have the money you need to retire.
Pay down debt aggressively
Being in debt holds you back from achieving your financial goals. If you have consumer debt (like a car loan or a balance owed on your credit card) make a formal plan to pay it off as quickly as possible. Once you’ve paid all your debts in full, ensure you start spending less than you make and put a percentage of your salary into your retirement fund each month.
Take advantage of employer benefits
If your employer offers 401(k) matching, be sure to contribute as much as necessary to benefit fully. If this isn’t something offered through your workplace, open your own IRA or Roth IRA and set up a pre-authorized transfer to occur every payday.
Compound interest is what makes saving in your 20s and 30s so important. The interest that you’ll accrue over 30 or 40 years is much greater than what you’d earn if you start putting money away in your 40s. Saving from a young age makes it feasible that you’ll retire a millionaire.
Can I change my rescue dog’s name?
Do you adore your new rescue dog but dislike their name? If so, don’t feel like you’re stuck calling your pooch something you wouldn’t choose yourself. In fact, in some cases changing a dog’s name can be beneficial, especially if they were mistreated in the past. A new moniker can help your dog make a fresh start in a happier, more loving home.
It may take a few weeks to get your dog used to responding to the new name, but it’s not hard to do. Be consistent about using it and always say it in a happy, enthusiastic manner. Keep treats in your pocket during the adjustment period. Every time your pup responds to the new name, give them a treat. The idea is to get your dog to associate the new name with rewards.
If you prefer to make the change gradually, try using both names. For example, if you want to change Charlie’s name to Max, call him Charlie-Max for a week or two. Once he gets used to responding to the combined name, drop the old one.
While you shouldn’t do it often, don’t feel bad about changing your pup’s name. Dogs don’t identify with them the way we do. If they respond happily when you call them, it’s due to their eagerness to please you and not because of the name itself.
6 components of integrated pest management
Overuse of chemical pesticides has led to issues like pesticide resistance, outbreaks of previously suppressed pests and environmental contamination. Integrated pest management (IPM) evolved as a response to these problems.
Here are the six components of IPM and how each of them helps make pest control more sustainable.
Such measures may also mitigate the severity of any pest problems that do arise, which means less money spent on potentially harmful pesticides.
Because IPM relies on sustainable measures that target specific pests, it’s important to clearly identify the cause of an emerging problem.
Using broad-spectrum pesticides may be quicker, but in addition to causing problems down the line, they’re unlikely to be effective.
Many IPM techniques rely on timing. Knowing when a pest’s natural predators are more active makes complementary control methods more effective.
Regular inspections also let you know when a pest population is growing and where nests are located.
In cases where chemical pesticides are needed, close monitoring will increase their efficiency.
You may not always need to take action against pests. For instance, clover is considered a pest by some growers, but others appreciate the plant’s contributions to soil fertility. Determining your damage threshold makes resource management easier.
IPM relies on synchronizing various methods of pest control, including:
• Cultural preventive methods such as introducing resistant varieties, pruning strategically and altering plant nutrition
• Physical methods such as putting up barriers, placing screens and using mulches
• Biological controls such as introducing beneficial organisms, predatory species and microbial controls
• Pesticides chosen for compatibility with other methods
The best strategy largely depends on the particular type of pest you’re dealing with.
Follow-up monitoring is a crucial part of pest management. Identify what worked and what didn’t and keep records for future reference.
Adopting sustainable pest control methods is a good way to avoid pesticide overuse as well as inefficient resource usage.