Americans haven’t been shy about stocking their quarantine pantries with candy — sales were up 6.3 percent during the 17-week period ending at the end of June.
But what will happen with the huge eight-week selling season for Halloween?
The Hershey Company expects a reasonably good season, though they have prepared for a dip.
The Halloween season accounts for 10 percent of the candy business, with Americans purchasing about 600 million pounds for the spooky days. About 90 million pounds of that is chocolate.
Candy makers aren’t that worried about Halloween, since they believe families will find ways to celebrate even if quarantine orders are in place. After all, kids can always wear, you know, masks. In addition, there is no evidence that the novel coronavirus survives on the packaging.
At Hershey, the company has decided to make fewer Halloween-specific packages, but continue making packages of bite-sized treats.
According to Hershey, about 55 percent of their Halloween sales are for the home or office candy bowls.
March Celebrity Birthdays!
Do you share a birthday with a celebrity?
1 – Jensen Ackles, 43, actor (Supernatural), Dallas, TX, 1978.
2 – Chris Martin, 44, singer/songwriter (Coldplay), born Exeter, Devon, England, 1977.
3 – David Faustino, 47, actor (Married…with Children), Los Angeles, CA, 1974.
4 – Chaz Bono, 52, author, television personality, born Chastity Sun Bono at Los AngeleS, CA,
5 – Dean Stockwell, 85, actor (Quantum Leap), Los Angeles, CA,1936.
6 – Connie Britton, 53, actress (Nashville), Boston, MA, 1968.
7 – Bryan Cranston, 65, actor (Breaking Bad), San Fernando Valley, CA, 1956.
8 – Aidan Quinn, 62, actor (Practical Magic), Chicago, IL, 1959.
9 – David Hume Kennerly, 74, photographer, Rosenburg, OR, 1947.
10 – Carrie Underwood, 38, singer, Muskogee, OK, 1983.
11 – Bobby McFerrin, 71, jazz musician, , New York, NY, 1950.
12 – Barbara Feldon, actress (Get Smart), Pittsburgh, PA, 1941.
13 – Adam Clayton, 61, musician (U2), Dublin, Ireland, 1960.
14 – Grace Park, 47, actress (Battlestar Galactica), Los Angeles, CA, 1974.
15 – Kellan Lutz, 36, actor (Twilight), Dickinson, ND, 1985.
16 – Alan Tudyk, 50, actor (Firefly), El Paso, TX, 1971.
17 – Hozier, 31, singer, songwriter, born Andrew Hozier-Bryne, Bray County Wicklow, Ireland, 1990.
18 – Queen Latifah, 51, singer, actress (Bringing Down the House), born Dana Owens, East Orange, NJ, 1970.
19 – Bruce Willis, 66, actor (The Sixth Sense), Idar-Oberstein, West Germany (now Germany), 1955.
20 – Spike Lee 64, director (Do the Right Thing), producer, Atlanta, GA, 1957.
21 – Kevin Federline, 43, dancer, Fresno City, CA, 1978.
22 – George Benson, 78, singer, guitarist, Pittsburgh, PA,1943.
23 – Chaka Khan, 68, singer, born Yvette Marie Stevens, Chicago, IL, 1953.
24 – Byron Janis, 93, pianist, born Byron Yanks, McKeesport, PA, 1928.
25 – Ryan Lewis,33, musician, Puyallup, WA, 1988.
26 – Keira Knightley, 36, actress (Pirates of the Caribbean), Teddington, Middlesex, England, 1985.
27 – Pauley Perrette, 52, actress (NCIS), New Orleans I.A, 1969.
28 – Lady Gaga, 35, singer, actress (A Star is Born), born Stefani Germanotta, Yonkers, NY, 1986.
29 – Megan Hilty, 40, actress (Smash), Bellevue, WA, 1981.
30 – Tracy Chapman, 57, singer, Cleveland, OH, 1964.
31 – David Eisenhower, 73, professor, West Point, NY, 1948
Time management training: learn to make the most of your day
Do you often wish there were more hours in the day? If you frequently feel overwhelmed by your commitments, time management courses can help you regain control of your life. Here’s what you can expect from this type of training.
What you’ll learn
In the spirit of effective time management, many training programs pack a lot of practical skills into a short period. After a one-day course, for example, you should know how to:
• Prioritize your various responsibilities
• Identify distractions and limit their effects
• Create an organized daily, weekly, and monthly to-do list
• Schedule tasks based on when you’re most productive
• Set realistic short- and long-term goals
• Delegate projects and commitments as needed
• Say no to things that aren’t a priority
• Adapt your schedule to unforeseen events
• Make time for effective, restorative breaks
How you’ll benefit
Good time management skills allow you to achieve a better work-life balance. They enable you to make the most of your day and overcome procrastination, thereby helping you to meet deadlines and achieve your goals. You’re also less likely to feel overwhelmed by your various commitments if you learn to effectively manage your time. This ability can help you reduce stress and increase your overall job and life satisfaction.
If you want to learn how to manage your time, consider signing up for a course offered by your employer or a local organization.
How to refer a friend for a position at your workplace
Do you know someone who has the right skills for an open position at the company you work for? While a referral could help both your friend and employer, you risk damaging your reputation within the company if the person you refer isn’t a good fit. Here are some tips to help you manage the situation.
