January Fun Facts

To kick off January and the new year, here are a few lesser-known fun facts:

  • Apart from leap years, January always begins on the same day as October. In leap years, January always begins on the same day as April and July.
  • January is the only month when the North Pole is on average colder than the South Pole.
  • January’s birthstone is the garnet which represents consistency.
  • January is National Blood Donor Month, National Braille Literacy Month, National Hobby Month, National Soup Month, and National Staying Healthy Month among many others.
  • January is, on average, the coldest month in the Northern hemisphere and the warmest month in the Southern hemisphere.
  • The first Super Bowl was held on January 15, 1967, at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in L.A., California between the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs.
  • The 1st of January was a highly significant day in medieval superstitions regarding prosperity, or lack of it, in the year ahead. A flat cake was put on one of the horns of a cow in every farmyard. The farmer and his workers would then sing a song and dance around the cow until the cake was thrown to the ground. If it fell in front of the cow that signified good luck; to fall behind indicated the opposite.

Another great way to kick off the year is by calling the agency now to schedule your insurance coverage review. When you call ask to review your policy and all insurance coverage to make sure you are fully prepared for anything 2022 throws your way!

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Start 2022 the Right Way

Now that the holidays are over, it’s time to start focusing on our goals for the upcoming year.

Don’t let yourself make one of the most common mistakes made each New Year—waiting too late to start planning. If you have goals, whether you have goals you want to meet in your personal or business life, in your relationships, or anything else, the successful way to plan is to start early.

I have been moving my planning forward, starting earlier and earlier each year, and have found that having a head start is beneficial. It’s especially helpful to know that you’ve got a solid plan for moving forward in the new year.

4 Tips for Setting Goals for This Year & More Importantly, Achieving Them:

  1. Write Your Goals Down — Get your goals on paper and put it somewhere where you will constantly be reminded of them. This will help you keep on track and remind you to focus on your goals. The best place I have found to post my goals is on/next to the bathroom mirror to be easily reviewed every morning.

  2. Prioritize — If you have five goals you really want to accomplish over the year, prioritize them. You may also want to set mini goals for yourself that will serve as milestones to your eventual larger goal. Setting mini-goals along the way will also keep you motivated as you get a little taste of accomplishment each time you meet a mini-goal.

  3. Make an Action Plan — How are you going to achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself? Decide how you’re going to do things and get started!

  4. Track Your Progress — So that you don’t lose sight of your goals, track your progress toward them to help yourself stay on task.

Two great goals I suggest are to fully complete/update your home inventory and schedule a full policy and insurance coverage review. In worst-case scenarios of fire or burglary, it is crucial to have a full up-to-date list of your home’s contents and be fully prepared for the unexpected.

There are several apps available through the Google Play Store and Apple App Store to digitize your home inventory. Many allow you to easily enter all needed information (item description, make, model, serial number, value, purchase date) and save pictures.

May you have a Happy and Great 2022!

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What Are Your Goals in 2022?

It’s getting toward the end of the year now, and that means we are looking forward to the next. Christmas and New Year are always some of my favorite times of the year because they signify new opportunities around every corner. No matter what happened over the past twelve months, we have a chance now to set new goals and make the next year whatever we want it to be.

New Year’s Eve has always been a time for reflection, and more importantly, looking forward to the coming year. It’s a time to reflect on the changes we want or need to make and resolve to follow through on those changes.

Did you set a New Year’s Resolution for 2021? If you did, I hope you stuck to them and achieved everything that you set out to do.

The biggest reason why many people fail to meet their personal goals is that they are not specific enough when setting them.

Can you guess what the top 10 most common New Year’s Resolutions are? Does yours make the list?

  1. Get Organized
  2. Help Others
  3. Learn Something New
  4. Get Out of Debt
  5. Quit Drinking
  6. Enjoy Life More
  7. Quit Smoking
  8. Lose Weight
  9. Get Fit
  10. Spend More Time with Family

No matter what your goals are for 2022, I hope you are able to achieve all of them. Try setting smaller goals for yourself along the way to help you get there.

We hope that you have a very Happy New Year and may all your resolution efforts succeed!

