The Importance of Spending Time with Family

In today’s day and age, we are consistently running from function to function that we don’t even have time for ourselves some times. The kids need to go to soccer practice, we have to go to doctor’s appointments, and then of course there are school functions and a lot more. Add to that the distractions of cell phones, blackberries, computers, junk mail, television and who knows what else, and before you know it we aren’t even connecting with the family in our own house. Family members become distance and almost unfamily like.

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This is a really bad habit to fall into. We need times with our family and they need time with us. Here’s what you get out of being with your family and vice versa:

Children that feel loved. If you are forever shuffling the kids around to other places just so you can get things done, the kids eventually can feel neglected and lonely. But spend some time with them one-on-one and they’ll know they are loved. And don’t just flop down in front of the TV with them. Go for a bike ride with them, go get ice cream and talk, take them to play in the park – you get the idea.

Your marriage becomes stronger. A marriage is a very important relationship and your husband or wife is one of your most important family members. You need to rely on each other, strengthen each other and be a really great companion. If one spouse goes in one direction and the other spouse does in another direction on a regular basis, your relationship is going to suffer. You’ll end up being like strangers. Take some to be with the kids (if you have kids!) but don’t forget to spend some alone time together too. Make a special date like when you were dating. Get dressed up and go some where you haven’t been in a while. Revisit the restaurant you went to on your first date, go to the movies or take in a sporting event if that is your thing. Whatever you do, do it together and pick something that you both like to make both spouses happy.

You are enriching each other. Each family member has something to special to offer that makes them unique. Spending time with each family members broadens your horizons. You get to experience the things that they like to do that you might not do on your own. For example, because I spent time with my husband, I was encouraged to go snorkeling which I was too afraid to do on my own. With his influence, I gave it a try and was introduced to a world of beautiful colorful fish in the Caribbean. I would have missed out on that wonderful experience which I’ve seen done numerous times since the first time, if I had been cooped up by myself, lost in my own world. So spend time with your kids and other family members and be open to their interest and others involved in their lives. It will enrich you greatly.

Start spending more time with your family today. You don’t know the wonderful affects that it has on your family and yourself until you do it.

First-Time Cat Owners

As a self-proclaimed cat lady, I would like to think I know a thing or two about how to raise my furry children. Growing up, I wasn’t able to have pets that weren’t contained to a terrarium or a fishbowl, so my level of expertise was pretty low. I never really grew up around cats or had friends with cats so I had a hard time understanding how these curious critters worked.

Fast forward to two years ago. My fiancee and I just got our first apartment, and he agreed to let me have a cat for a pet (big mistake on his part… IT BEGINS.) Together with my best friend, we made the trek out to TAILS Humane Society in DeKalb, IL (located off of Peace Road). After looking through the vast array of adoptable cats, my friend pointed out this little angel furball named Jack. I asked to see him and held him in my arms. As soon as I looked in his big mooney eyes, I fell in love.

Having never owned a cat before, I was in for a bit of a surprise. I made sure I had all the essentials one would need for owning a cat: litter box, toys, and food. Everything was ready for my little guy to come home.

I was lucky, though, because Jack had a relatively smooth transition from humane shelter to apartment. Of course, I learned things along the way (as most new parents often do). Here are a few things to consider before bringing your cat home:

-Adoption or Purchase-

I am a big advocate of adoption. These poor animals are left alone with no one to care for them. All too often, family pets are dumped on the side of the road to fend for themselves. Think about it: this animal, who has only known what it’s like to be around people, automatically has to figure out how to survive in the wild. I couldn’t do that; hell, I don’t even like camping! Saving an animal’s life is one of the best, most selfless things you can do.

However, if you are into purebreeding, then make sure you do your research and find a reputable breeder. Try to not buy cats from pet stores (adopting one from a pet store is different, as those adoptions are usually run by local humane societies and are guaranteed healthy and neutered/spayed before coming home).

Bear in mind that the cost of adoption (often only goes as high as $150) is much less than buying from a breeder (a few thousand). Adopted pets are usually “broken in” (which means they are familiar with people and oftentimes, other animals) and come microchipped, vaccinated, and fixed. Purebred cats are not fixed and can often come with many health problems due to excessive inbreeding. You can often find purebred cats at animal shelters, so if you absolutely have to have a Turkish Van, keep checking Petfinder (http://www.petfinder.com) to see if there are a few available in your area.

