What does Thanksgiving mean to you?

What does Thanksgiving mean to you?

As Thanksgiving rapidly approaches, we tend to get caught up in the preparations of the meal, watching of parades and sporting events and spending time with family and friends. For some, the planning and strategizing for shopping the sales of Black Friday and Cyber Monday consume our thoughts. Have we forgotten the real reason we celebrate Thanksgiving?

The first Thanksgiving was celebrated as a way for the Pilgrims to give thanks for the opportunity to begin a life in the New World. To get to this day, many survived illness and the restriction of freedoms that we now take for granted.

Thanksgiving is the one day a year set aside to give thanks. So what are you thankful for? This is a question that for many can bring about a storm of emotion. This question means something different to everyone.

In recent years, I made a choice to include my closest friends at my family table because close friends are as important to me as family. I am thankful for the opportunity to make this possible.

Thanksgiving is a time of reflection for me. I think of those no longer with me to celebrate the holidays and the memories of years gone by. I am thankful for my husband whose love and support I could not live without, my children who teach me what the meaning of love is every day, my family that remind me of where I started and how far we have come, my friends who support me in good times and difficult times and for the opportunities that I have been afforded to make this life one that I am proud of and happy to share with the people I care about.

However you decide to celebrate this year, I urge you to take time to remember why it is that we celebrate this day and to make thankfulness a part of each day not just Thanksgiving. In this fast paced world that we live in, it is too easy to forget to take time to slow down and remember just how we got here.

The Management and Staff of C.H. Edwards, Inc. would like to extend our best wishes for a very Happy Thanksgiving filled with the opportunity to make memories with those you cherish the most!

Written by: Denise Visco

Tips for Surviving the Holidays Illness Free

Tips for Surviving the Holidays Illness Free

Wellness Wednesday

Tips for Surviving the Holidays Illness Free!

A cough, sniffle and flu germs have a way of getting around. Avoiding these risks, especially during the holidays become an even more challenging task.

Here are some simple tips for helping you keep healthy this holiday season!

-Be sure to wash your hands regularly. A good scrub for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water.

-Always carry hand sanitizer. When soap and water aren’t available, a good hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol is a good alternative.

-Covering a cough or sneeze is always a good habit. Covering a cough or sneeze with a tissue or in the bend of your arm at the elbow are the best ways to do this. Teach your kids this trick as well.

-Keep your defenses up! Getting plenty of sleep, eating good foods and keeping up regular exercise are the best way to do this.

Make a wellness plan now, so you can enjoy a happy and healthy holiday season. For more information visit flu.gov.

by Denise Visco

 

National America Recycles Day

National America Recycles Day

National America Recycles Day

November 15th is National America Recycles Day. This day is dedicated to encouraging Americans to recycle and buy recycled products. The America Recycles movement was started in 1997 and since then has helped people everywhere learn the importance of recycling. In honor of today, here are some helpful tips to follow when going green and helping the environment.

Save energy to save money:

 – Install compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) when your older incandescent bulbs burn out.

-Unplug appliances when you are not using them. Even if they are plugged in and not in use, energy is still being drawn to them.

Save water to save money:

-Take shorter showers to reduce water use. This will also lower your water and heating bills.

-Wash clothes in cold water whenever possible. 85% of the energy used to machine-wash clothes goes to heating your water.

Less Gas = more money:

-If you are traveling a short distance, consider walking or riding your bike instead of driving. Not only will this help the environment but it is better for your health also.

Recycle all plastic/glass bottles and papers:

-It may be a pain but be sure to recycle all of your used bottles and newspapers. Set up a separate recycle can outside by your garbage pails to help make sorting your trash easier.

Help make the earth a better place to live in today! Don’t forget to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Looking for a simple way to make meditation part of your daily routine?

Looking for a simple way to make meditation part of your daily routine?

Looking for a way to make meditation part of your daily routine?  Consider giving this simple tea meditation a try.  How often do you make yourself a cup of tea?  Have you ever stopped to think about the steps involved in preparing and enjoying that cup of tea?  When considering the role of mindfulness in your daily schedule, the answer can be as simple as making your cup of tea.  Stop and take the time to consider every step involved in this process, take time to smell the aroma and then concentrate on the way you feel as you take the first few sips.  Sound simple enough?  Give it a try.  Will tea meditations become part of your daily routine?

by Denise Visco

Diabetes and Life Insurance-Do you know the facts?

Diabetes and Life Insurance-Do you know the facts?

November is Diabetes Awareness Month.  Do you know the implications of this disease with regard to obtaining Life Insurance?

Diabetes does not prevent you from buying Life Insurance but it comes with a significant price increase.  For example, a 57-year-old man with Type 2 diabetes and an A1C below 6.7 can buy a 20 yr. term policy for approximately $155 per month with a $250,000 death benefit, while the same man with an A1C above 6.7 and below 7.5, the premium would be approximately $232 per month for the same coverage.  The premium amounts are estimates but clearly show the difference between how the amount you would pay for Life Insurance differs.  The reason for this is that a person with a serious health condition such as diabetes is put in an insurer’s substandard class due to a higher risk of death.  Sounds frightening?  It is!

