Cleaning tip: There is no rush for you to clean up right away this holiday season. Use that extra time to spend with loved ones who came into your home to visit and spend the holiday with you. Build on or start a new family tradition with your little ones. When things are a little too out of hand for you give us a call and we will come help get your house in shape for the next gathering.
In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. It wasn’t until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.
Thanksgiving at Plymouth
In September 1620, a small ship called the Mayflower left Plymouth, England, carrying 102 passengers—an assortment of religious separatists seeking a new home where they could freely practice their faith and other individuals lured by the promise of prosperity and land ownership in the New World. After a treacherous and uncomfortable crossing that lasted 66 days, they dropped anchor near the tip of Cape Cod, far north of their intended destination at the mouth of the Hudson River. One month later, the Mayflower crossed Massachusetts Bay, where the Pilgrims, as they are now commonly known, began the work of establishing a village at Plymouth.
Throughout that first brutal winter, most of the colonists remained on board the ship, where they suffered from exposure, scurvy and outbreaks of contagious disease. Only half of the Mayflower’s original passengers and crew lived to see their first New England spring. In March, the remaining settlers moved ashore, where they received an astonishing visit from an Abenaki Indian who greeted them in English. Several days later, he returned with another Native American, Squanto, a member of the Pawtuxet tribe who had been kidnapped by an English sea captain and sold into slavery before escaping to London and returning to his homeland on an exploratory expedition. Squanto taught the Pilgrims, weakened by malnutrition and illness, how to cultivate corn, extract sap from maple trees, catch fish in the rivers and avoid poisonous plants. He also helped the settlers forge an alliance with the Wampanoag, a local tribe, which would endure for more than 50 years and tragically remains one of the sole examples of harmony between European colonists and Native Americans.
In November 1621, after the Pilgrims’ first corn harvest proved successful, Governor William Bradford organized a celebratory feast and invited a group of the fledgling colony’s Native American allies, including the Wampanoag chief Massasoit. Now remembered as American’s “first Thanksgiving”—although the Pilgrims themselves may not have used the term at the time—the festival lasted for three days. While no record exists of the historic banquet’s exact menu, the Pilgrim chronicler Edward Winslow wrote in his journal that Governor Bradford sent four men on a “fowling” mission in preparation for the event, and that the Wampanoag guests arrived bearing five deer. Historians have suggested that many of the dishes were likely prepared using traditional Native American spices and cooking methods. Because the Pilgrims had no oven and the Mayflower’s sugar supply had dwindled by the fall of 1621, the meal did not feature pies, cakes or other desserts, which have become a hallmark of contemporary celebrations.
Check out the Thanksgiving by the Numbers infographic for more facts about how the first Thanksgiving compares to modern holiday traditions.
Thanksgiving Becomes an Official Holiday
Pilgrims held their second Thanksgiving celebration in 1623 to mark the end of a long drought that had threatened the year’s harvest and prompted Governor Bradford to call for a religious fast. Days of fasting and thanksgiving on an annual or occasional basis became common practice in other New England settlements as well. During the American Revolution, the Continental Congress designated one or more days of thanksgiving a year, and in 1789 George Washington issued the first Thanksgiving proclamation by the national government of the United States; in it, he called upon Americans to express their gratitude for the happy conclusion to the country’s war of independence and the successful ratification of the U.S. Constitution. His successors John Adams and James Madison also designated days of thanks during their presidencies.
In 1817, New York became the first of several states to officially adopt an annual Thanksgiving holiday; each celebrated it on a different day, however, and the American South remained largely unfamiliar with the tradition. In 1827, the noted magazine editor and prolific writer Sarah Josepha Hale—author, among countless other things, of the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb”—launched a campaign to establish Thanksgiving as a national holiday. For 36 years, she published numerous editorials and sent scores of letters to governors, senators, presidents and other politicians. Abraham Lincoln finally heeded her request in 1863, at the height of the Civil War, in a proclamation entreating all Americans to ask God to “commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife” and to “heal the wounds of the nation.” He scheduled Thanksgiving for the final Thursday in November, and it was celebrated on that day every year until 1939, when Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday up a week in an attempt to spur retail sales during the Great Depression. Roosevelt’s plan, known derisively as Franksgiving, was met with passionate opposition, and in 1941 the president reluctantly signed a bill making Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November.