-Fostering-

Fostering cats is another great option if you’re not sure if you’re ready to commit to adoption. Contact your local humane society to see if you can volunteer for fostering, or even at the shelter itself. You’ll get a better idea of how to interact with cats (especially if, like me, you never had previous experience).

-Research-

Do your research before you adopt! Assess what kind of cat you are looking for. Are you laid back? You definitely don’t want a cat that won’t calm down and demands attention from you all the time. Cats have personalities just like people. Just as some people don’t get along with each other, some cats don’t get along with people either.

Visit a few shelters and ask to see the cats. Observe them in their environment (although their personalities might not shine through those little cages). Ask the volunteers at the shelter how the cat behaves normally. Ask about personal and medical history, what the cat likes to do, and if it gets along with people, dogs, or other cats.

-Preparing for the Homecoming-

After you’ve selected your new furry child, now’s the time to make sure that she has a smooth transition from A to B. Prepare a litter box (or two) in quiet, secluded area. You don’t like to be looked at when you’re using the toilet, so it’s important to share the same courtesy. Fill her food and water dish and put out some toys for her to play with. Try to make everything as comfortable as possible.

Your new cat is going to be either freaked out beyond belief or exploring like there’s no tomorrow. It’s important to give her time to adjust. Try to confine her to one room so she gets used to the smells and sights in her new home. After awhile, introduce her to another room. Pretty soon, she will have the run of the house. It’s very important to let her come to you and not force her into anything. You don’t want to scare her away.

Now that your cat is used to her home, I just have a few other tidbits that you probably never thought about.

-Litter-
This is mostly a personal preference for owners (although some cats are very picky). I prefer scoopable clumping litter to clay litter, mostly because it doesn’t require constant cleaning and the odor protection is better. I have an extra-large litter box for two cats and I only have to clean it about every three days. Clay litter, while better for the environment, is a huge hassle and smells to high heaven. But again, that is personal preference. You should try several different types to see which works best for you and your cat.

-Food-
This is an odd subject, because most people I know will buy huge bags of cheap food to feed their pets. I might sound like a snob, but this is the equivalent of feeding your kids McDonald’s every day. I know that some people might enjoy McDonald’s every day, but they really should not be eating it that often. Cats are carnivores, and generally do not eat grains in the wild (although a tasty snack of grass helps to calm their tummies). I personally choose to feed my boys grain-free dry food from Fromm Four Star. Not only does it cut down on their stool odor (I’ve smelled my cats’ poo on several occasions and this food, by far, produces the least-foul-smelling turds I’ve encountered) and it makes their coats incredibly glossy and soft. After a good brushing, I’m powerless to resist snuggles with my little puffballs, despite their numerous protests.

A lot of veterinarians suggest feeding your cats a grain-free diet, as it helps to prevent health problems in the long term.

-Toys-

Some cats just don’t like toys. My older boy is indifferent to everything but feathers and a laser pointer, where my younger guy will play with literally anything: my hair ties, dry pasta I accidentally dropped on the kitchen floor… anything. Don’t go broke buying your cat new toys all the time if she shows no interest. Just the simple act of sitting next to her, scratching her in her favorite spots, or just spending time with her is enough to show her you care.

-Hairballs-

Within a few weeks of getting my first cat, I thought he had pooped on the rug. Apparently, it was a hairball. Never having seen a hairball, I assumed that it would look like an owl pellet or something. I was wrong. So, for those of you that have never seen or heard a cat cough up a wet one, this section is for you.

Cats are constantly cleaning themselves, and often digest hair in the process. Since their tummies cannot fully process the hair, the cats must vomit up the hair in the form of a wet mass called a “hairball”. Believe it or not, these do often look like pieces of poo. Sometimes cats just puke for no reason, too. You’ll know when they’re about to hurl when you see their backs start to shake up and down and you hear this awful “hcch hcch” sound. Nine times out of ten, they will puke on the carpet. I just clean up the hairball, throw it in the trash, and then clean the carpet with a clear, anti-bacterial handsoap.

This was a quick little guide for a first-time cat owner. Of course, I can’t predict exactly what your new cat will be like, but by and large, these are good tips for any novice feline enthusiast.