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What is Your Family’s Holiday Tradition? Start One This Year

If the hustle and bustle of the holidays has you feeling more frantic than festive, consider starting a new family tradition this year. My family loves having holiday traditions and looks forward to them each year. Having something to look forward to can help you feel more grounded during this busy time of year–plus, the whole family can get involved.

Here are some ideas for new family holiday traditions: no matter if you choose one tradition to implement or them all, you will be creating family memories that will last a lifetime.

  • Open One Gift Early — While opening gifts is generally saved for Christmas morning, if you celebrate Christmas, consider starting a family tradition of opening one gift the night before. It doesn’t have to be a large present–perhaps just a stocking stuffer–but it helps to get everyone into the festive spirit ahead of the big day.
  • Matching Pajamas — Holiday decorations make great backdrops for family photos — take a family portrait that you’ll enjoy looking at all year in matching holiday pajamas. These pajamas come in a variety of styles and colors: some even have feet! Most matching sets even have an option for babies and dogs.
  • Give Back — In the true spirit of the holiday season, consider giving back. Spend a few hours this holiday season volunteering at the local soup kitchen. Alternatively, cut back on one holiday gift per family member — have everyone pick out something they would like to have, and then donate it to a family in need.

We hope that you have very Happy Holidays!

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Recipe of the Month: Candy Cane Fudge

Santa is coming early this year! Here’s an early present — a simple, tasty recipe for peppermint fudge that can’t be beat! It’s the perfect treat for the holidays!

Ingredients

  • 2 (10 ounce) packages of vanilla baking chips
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed candy canes
  • 1 dash red or green food coloring

Directions

  1. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, and grease the foil. Combine vanilla chips and sweetened condensed milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently until almost melted, remove from heat and continue to stir until smooth.
  2. When fully melted, stir in the peppermint extract, food coloring, and candy canes. Spread evenly in the bottom of the pan.
  3. Chill for 2 hours, then cut into squares and serve.

Enjoy!

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Holiday Safety Tips

As we hear the song saying “it’s the most wonderful time of the year”, remember that it is also the most vulnerable time of the year.

The holiday season is the peak time for ID theft and burglary.

To help you stay protected, here are a few holiday shopping safety tips:

  • Try to shop during daylight hours and always be aware of your surroundings.
  • Secure your home. Set the alarm and lock your doors and windows while you are out shopping.
  • Leave a list of all credit cards at home, just in case they are lost or stolen.
  • Lock your “Sleigh” and do not leave valuables in sight!
  • Pay attention to how you carry your wallet or purse to prevent theft.
  • Be careful with social media. Checking in at different stores lets potential criminals know you are not at home.

It seems at times that stress and the holiday season go hand-in-hand. Although stress cannot always be avoided, some relief can be achieved.

  • Allow enough time to shop rather than waiting till the last-minute rush.
  • Only plan to do a reasonable number of errands.
  • When shopping, make several trips out to the car to drop off packages rather than trying to carry too many items.
  • Take time out for yourself. Relax, read, or enjoy your favorite hobby at your own pace.

Here’s to a Happy and Safe Holiday Season!

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December and Holiday Season Fun Facts

Are you ready for the Winter Holidays? Let’s kick this month off with a few fun facts.

  • The date of the Winter Solstice varies between December 20th and the 23rd. The 21st and 22nd are the most common dates.
  • On December 16th, 1965 the song, “Jingle Bells” was the first song ever played in space.
  • The North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, has been tracking Santa’s journey around the world since 1958.
  • When you think of Christmas critters, do you think of Spiders? In Ukraine, families often add spider web ornaments to their trees as a nod to a story about a spider using its web to decorate the tree of a poor widow and her children.
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer started as an advertising gimmick for the Montgomery Ward department store in 1939.
  • The largest Christmas gift ever given was given to the U.S. by France in 1886 – the Statue of Liberty.
  • Christmas Trees were originally shunned in the U.S. as being a pagan practice.
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Thanksgiving Fun Facts

From everyone here at the agency, we want to wish you are yours a Happy Thanksgiving! We hope you are able to safely celebrate this holiday with your family and friends.

To kick off the Thanksgiving activities, here are some Thanksgiving Fun Facts.