In many American households, the Thanksgiving celebration has lost much of its original religious significance; instead, it now centers on cooking and sharing a bountiful meal with family and friends. Turkey, a Thanksgiving staple so ubiquitous it has become all but synonymous with the holiday, may or may not have been on offer when the Pilgrims hosted the inaugural feast in 1621. Today, however, nearly 90 percent of Americans eat the bird—whether roasted, baked or deep-fried—on Thanksgiving, according to the National Turkey Federation. Other traditional foods include stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. Volunteering is a common Thanksgiving Day activity, and communities often hold food drives and host free dinners for the less fortunate.
Parades have also become an integral part of the holiday in cities and towns across the United States. Presented by Macy’s department store since 1924, New York City’s Thanksgiving Day parade is the largest and most famous, attracting some 2 to 3 million spectators along its 2.5-mile route and drawing an enormous television audience. It typically features marching bands, performers, elaborate floats conveying various celebrities and giant balloons shaped like cartoon characters.
Beginning in the mid-20th century and perhaps even earlier, the president of the United States has “pardoned” one or two Thanksgiving turkeys each year, sparing the birds from slaughter and sending them to a farm for retirement. A number of U.S. governors also perform the annual turkey pardoning ritual.
For some scholars, the jury is still out on whether the feast at Plymouth really constituted the first Thanksgiving in the United States. Indeed, historians have recorded other ceremonies of thanks among European settlers in North America that predate the Pilgrims’ celebration. In 1565, for instance, the Spanish explorer Pedro Menéndez de Avilé invited members of the local Timucua tribe to a dinner in St. Augustine, Florida, after holding a mass to thank God for his crew’s safe arrival. On December 4, 1619, when 38 British settlers reached a site known as Berkeley Hundred on the banks of Virginia’s James River, they read a proclamation designating the date as “a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God.”
Some Native Americans and others take issue with how the Thanksgiving story is presented to the American public, and especially to schoolchildren. In their view, the traditional narrative paints a deceptively sunny portrait of relations between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag people, masking the long and bloody history of conflict between Native Americans and European settlers that resulted in the deaths of millions. Since 1970, protesters have gathered on the day designated as Thanksgiving at the top of Cole’s Hill, which overlooks Plymouth Rock, to commemorate a “National Day of Mourning.” Similar events are held in other parts of the country.
Thanksgiving’s Ancient Origins
Although the American concept of Thanksgiving developed in the colonies of New England, its roots can be traced back to the other side of the Atlantic. Both the Separatists who came over on the Mayflower and the Puritans who arrived soon after brought with them a tradition of providential holidays—days of fasting during difficult or pivotal moments and days of feasting and celebration to thank God in times of plenty.
As an annual celebration of the harvest and its bounty, moreover, Thanksgiving falls under a category of festivals that spans cultures, continents and millennia. In ancient times, the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans feasted and paid tribute to their gods after the fall harvest. Thanksgiving also bears a resemblance to the ancient Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot. Finally, historians have noted that Native Americans had a rich tradition of commemorating the fall harvest with feasting and merrymaking long before Europeans set foot on their shores.
Cleaning tip: It’s a week before Thanksgiving so get that kitchen cleaned up a little. The Microwave can be easily cleaned by placing a cup of vinegar in the microwave and heating it up for 5 minutes. Wipe out immediately for an easy clean.
Spread kindness all week long during World Kindness Week, held during the week of World Kindness Day. World Kindness Day falls on November 13th each year, which is why World Kindness Week starts Monday of that week.
“Wherever there is human need, there is an opportunity for kindness and to make a difference.” Kevin Heath
It can be hard to stay positive in this crazy world. Bullying is prevalent, and bad things often happen to the nicest people. Having an attitude of gratitude can be helpful in optimistic. So can being kind to others. Kindness is the quality of being friendly and considerate. Showing kindness goes a long way. Kindness helps others feel valued. Kindness also has benefits for the person being kind. These benefits include:
elevation of dopamine levels in the brain, which makes us feel good
the feeling of emotional warmth, which leads to a healthier heart
reduction in inflammation, which can slow the aging process
reduction of emotional distance, which helps couples feel more bonded
Contagiousness that often sets off a pay-it-forward ripple effect
With all of these incredible benefits, it pays in more ways than one to be kind. Being kind changes lives. It not only changes your life, but it improves the lives of those on the receiving end of kindness. Some even believe that kindness has the potential to change the whole world.