Water Games: Playing in H²O

Water Play:

Sprinkler Jump, Run, and Shout You don’t need to go to a park with a professional sprinkler and a lifeguard. All you need is a water hose and a spray nozzle to wet every body down as they run through. A sprinkler device makes it easier and keeps the water flowing. A toy that attaches to the end of the hose and whirls around spraying is great fun.

Wading Pools A store bought bubble-sided pool or an stiff-sided pool can be worth its weight in gold in occupying the children. Run a hose to the pool add some big plastic drinking cups and plastic boats and the fun is on. Mom can pull up a lawn chair and read a book. Just stay in reach. Without a real pool even a shallow tub can be filled and played in. Use what you have.

Pouring and Measuring These are great activities for little ones or even for children who can’t play in a pool. Use a bucket and some plastic cups and let the kids pour from one to another. Slop and pour, slosh and glug, pour and trickle, and make a waterfall. Kids get wet and stay cool and they learn in the process.

Water Pistol Fights Bigger kids enjoy water gun fights, but some of the huge water guns can be lethal. Restrict to smaller sizes and more of the children will enjoy the fun of running and squirting. Provide a kiddy pool or buckets of water for refilling.

Water Balloon Wars Kids have to prepare for this one. Like a snowball fight they fill the balloons ahead of time. Stow the ammunition in buckets or plastic coolers. Site some rules for safety and to keep things fair and fun. (Hold a yard cleanup afterwards to gather up the pieces of broken balloons that can be hazardous.)

Beach Play Going to a beach a lake or the ocean, a creek side or river bank? All can be great fun and all require supervision to be safe. Take along buckets and sand shovels. Kids love to sift sand and to dig holes near the water’s edge to get to water level and watch the holes fill up. Wade along the sand and make writings in the wet sand. Look for rocks and shells. Make a sand castle by adding water to your sand to make it moldable.

Slip and Slides The idea of a slip and slide is to lay the large piece of heavy plastic—(a tarp will work.) on a sloped surface. Run a hose to one end of the plastic and wet the surface thoroughly. The children run and slide on the wet slippery surface.

Washing Bikes and Wagons Pull out the bikes and the buckets, big sponges and a few squirts of dish soap and you have a fun and beneficial game. The kids slosh and wash and scrub and shine all the bikes, trikes, scooters, and wagons. The whole neighborhood may ride over to join in the fun. Parade and show off the clean vehicles afterwards.

Watering Gardens and Flowerbeds Kids love to hold the hose to water the flowers and garden vegetables. Newfangled spray nozzles and spray wands make it easy and the plants will benefit from the work while the kids are enjoying the game. Kids also love to fill watering cans and carry them to thirsty plants. Even a little child will enjoy himself with a bucket of water and a plastic cup to carry water to the flower pots. For toddlers use a less stable water container such as a large bowl that will tip and drain if the child falls into it.

Caution!

 

Water Warnings! 

Be certain to empty buckets, pools and containers when finished as a toddler can fall in and could drown. For water games to be safe they need to be well supervised at all times. If the children are little, keep the water in a wading pool or buckets shallow and stay with the kids. No running inside to answer phones or check supper. A child can drown in only four inches of water. Be safe—not sorry.

Don’t forget the sunscreen! Little ones can burn quickly.

Water games are great fun on hot days and with a few safety precautions and rules, they are safe too. Have a fun time!

How to Host a Scary Movie Night for Halloween: Keep Guests Screaming for More with this Halloween Movie Party

Halloween is a fantastic opportunity to indulge in all those fun activities enjoyed as children. While the days for trick-or-treating are over, there is sill plenty of opportunity to have a spooky good time this Halloween season. All that is needed are a few basic snacks, some enthusiastic friends and a little imagination.

Start with Invitations

There are so many fun options for Halloween greeting cards on the market, so don’t be limited to cards that are specifically designed as invitations. Buying a basic ‘Happy Halloween’ card will suffice. Just include an informational insert with the who, the what, the when and the where inside. Not only have greeting card companies given the classic Halloween cards a face lift, but there are many varieties that come with audio. Be sure to encourage costumes!

Selecting the Movie

Movie choice will depend on the audience. Will the guest list include children? If so, pick one or two PG movies with a spooky plot. If the party is for adults only, then the sky is the limit. A good way to narrow down choices is to include an ‘RSVP’ request with the invites that lists five or six movie choices. Ask guests to select their top two favorites and rent the two movies that made the cut.