If you know that your friend has strong principles, but you haven’t worked with them, you may not know what to say. However, you should be upfront with your employer and say that you can’t speak to the person’s technical skills, but you can certainly attest to their character. This approach will help your friend get an interview without staking your reputation on secondhand information.
If a friend asks for a referral, but you don’t think they’re a good candidate, one option is to explain that you have a personal policy not to refer others because of the liability involved. If you do recommend a friend, make it clear that it’s not guaranteed they’ll get the job because recruiters take a variety of factors into account.
Finally, before you refer a friend, reflect on how you would feel about working with the person on a daily basis and, potentially, being their subordinate or superior.
Lean into discomfort to embrace personal growth
It’s a natural human impulse – if something causes discomfort, we avoid it, and if we can’t avoid it, we seek to resolve it. When we squabbled with our siblings, we apologized and put hurt feelings to the side. We accommodate others to avoid frayed tempers and ugly arguments. We seek to resolve conflict, stay away from uncomfortable situations, and ignore troubling feelings. We dislike vulnerability in ourselves and in others.
But discomfort and failure are powerful teachers, and when we explore those uncomfortable feelings, we often come out the other side stronger, wiser, and more in touch with what we really want.
Think about what you have been able to accomplish in the past despite discomfort and adversity and apply those lessons to future challenges. Don’t berate yourself when you fall short – instead, reflect on what you could have done differently.
Author, researcher, and therapist Brene Brown writes that while “I am a screw up” and “I screwed up” sound very similar, there’s a vast gulf between them. The subtle change in language allows us to accept our imperfections without the crippling addition of shame. When we give ourselves permission to be imperfect, we are more able to embrace failure as a powerful tool for self-improvement.
The Buddhist nun Pema Chodron urges people to be gentle in the way they talk to themselves and think about why we say certain things when we experience failure. Ask yourself why you feel the way you do, and consider that maybe the real problem not that you are a failure, but that you are just hurting.
When we embrace our failures, lean into our discomfort and seek to grow and change, we also embrace humanity’s best qualities – empathy, kindness, generosity, and openness.
So the next time you experience a major disappointment, don’t beat yourself up. Instead, learn from your missteps, treat yourself kindly and emerge from your failure as a better, stronger person.
Never touch a knight’s beard
In medieval Europe, if you touched a knight’s beard, you were going to have to face him in a duel at dawn. His beard was his honor, according to the Chicago Tribune, and an unbidden touch was an insult.
Touch has been an essential part of human life through ages and cultures.
It has been considered the primary way to learn. Today, if visiting a museum, no visitor would think they could or should touch that painting or handle a fossil. Yet, in the Middle Ages, you certainly would do just that. It would be the way that you learned about something. People expected to handle everything, according to medievalist.com.
Touch has been considered holy. If you were so moved in the Middle Ages, you might kiss a saint’s foot at a pilgrimage site. That touch was considered to offer miraculous benefits.
A king’s touch was considered to be healing for some centuries. The king’s miracle was achieved through touching or stroking a sick person.
Since the dawn of civilization, the rules for touch have been both enshrined in culture and changed.
In Turkey, for example, a friend might greet another with a kiss on both cheeks, but this is considered inappropriate for business.
In Pakistan, a man greets a younger woman by lightly putting his hand on top of her head.
Nowhere in the West has the idea of touch changed more than in the workplace where a pat on the shoulder has been considered sexist.
Yet, rules change and remain the same. Today, it would still be considered rude for an acquaintance to reach out and touch a fellow’s beard, or a woman’s hair, even if it won’t end in a duel.
As rules in the workplace evolve, touch has become a tricky issue.
Between close friends, even at work, a hug is acceptable, especially as a way of congratulating or sympathizing. It’s best to remember that it takes about 200 hours of close contact to become friends with someone, according to Business Insider. A recent study by The Creative Group showed that 65 percent of those in advertising or marketing said hugging a co-worker was very common and 23 percent said hugging a client was very common. On the other hand, 18 percent of those surveyed said hugging was never done in the workplace.
A handshake has been considered the safest way to touch and say hello. But during COVID-19, this has also changed. It remains to be seen whether a handshake will stay in the lexicon of Western touch.
The best practice for workplaces today is a no-touch policy.
Music lessons: 5 reasons to pick the piano
Learning to play a musical instrument is a fun way to improve memory, relieve stress, and build confidence. If you or your child want to take up an instrument, here are five reasons to choose the piano.
1. It has a huge repertoire
With its 88 keys and impressive range, the piano has a wealth of songs written for it in all genres, from classical and jazz to pop and hip hop. In addition to having the largest solo repertoire, it’s one of the most popular instruments for accompaniment.
2. It requires little upkeep
3. It’s fairly easy to learn
While it takes practice to play with both hands, producing a beautiful note on the piano is as simple as pressing a key. Contrarily, in the case of wind instruments, you first need to learn how to position your mouth to get a clear sound.
4. It’s comfortable to play
Certain instruments, such as the violin and flute, require you to hold your head or fingers at an awkward angle. If you play the piano, however, you’ll get to adopt a natural seated position and keep your hands relaxed.
5. It provides a solid foundation
Learning the piano teaches you to simultaneously play two different clefs. This makes it easier to transition to another instrument that uses either the treble clef (clarinet, trumpet, etc.) or the bass clef (cello, tuba, etc.).
Keep in mind that while a person is never too old to learn to play an instrument, piano lessons generally aren’t offered to children until they’re five or six years old. If you want to introduce your child to music earlier, consider music appreciation classes.