What are you waiting for you? If you need to work on kindness, World Kindness Week is the perfect time to start.
HOW TO OBSERVE #WorldKindnessWeek
Here are some ways to participate:
Write notes of kindness on small pieces of paper and stick them in random library books
Hand out notes of encouragement wherever you go, including the grocery store, coffee shop, etc.
Offer to do an errand for someone like walking their dog or helping them with groceries
Cook dinner for a friend and bring it to their home
Give notes of appreciation to family members, coworkers, and service providers
Pay for someone’s meal at a restaurant
Pay for the coffee or meal of the person behind you at the drive-thru
Give someone, or several people, a hug
Encourage others to be kind
Come up with your own creative kindness ideas on social media and share using #WorldKindnessWeek when sharing on social media.
“Kindness is a gift everyone can afford to give.” Unknown
WORLD KINDNESS WEEK HISTORY
In 1998, the World Kindness Movement launched the first World Kindness Day. Over 28 nations are involved in the World Kindness Movement. Through the years, World Kindness Day evolved into an entire week of kindness. World Kindness Week is celebrated during the second week of November, beginning on Monday and ending on Sunday. The week incorporates World Kindness Day, which is held annually on November 13th every year.
Cleaning Tip: Put your dirty shower curtain in the washing machine with 1 cup of vinegar, your regular detergent and some old towels. Hang it up immediately after wash cycle is complete.
Breast cancer is the most common invasive cancer in women and the second leading cause of cancer death in women after lung cancer.
Advances in screening and treatment for breast cancer have improved survival rates dramatically since 1989. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), there are more than 3.1 million breast cancer survivors in the United States. The chance of any woman dying from breast cancer is around 1 in 38 (2.6%).
The ACS estimate that 268,600 women will receive a diagnosis of invasive breast cancer, and 62,930 people will receive a diagnosis of noninvasive cancer in 2019.
In the same year, the ACS report that 41,760 women will die as a result of breast cancer. However, due to advances in treatment, death rates from breast cancer have been decreasing since 1989.
Awareness of the symptoms and the need for screening are important ways of reducing the risk. In rare instances, breast cancer can also affect men, but this article will focus on breast cancer in women. Learn about breast cancer in men here.
Regular screenings are important to reduce the risks of breast cancer.
The first symptoms of breast cancer usually appear as an area of thickened tissue in the breast or a lump in the breast or an armpit.
Other symptoms include:
pain in the armpits or breast that does not change with the monthly cycle
pitting or redness of the skin of the breast, similar to the surface of an orange
a rash around or on one of the nipples
discharge from a nipple, possibly containing blood
a sunken or inverted nipple
a change in the size or shape of the breast
peeling, flaking, or scaling of the skin on the breast or nipple
Most breast lumps are not cancerous. However, women should visit a doctor for an examination if they notice a lump on the breast.
House cleaning trick:
To maintain a free flowing drain : be sure not to pour grease down the kitchen sink. And make sure sinks, tubs and showers have strainers to trap food, hair and other like objects from falling into the drain. Try this trick: weekly boil a gallon of water and pour down the drain. This will help loosen up anything that may have gotten stuck. One gallon of boiling water to each drain will help keep your drains flowing like new.
The Twin Towers were the centerpieces of the World Trade Center complex. At 110 stories each, 1 WTC (North Tower) and 2 WTC (South Tower) provided nearly 10-million-square feet of office space for about 35,000 people and 430 companies. They were the tallest buildings in New York City, and for a brief period upon their completion, they were the tallest buildings in the world. They attracted roughly 70,000 tourists and commuters every day.
The North Tower rose 1,368 feet – 1,730 feet with a large antenna – and the South Tower stood 1,362-feet high. On a clear day, views extended 45 miles from the top of the towers in every direction – far enough to see all five New York City boroughs, New Jersey and Connecticut.
The towers were massive. Each weighed more than 250,000 tons, contained 99 elevators and had 21,800 windows. Each floor was an acre in size and there was enough concrete in the towers to build a sidewalk from New York City to Washington, D.C. The complex even had its own zip code: 10048.