Give out Goodies

Cut out some 1″x4″ pieces of construction paper in any color, and print the name of the movies you’ll be showing as well as show times. If using dark paper, select a silver or white marker so that the text doesn’t disappear. Add some ghoulish stickers and hand out to guests as they arrive.

Grab bags are also a great way to make guests feel welcome, so buy some standard paper lunch bags, decorate with Halloween stickers and drop in a few pieces of candy. Bring out the goodie bags at the end of the movie and present as a parting gift. Everyone will leave with a smile on their face.

 

Create a Creepy Atmosphere

Just because this isn’t a typical Halloween bash doesn’t mean hosts can’t go all out with decorations, so set out those jack-o-lanturns and scary window silhouettes in the shape of bats and ravens. Save some money on the electric bill and go dark using only candles to light the rooms guests will be using. Be sure to provide ample seating and set out piles of blankets and comfy pillows so guests can snuggle up and avert their eyes during the really scary scenes.

Comfort of Food

Company should be as comfortable as possible, spend a little time stockpiling some tasty treats for them to munch on after they’ve settled in front of the TV. Snacks should be portable, so stick with easy foods that they can carry into the living room on small plates or bowls.

  • Popcorn is always classic. Mix things up a bit and set out a lineup of toppings for everyone to choose from and have a mini contest to see who can come up with the best flavor combination. Assorted nuts, m&m’s, Parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, sugar, cinnamon and cocoa powder are all fun toppings. This is a chance for everyone to really use their imagination and try something that they might not have thought of.
  • Halloween finger sandwiches are a perfect distraction when the chain saw wielding maniac begins his chase. Cut bread, meat and cheese into spooky shapes using cookie cutters and assemble as usual. Rye or pumpernickel is great for bat cutouts, white or sourdough works well for ghosts! Stick with cold cut meats and hard cheese as they will be easier to use with the cutters.

The idea is to create a cozy yet spooky atmosphere for guests and when starting with invitations and ending with unique goodie bags, this scary movie night will be the topic of conversation until next Halloween season.

ERP Systems Implementation Helps Best Practices: Enterprise Resource Planning Systems Integrate Business Functions

 

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Legacy systems such as separate accounting, payroll, inventory and personnel systems typically result in duplicate entry of the same data in the different applications. Sharing of data among different systems becomes difficult or impossible owing to different proprietary practices adopted by each system. In such a context, it will typically require additional data entry and processing to obtain a picture of enterprise wide scenarios.

ERP in Practice

In an ideal situation, ERP implementations will use a common database that all departments can use to store and retrieve information. For example, the attendance data recorded at different workstations become immediately available to the payroll department. In the earlier scenario, payroll would have to re-enter the attendance data into their system (with consequent possibility of errors and omissions).

In this ideal situation, all transactions occurring anywhere in the enterprise will be entered in a uniform manner into a global database. Processing takes place in real time and authorized persons can get up to date information any time.

In actual practice, ERP implementation is carried out in a phased manner. ERP software typically comes in different modules, such as manufacturing, financials, supply chain and customer relationship. Customized business processes prevailing in an organization can also make implementation of standard ERP systems difficult.

ERP software typically assumes certain best practices for carrying out business processes. A user of the software can either change existing practices and adopt these best practices, or try to customize the software to their own practices. The latter option not only requires highly skilled in-house IT staff but can even lead to failure of the implementation.

Benefits of ERP

The ideal situation mentioned above points to the benefits of Enterprise Resource Planning. In a global enterprise with operations in geographically separated locations, getting a total picture of the state of affairs becomes a herculean task. It is an enterprise wide ERP implementation with a common database and standardized practices that makes this task manageable.

The best practices implementation offers another potential benefit. If the enterprise can successfully manage a changeover to best practices from traditional processes, it is likely to lead to greater effectiveness and efficiencies.

Best practices implementation also makes it easier to comply with regulatory requirements because ERP vendors would have updated their offerings to incorporate these.

ERP implementations can also reduce the cost and complexity of the IT infrastructure from the earlier disparate hardware, software, operating systems, databases and training requirements into a cohesive whole.

ERP Software Modules

ERP packages typically come with modules for:

  • Manufacturing
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Financials
  • Customer Relationship Management
  • Projects
  • Human Resources Management

The software will also typically come with data warehousing facilities, and interfaces that can be customized by users such as employees, suppliers and customers. Access to data will be controlled so that only authorized persons can access each kind of data.