Is there anything you can do to avoid the higher premium and the high-risk category?  You can wait until your A1C is controlled for a minimum of 6 months before applying for Life Insurance.  There are also some companies that will accept proof that you have maintained a healthy diet and exercise program as well as maintained your medication schedule for a period of time and will make you eligible for the lower premium policy.  This information varies from carrier to carrier.  The best way to safely obtain this information is to purchase Life Insurance through a certified Life Insurance Representative.

If you would like more information on purchasing Life Insurance with diabetes or any other special health condition, contact Steven Visco at C.H. Edwards, Inc./Visco Family Insurance at 516-249-5200 or visit our website at www.chedwards.net.

by Denise Visco

Keeping Pets Safe on Halloween

Keeping Pets Safe on Halloween

It’s almost Halloween!  Costumes are purchased.  Decorations are in place and treats are being prepared for visiting trick or treaters.  Everything seems in place, but what about our pets?  Pets enjoy Halloween too so how do we keep them safe?

Candy, especially chocolate is a significant danger and can be poison to our pets.  Chocolate is dangerous for two reasons.  First, chocolate contains two chemicals-caffeine and theobromine which are stimulants.  Symptoms can begin in 6-12 hours after ingestion.  These symptoms can include panting, hyperactivity, increased thirst and urination.  High concentrations lead to irregular heart rhythms, seizures, coma, and even death.  There are all levels of sensitivity just like in people, some dogs and cats can be sensitive to chocolate and show signs of poisoning from much lesser amounts.

Chocolate is very high in sugar and fat.  This could cause mild diarrhea, or more dangerous gastroenteritis, pancreatitis and liver disease from ingestion of large amounts of chocolate.  Keep all candy out of the reach of pets and explain to young children that it is not safe to feed candy to dogs and cats.

If your pet is afraid of loud noises or frightened when people come to the door.  Speak to your veterinarian about a calming supplement or mild tranquilizer to get your pet through Halloween comfortably. Never do this on your own.  Consult a professional as the dose for pets is different than people. Be extremely cautious if your dog or cat goes out and navigates the yard on their own.  Don’t leave them unattended on Halloween night.  Pets innocently fall victim to Halloween pranks.

Our pets are special to us.  Don’t let their safety become less of a priority due to the excitement of the holiday.  With some planning, the day can be fun for the entire family.  Hopefully, this information will help to provide a safe environment for our pets.  Think Safety First and Have a Happy Halloween!

by Denise Visco

 

Candy Corn Fun Facts

Candy Corn Fun Facts

Although everyone might seem pumpkin spice crazy at the moment, there is always one Halloween classic treat that will never be forgotten. And that is, candy corn. This sweet treat is a Halloween staple and often overlooked. We are going to give you some Halloween fun facts that you might not have known. And after reading our facts, let us know your favorite! And don’t forget to enjoy this classic treat on October 30th because that is National Candy Corn day!

• The original name for candy corn was “Chick Feed” and was marketed toward farmers.

• Candy corn has been around for over 130 years when George Renninger, a candy maker at the Wunderlee Candy Company, stumbled upon the perfect mixture of corn syrup, sugar and marshmallow flavoring, which invented the tri-color candy in 1880.

• Americans have debated on the style of how the kernels should be consumed. According to a survey, 46.8% of people think that the whole kernel should be eaten at once, compared to 42.7% that start at the white, narrow end. While the remaining 10.6% of people start at the wider yellow end.

• A recent CNN Facebook survey found that older people tend to like candy corn more than younger ones do. The study also found that 86% of females love candy corn compared to 14% of males.

• According to Google Insights, candy corn is the most searched for candy term in Google. Alabama has the highest about of candy corn searches out of all 50 states. The only thing sweeter than “Sweet Home Alabama” is the candy corn itself.

Written by: Sandra Costanzo

April is Autism Awareness Month or should it be renamed Autism Acceptance Month?

April is Autism Awareness Month or should it be renamed Autism Acceptance Month?

Wellness Wednesday

April is Autism Awareness Month or should it be renamed Autism Acceptance Month?

April has been slated to share two acknowledgments to Autism, World Autism Awareness Day and Autism Awareness Month but what does this really mean. With 1 in 36 children being diagnosed with Autism, is there really anyone left who is not aware? With 1 in 36 is there a person who has not been affected by autism? A family member, a friend, someone who bags your groceries at the supermarket, the person who refills your drinks or cleans your table at your favorite restaurant. Everyone is aware, but have we accepted that this is the future?

Research dollars are raised and spent every year and we are no closer to an explanation for the annual rise in the autism rate. Why does this sound so personal to me? Because it is!