The two towers were surrounded by five other buildings that comprised the WTC complex. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey had a police desk in 5 WTC, while 3 WTC was a hotel and office buildings.
The Twin Towers were completed in 1973, though tenants began to arrive in December 1970. The other buildings were built over the next 14 years.
In February 1993, terrorists with links to an Islamist extremist group detonated explosives in a van parked underneath the WTC. Six people were killed and thousands were injured.
Where were you when all this was taken away from the USA? Do you remember?
House cleaning where you set the price. Give us a call.
Summer’s final fling has arrived in the form of Labor Day. Yes, most of us get the day off, but this holiday triggers mixed emotions. While summer still has 21 calendar days left, it’s time to get serious. School’s starting and there’s a sense that summer vacation is over. So what’s behind Labor Day — and how did it earn a place as a federal holiday?
Let’s take a look.
What’s the meaning of Labor Day?
Do you get weekends off work? Lunch breaks? Paid vacation? An eight-hour work day? Social security? If you said “yes” to any of these questions, you can thank labor unions and the U.S. labor movement for it. Years of hard-fought battles (and the ensuing legislation they inspired) resulted in many of the most basic benefits we enjoy at our jobs today . On the first Monday in September, we take the day off to celebrate Labor Day and reflect on the American worker’s contributions to our country.
If your microwave is looking a little unsanitary after one too many food explosions, don’t panic – it can be cleaned for free in just a jiffy. Just pop a heat-proof cup of water with half a lemon and its juice in the microwave on a high setting for a minute or two. 1. Leave the mixture in the microwave with the door closed for 5 minutes for the steam to do its work, then easily wipe down the inside of your microwave. The lemon will leave your entire kitchen smell clean and fresh!
Microwaves are the most overlooked appliance in the kitchen area. Most people shut the door and say “i’ll get that later”. Before they know it it’s weeks later and that same explosion is still in there. If you don’t have time to keep up on these tasks at least weekly consider hiring a cleaning company to help!
Clean your blender with soap.But it’s actually easy to remove that stuck-on gunk by pouring some warm water, a little baking soda, and a little dish soap in your blender and pulsing it for a few seconds. Afterward, just give it a good rinse or pop it in the dishwasher to get it looking like brand new once again.
Does cleaning overwhelm you? Try using a cleaning service to help you get your cleaning done. We offer Weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or even just a call as needed.
When cleaning a litter box you should use hot water and a hand dishwash liquid to clean the surfaces. Avoid using chlorine bleach for cleaning. Fumes are created through a chemical reaction between the bleach and residue ammonia remaining in a litter box after it has been emptied.
For help with cleaning the “human litter box” or toilet give your local cleaning ladies a call. They will help get all the hard to reach dirt, dried up pee or whatever is around the outside of your toilet clean.
Quick Tip to cleaning your toilet bowl:
Next, grab some bleach. (The bleach will help break up mold or any stains that may be in your toilet) Pour a cup into the bowl, and brush around the sides and under the rim. Let sit for five minutes, then flush again. Your toilet bowl should be sparkling clean.
Hand dish washing liquids are formulated to facilitate removal of greasy soil from dishes. They also suspend the soil in the wash water to facilitate rinsing. Although a hand dish washing liquid does not have to produce any meaningful amount of suds to be effective at removing soil, suds stability has become accepted as an indication of product’s remaining cleaning power.
Consumers union surveyed staff members regarding their dish washing habits. The respondents reported using one or more of the following methods. In fact, many of the respondents reported using all three methods.
Squirt a quantity of hand dish washing liquid into a sink before or during the process of filling it with water. Then clean the dishes using a sponge, brush, scrubby or dishcloth.
Squirt some detergent into the dish and wash it using a sponge, brush, scrubby or dishcloth.
Squirt some detergent directly onto a sponge, brush, scrubby or dishcloth, which is then used to wash the dishes.
Most test methods for hand dish washing liquids are based entirely on the products’ ability to sustain a head of foam in hard water while challenged by soiled plates. The number of plates that hand dish washing liquids will wash before the suds are depleted varies from product to product and is affected by water hardness. Several well known national brands washed more that 12 plates in both hard and soft water. Most of the brands will not to much worse.
**Tip of the day: DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT use a hand dish washing liquid in an automatic dish washer– it will OVERSUDS.