ERP systems can help enterprises integrate different functions from top level strategy formulation to day-to-day operations and progress reporting. Implementation of enterprise resource planning systems however requires successful change management, and the major task of data migration from legacy systems to the ERP databases.

Sense Herakles Plus sub ohm tank review

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Sense’s Herakles sub-ohm tank has long since established its spot in the Top 10 ranks of sub-ohm tanks and Sense have now released an upgraded version of this highly popular tank featuring many technological improvements for a new level of efficiency and performance. Together with Sense’s patented new triple parallel coil design, the Herakles Plus makes for a very promising addition to the elite of sub-ohm tanks and ships for just $29.99. Let’s have a look at all the changes and whether they actually turned out as an improvement.

Sense Herakles Plus tank specs and build quality

The Herakles Plus is available in three different colors: black, stainless steel and a little more extravagant rose gold. Constructed of premium steel and pyrex glass we could not find any faults regarding the build quality of this sub-ohm tank. Thumbs up from us for getting the first step perfectly right towards taking on the Top 3 of sub-ohm tanks.

As opposed to the original Herakles the new Plus model now features a top fill function making it a lot easier to refill without spilling and that’s very much a must considering a tank capacity of just 3.5ml will ask for a lot of refilling.

The top air flow system is an innovative and unique design that allows the air flow to reach directly to the coil for a very effective cooling method. We found this system to work really well and it makes for a cool vape if that’s what you’re after without sacrificing e liquid flavour.

With the Herakles Plus manufacturer Sense also implements its patented triple parallel coil design for the first time claiming this to provide a whole new level of vapor production and taste. Whether this is true or not you can find out in our vapor and e liquid flavour test section coming up next or buy vape liquid online here.

Sense Herakles Plus tank vapor production and e liquid flavour

The Herakles Plus tank comes with two coils already included. First, we vaped the pre-installed 0.4 Ohm kanthal coil recommended for wattages between 35W to 100W. We hit our sweet spot at around 70W for maximum e liquid flavour just before the vapor got too hot for us to comfortably inhale. The vapor production even at lower wattages was extraordinary and we drew some clouds from this sub-ohm tank that every cloud chaser dreams of. Starting at about 60W and up the e liquid flavour of our juice was so clear and delicious we didn’t want to put our vaporizer down anymore. An additional 0.2 Ohm stainless steel coil is also included and while that also performed very well it couldn’t quite keep up with the kanthal coil, in our opinion. Of course, this is entirely down to preference and no matter which coil you end up using the vapor and e liquid flavour quality is second to none.

 

Modvapa Sub 2 MK1 Tank Review

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Today I have the first of three tanks from Modavapa’s Sub2 line to share with you. The first tank we’ll be looking at is the Sub2 MK1. The Sub2 MK1 is a versatile tank with a lot of options for coils and a few unique features that set it apart from other tanks.

Specs & Features:

  • Size: 22mm diameter * 76mm high
  • Material: 303 Stainless Steel and Pyrex Glass
  • Capacity: 3.5 ml
  • 510 threaded
  • Stainless 510 Drip Tip
  • Available Coil Heads: 0.2ohm, 0.5ohm, 1.2 ohm and 0.2 Ni 200 for temperature control mods only.

What’s in the box?

1 – Sub2 MK1 Tank
1 – Stainless Drip Tip
1 – .5 ohm coil
1 – instruction manual

The Sub2 Mk1 comes in a nice presentation box and you get the tank, instruction manual and one 0.5 ohm coil head.  The coil heads are all organic cotton and there are several other coil heads available. I was also sent a 0.2, 1.2 and a 0.2ohm Ni 200 coil. Please note that the 0.2 Ni 200 coils are only suitable for mods that have temperature control and shouldn’t be used on non-temperature control mods.  For this review I used the Modvapa Box MK1 50w box mod and the Snow Wolf 200w mod for higher temps and the temperature control coils.

Unique Coil Design:

The thing that sets this tank apart from other tanks I’ve used before is the coil design, or maybe I should say the coil replacement design. You get one coil with your kit and when you buy replacements you don’t get an entire coil, you just get the inside of the coil. You reuse the metal casing from the coil that comes with the tank. You unscrew the casing from the old coil and screw the new coil into the casing. See the picture below. This is supposed to make the coil replacements cheaper and also be more eco-friendly. You just have to remember not to throw that casing away when you are done with your coil.