  • The annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade tradition began in the 1920s.
  • Abraham Lincoln issued a ‘Thanksgiving Proclamation’ on October 3rd, 1863, and set aside the last Thursday of November as the national day for Thanksgiving.
  • The heaviest turkey ever raised was 86 pounds, about the size of a large dog.
  • The most popular ways to serve leftover turkey are as a sandwich, in a stew, soup, or casserole.
  • Turkey has more protein than chicken or beef.
  • Congress passed a law on December 26, 1941, ensuring that all Americans would celebrate a unified Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November every year.
  • Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird of the United States.

Please keep in mind while celebrating that the office will be closed on Thanksgiving Day to reopen Friday, November 26th.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Watch Out For Deer!

Did you know? We are in the middle of deer migration and mating season which generally runs from October through December. Every Fall there is a dramatic increase in the movement of the deer population. As a result, more deer-vehicle collisions occur in this period than at any other time of year. Drivers need to be especially vigilant. 

Colliding with a deer or swerving causing you to hit a ditch or tree can cause a tremendous amount of damage to a vehicle. 

Here are a few tips that can help you prevent and decrease the danger of being involved in a deer-related auto accident:

  • Slow Down and watch for the rest of the gang. Deer are pack animals and rarely travel alone. If there’s one, there are likely more. Just slow down and keep an eye out.
  • Scan the fields and roadsides ahead of you. Deer are very unpredictable.
  • When possible drive with your high beams on. The high beams will reflect better in the eyes of the deer allowing you to spot them easier.
  • Heed deer-crossing signs. The yellow diamond with the deer on it are placed in high-traffic areas where collisions are more likely, so slow down and pay careful attention when you see a sign. 
  • If you come upon a deer in the roadway, brake firmly and calmly, and stay in your lane. Avoid swerving. It could make you lose control and make a bad situation worse.

If these tips fail, you should take the following steps in the deer collision aftermath:

  1. Pull to the side of the road as soon as it is safe to do so.
  2. Turn on your hazard lights and remain in the vehicle until you are sure it’s safe.
  3. Call emergency services if injuries are involved or the local police for property damage.
  4. Stay away from the deer. If it is still alive, it could be confused, injured, and dangerous if approached. When contacting the authorities, let them know if the deer is in a dangerous spot on the road so that it can be removed.
  5. Contact us here at the agency as quickly as possible to report any damage to your vehicle.
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Thank You To Our Veterans

It’s time, tomorrow, to celebrate all of the heroic people that have served our country on Veterans Day, Thursday, November 11th. If you know a Veteran, take this time to personally thank them for their service and all of the sacrifices they have made.

It is important to remember the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day. Veterans Day is a time of thanks to our living heroes that have or are currently serving. Memorial Day is a day of remembrance of our heroes that gave it all in the line of service.

The history of Veterans Day is an interesting one and many of us are not aware of how this special holiday came about, here is a quick crash-course on Veterans Day:

World War I officially ended on June 28, 1919, when the Treaty of Versailles was signed. The fighting had stopped seven months earlier when an armistice went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month which is why November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”

President Wilson, in November of 1919 proclaimed the 11th as the commemoration of Armistice Day. The original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11:00 a.m.

Veterans Day was made an official legal holiday on May 13, 1938. It was to be a day that was dedicated to the cause of world peace and would be known as “Armistice Day.” While the holiday was originally set up to honor World War I veterans, after the Second World War, the act was amended in 1938, striking out the word Armistice, changing it to Veterans. On June 1, 1954, the holiday was declared a day to honor living American veterans of all wars. President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued a proclamation urging the nation to support the Veteran’s Day effort in any way possible.

Here are a few ways you can celebrate and honor our veterans this Veterans Day:

  • Wear a red poppy or yellow ribbon to show support for veterans and active duty service members.
  • Volunteer at a local VA facility.
  • Donate time or money to a local veteran’s organization.

While November 11th is set aside as an official holiday, we should celebrate veterans all year long. Support veteran-owned businesses and express thanks whenever you see a person in uniform. A simple thank you will let them know how much you appreciate their service.

From me and everyone else here at the office, we hope that you have a very happy and safe Veterans Day!

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