My family recognizes Autism Awareness/Acceptance Day every day. My amazing 24-year-old son Steven is an adult living with autism. Autism took away his ability to have a “normal” life, but he has a happy life surrounded by family and friends that love him for the incredible person he is and together we have supported him while creating a life that re-defines “normal”. Steven is a talented musician, he plays baseball, basketball, golf and he is on a bowling league. He volunteers at Save A Pet, works at his parent’s insurance agency when appropriate projects are presented, is in a book club, takes nature classes, loves classic cartoons, enjoys social activities with friends and loves his family. Most recently, Steven had the opportunity to attend the Campus Experience at Stony Brook University College.  He works hard learning to express himself like others around him through Speech Therapy and continues to make strides although the reality is he will never be able to have a conversation.  That has not stopped him from participating in the activities he loves, making his intentions clear to all or to express love to the many people he cares so much about.  Steven teaches everyone around him that autism means he is differently abled but not less. He approaches every challenge presented to him and gives it his all.  Steven has a happy life and is rarely sad. He has been an active part of creating a life that is perfect for him.  Steven may not ever be a full-time college student or get married but that is not what he was meant to do. I believe he is here to teach acceptance and for that, I am extremely proud!  Steven starts each day with his three words, handsome, smart and strong.  Saying these words give his life meaning and purpose and he carries his purpose in all that he does. That is Autism Acceptance and this is what the world needs more of.

So the next time someone asks you if you’re going to wear blue or “Light it up Blue for autism, make the choice instead to share Steven’s Story. It is a story of acceptance and not awareness. People are aware but that doesn’t stop the finger pointing, judgment, and unrealistic expectations. It’s harder to learn to accept and be part of the much-needed change, a movement toward Autism Acceptance!

by Denise Visco
Steven’s Mom

#WellnessWednesday #AutismAwareness #AutismAcceptance#ILoveSomeonewithAutism #AprilisAutismAwarenessMonth#DifferentNotLess #challenges #hope #dreams #recognition #StevenVisco #StevenMVisco #AcceptallofUs #DeniseVisco#LongIslandInsurance #CHEdwardsInsurance

Refuel your body with some Vitamin D

Refuel your body with some Vitamin D

Wellness Wednesday

Are you feeling a little run down? Spending more time indoors and less outside soaking up the sun may leave you vitamin D deficient.

Have a delicious lunch packed with Vitamin D!  Vitamin D fuels your body’s T cells, which fight bacteria and viruses.  Research shows that nearly half of all people have a D vitamin deficiency by the end of the Winter.

By eating foods high in Vitamin D you will get closer to the 600 IU daily allowance per day.  Fatty fish is a good option.  3 oz. of salmon has 479 IU and 3 oz. of canned tuna has 154 IU.  Other good sources are milk (1 cup=115-125IU), eggs (1 large with yolk=41IU)and D-fortified orange juice (1 cup=137IU).

Give it a try and see how good you will feel.  Soon enough we will get that extra dose from being outside in the sunshine!

by Denise Visco

The History and Celebration of St. Patrick’s Day

The History and Celebration of St. Patrick’s Day

Have you ever wondered who the real St. Patrick was?  Why do we celebrate with parades and big celebrations?  Each year millions of people around the world celebrate this patron saint of Ireland without any knowledge if his life or why he is so important to the Emerald Isle.

St. Patrick was not Irish.  He was born in Wales, a Roman territory at the time in 385 AD and was raised in a wealthy family.  His given name was Maewyn, though some say it was Succat, a Celtic word meaning “warlike”.  His father was a Roman official so Maewyn was also known as Patricus.  When he was 16 he was captured by a clan of Irish marauders and taken to Ireland as a slave.  Once in Ireland, he was sent to County Antrim to be a shepherd.  During this time, he worked outdoors away from people.  Lonely and afraid he turned to religion for solace becoming a devout Christian.

After six years as a slave, Patrick escaped and made his way back to his family.  He began studying in a monastery and there he heard the voice of God telling him to return to Ireland to convert the Pagans to Christianity.  This he did as Bishop to Ireland in 432.  His first church was in Saul in Northern Ireland. Patrick brought many monasteries to Ireland and was thought to have single-handedly responsible for bringing Christianity to Ireland.  Patrick explained that the shamrock with its stalk and three separate leaves represented the father, son and holy ghost, the three aspects of the Christian God.

March 17, 481 is considered to be the day St. Patrick died.  St. Patrick’s Day celebrations began in Ireland as a holy day.  The first parade was held in Boston in 1737 and in NYC in 1762 as a response to the prejudice against the Irish-Catholic people.  In an effort to promote cultural pride and acceptance, the Irish community banded together.

Today the Irish and the Irish-for-a-day around the world celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.  From wearing green, green beer, green bagels, and the traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner, St. Patrick’s Day has come far from the recognition of the patron saint of the Emerald Isle.

No matter how you choose to celebrate, have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day and make safety a priority for your celebration.