 

The coils also features juice control so you can adjust the size of the juice flow holes according to your preference. To adjust you just turn the coil and it closes or opens the juice holes to your preference. I use max VG liquids so I kept mine all the way open but it’s a nice feature if you are using higher PG liquids and want to close the juice flow off some. You can also buy vape liquid that I suggest to use with this tank.

Design & Function:

 

The Sub2 MK1 tank easy to take apart and comes apart in 4 pieces. The drip tip, tank, coil and airflow base. It’s a bottom filling tank with plenty of room to easily fill it. The tank holds 3.5ml of juice. The tank itself is nice and sleek looking. It has a pyrex glass tank and features the Modvapa logo on one side and the SUB 2 MK1 printed on the other side. I think it’s a nice looking tank, except for the metal drip tip. I prefer the glass drip tips on the other Modvapa tanks, but the drip tip is a standard 510 drip tip so you can use your preferred drip tip if you wish.

 

The 0.5 ohm coil is rated at 15-50w and performed well within the 30 – 50w range, at lower watts there was little vapor or e liquid flavor. The 0.2 ohm coil head is rated at 30-70w; around 60w was my sweet spot and at higher temps the tank started to get hot. The 1.2ohm coil is rated at 20-120w; e liquid flavor was best when using this coil around 75 – 100w and as the temperature went up the tank got hot but I didn’t get any dry or burned hits even after consistently vaping it at higher watts. The Ni200 0.2 ohm coil also performed well and worked flawlessly. Again, this coil is only to be used with temperature control mods.

 

The tank performed well and I didn’t experience any leaks, even after letting it sit with juice in it for several days.  The coils all gave nice vapor production and performed well, I didn’t get any dry hits using Max VG liquids. I enjoyed the 0.2ohm and 0.2ohm Ni 200 coils the best. Of coarse coil preference is subjective. The tank does have a tendency to get hot at higher temperatures and I think would be better if it had more airflow.

 

The air flow isn’t bad, you get 2 slotted airflow holes that adjust together. I couldn’t find the measurements for the airflow slots but they are slightly smaller than other tanks I’ve tried. The airflow slots aren’t the biggest but they produced good vapor production with a slightly tighter draw than I’m used to. Using the tank at higher wattages made the tank get hot quickly and the metal drip tip also got hot.

 

Final Thoughts :

 

Overall I liked the Sub2 MK1 tank. I’d give it an 8 out of 10.  I liked the juice flow control on the coils and the unique design of the coil heads. I didn’t like the metal drip tip, but it’s a standard 510 drip tip so it is replaceable. The tank has a tendency to get hot at higher wattages, but still performed excellently and I didn’t experience a dry or burned hit pushing the coils up to their maximum ratings.

 

I was sent the Sub2 MK1 tank directly from Modvapa, but I did find the tank for sale in the US at My Freedom Smokes for $34.95 and they also have the 0.5 and 0.2ohm replacement coils for $5.95 for a 2pk. I could not find the other replacement coils in the US.

 

Taylor'd Barbecue: Great, Small-Town Food in Macclenny, Florida

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Macclenny, Florida, is one of the small towns in America where everyone knows everyone. I have lived in this small town, 30 miles outside of Jacksonville, Florida, for about 14 years now.

We moved here and met some wonderful folks by the name of Frank and Linda Taylor. They both ran the local insurance agency, you guessed it, by the name Frank Taylor Insurance. I soon discovered that Linda had a catering business on the side. She then started a wedding planning business and party supply business. The catering was such a success, that Linda and Frank Taylor bought the other portion of their insurance building, and set up what is now Taylor’d Barbecue. Everyone who is local, and passerbys to Maccleny off of Interstate Ten, often frequent Taylor’d Barbecue. There are of course countless barbecue joints in the south, but I prefer Taylor’d Barbecue to the rest.

First of all, all ingredients are fresh. Just as she does with her catering business, Linda Taylor and her staff make everything from scratch. Nothing is shipped in from the major headquarters ten states away, while you hope it remains fresh in the freezer. She picks her chicken fresh from local poultry houses. All produce is also fresh from the local farmers market. When she serves you squash casserole, you know it is true squash. Not something canned.

Most barbecue restaurants serve the basic side dishes of beans, coleslaw and French fries. I myself am a vegetable lover and would like the choice of choosing something different.. Taylor’d Barbecue offers a variety of side dishes that you can not find at other barbecue restaurants. They also offer fried okra, squash, squash casserole, sweet potato fries, corn on the cob, and other choices on other days such as pickled beets, greens, fresh cabbage, and fresh rutabaga’s. I do believe however, that the vegetables are usually on the diner menu.

She also offers specials. On Saturday and Tuesday night, any child wearing their baseball or soccer uniform,eats free with a parent. They eat off the kids menu with a choice of Chicken Drumstick Dinner, One Pork Rib Dinner, One Baby Taylor Sandwich Dinner, Four Baby Corn Dog Dinner, or Three Chicken Nugget Dinner. All kid dinners come with one veggie and one drink. Can’t beat that. Each night, they also offer different entrees besides the typical barbecue fair. They often offer pork chops, shrimp or meatloaf. Her barbecue menu basically remains the same, but her night time menu frequently changes, leaving you other options with a main dish and vegetables.

So how much does all of this run you? A two piece chicken dinner with two sides and bread costs $6.99. A typical evening menu of pork chops, two vegetables, and bread costs $8.99. You can order sides separately for $1.99. And I can attest that the sides are very large. Two people could eat one side.They also offer what they call a PIg Out feast for 4 or 2. The feast for 4 runs $29.99 and the feast for 2 runs $18.99. The Pig Out comes complete with ribs, chicken, cole slaw, baked beans and rolls. You can also purchase whole slabs of ribs for $25.99.

The only downfall is the different hours that Taylor’d Barbecue is open. The restaurant is open Monday, Wednesday, and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. So if you don’t visit at lunch on Monday, Wednesday and Sunday, you won’t be able to eat. But nonetheless, I would rather eat at Talor’s Barbecue than any other barbecue restaurant. Maybe next time you are in Florida and drive west on Interstate Ten, you can go to Taylor’d Barbecue. Take the Macclenny exit, head north about one mile, and you will find Taylor’d on the right. If you see Walgreens you have gone one block to far. You will certainly enjoy your dinner trip to Taylor’d Barbecue.

5 Family Prime Time Television Picks

The fall season is getting off to a slow, but steady start. There appear to be some winning possibilities among the various television networks. While some are definitely not family-oriented because of the subject matter, there are a few that may prove to be the perfect entertainment for individuals of all ages. Here are some of my Top Five Family Prime Time Television Picks.

Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?

Few shows on television today let the children stand out above their adult counterparts. Are You smarter Than a 5th Grader does just that.

This inventive show reminds children about the value of education. It also teaches their parents something new or long forgotten. All the while, the quick wit of host Jeff Foxworthy keeps everyone on their toes, including those hapless adult contestants.

Then, of course, there is the ever-endearing charm of a class full of precocious fifth graders. With question after question stumping the adult contestants, in the end, even they don’t mind admitting that they are not smarter than a fifth grader.

This show is delightful entertainment that every member of the family is sure to enjoy. Best of all, everyone can play along just for fun.

Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader airs on Fox Network at 8:00 p.m., Central Standard Time, on Friday evenings

Dancing with the Stars is one of television’s most popular reality shows for family members of all ages is ABC’s juggernaut hit, Dancing with the Stars. The show combines professional dancers with celebrities from different walks of life including television, movies, music, sports, and more.

DWTS is credited for creating a resurgence of interest in the field of dance, in general, and ballroom dancing, in particular. The show also helps to prove an important message that parents have tried to teach children for decades: Nothing is impossible if you set you mind to achieve it. Because the stars are moving out of their comfort zones to try something new, children and adults alike are also beginning to move out of their own to explore a world of infinite possibility.

Dancing with the Stars is good, clean family fun. Host Tom Bergeron’s quick wit, along with that of the judges and the celebrities, makes the show entertaining to watch from beginning to end. Wonderful music from all genres and generations and expert dancing from the jive to the quick step, performed by amazing professionals ensures that everyone will be glued to their seat until the last dance takes place.

DWTS airs on ABC at 8:00 p.m., Central Standard Time, on Monday nights, with the results show airing on Tuesday evenings at 9:00 p.m. (CST).

Knight Rideris an updated remake of the popular show of the 80’s. Because many parents still remember the original talking KITT (Knight Industries Three Thousand) car, they will delight in watching the remake with their children today.

Children, of course, will be taken with the new super-charged version of KITT. It has even bigger and better equipment and state-of-the art weaponry. It can even shape-shift to look like other vehicles and change colors as well.

Knight Rider is, at heart, a story of good versus evil. That makes it something with which everyone can identify.

The show airs Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m., Central Standard Time, on NBC.

Opportunity Knocksis a new game show for families, about families. However, instead of bringing the family to the show, the show goes to the family.

Show Host, JD Roth and the Opportunity Knocks crew travels throughout America to find families that know a lot about one thing and one thing only – – their own lives. The entire show takes place on family property, with the support of friends and neighbors joining in the fun and making up the show audience.

Members of the family are asked a series of trivia questions about things that have happened to family members, situations that have occurred in their lives, or about articles found around the family property. The more they know, the more money and prizes they rack up.

What is more fun than a family watching another family interact and bond together to possibly reach the dream of lifetime? Only one thing, perhaps. If the family involved is your own. Who knows, it just might be.

Opportunity Knocks airs Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m., Central Standard Time, on ABC.

Pushing Daisies is in many ways a modern day fairytale. It centers on Ned, a very special young many who has the ability to bring the dead back to life by touching them once. There is only one problem with his gift. If he touches the individual again, he or she will become dead again – – permanently.

With fruit, however, Ned’s gift works differently. If he touches that, it is blessed with everlasting flavor. For that reason, Ned opens a very special pie shop where he works as a pie maker for many years. That is, until a private detective comes along and discovers the reality of his gift. Suddenly, Ned finds himself helping the detective solve unresolved cases.

Pushing Daisies is a whimsical, entertaining show with vivid characters and fun story lines that all members of the family can understand and enjoy. Like Knight Rider, it is also a story about right and wrong and a moral tale about good triumphing over evil.

With delightful actors, beautiful costumes and sets, and fun narration, Pushing Daisies is sure to become a family favorite. The show airs Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m., on ABC.

Resources: ABC, Fox, and NBC.

Long Term Food Storage Rotation System: Emergency Food Storage Management Tips

Natural disasters, inclement weather, or sudden unemployment can make it difficult to obtain food at the grocery store, making emergency food storage a good idea for any household. Smart families don’t just store food, but also know how to use and rotate food storage appropriately.

Rotation of Food Storage

Many people mistakenly believe that home food storage is a single task they can complete and check off their “to-do” list. Approaching food storage that way, however, results in wasting money on food that spoils without ever being used. Items must be regularly rotated into daily cooking and constantly replenished.

Rotating and using food storage avoids waste and keeps people advised of what they have and what they still need. Most importantly, it prepares them for an emergency where they need to cook with their food storage exclusively.

How to Label and Organize Food Storage

Whenever anything is canned or bought, write its date on the can with a permanent marker. In addition to writing the date on the can, add a sticker that is color-coded by year. Then it will be easier to see at a glance that all the products from last year are used up before moving on to this year.

Stack them neatly (but not too high) on shelves or pallets. Group like items together, with the oldest items toward the front and the newest items toward the back. Doing this will maximize the shelf life of the entire food supply.

How to Use a Food Storage Spreadsheet

Creating a simple chart helps people determine what foods they need to store and how much. It also helps them use their food storage on a consistent basis.

Along the side of the spreadsheet, write the names of 10 dinner recipes that the family enjoys that use shelf-stable ingredients. Examples might be spaghetti, taco soup, tuna casserole, or Hawaiian haystacks. Across the top of the chart, list all the ingredients that are needed for each meal.

Fill all applicable spaces in the body of the chart with the amount of each ingredient it takes to make one meal. Multiply those numbers by 10, and the result is an ingredients list for 100 shelf-stable dinners that everyone already likes.

Once a week, make something on the list for dinner (it’s okay to dress it up with fresh vegetables and extras if desired.) Follow up by making similar spreadsheets for shelf-stable breakfasts and lunch meals.

One of the biggest food storage basics is not to let the stockpile go to waste. Regular food rotation on the shelves keeps items from spoiling and teaches people how to use their stockpile in the event it becomes necessary. Careful labeling and planning facilitates long term food storage organization.