“The Christmas Carol” is celebrating its 175-year anniversary.
Charles Dickens’ classic story about a scrooge who changes his ways overnight after a visit from three ghosts, was published Dec. 19, 1843.
According to History.com, Dickens was born in 1812 and attended school in Portsmouth. His father, a clerk in the navy pay office, was thrown into debtors’ prison in 1824, and 12-year-old Charles was sent to work in a factory. The miserable treatment of children and the institution of the debtors’ jail became topics of several of Dickens’ novels.
Dickens became a reporter and started publishing short stories when he was 21. He married Catherine Hogarth, in 1836, and would go on to have nine children with her.
“A Christmas Carol” came out well before The New York Times began publishing in 1851. The novel — with beautiful illustrations by John Leech — was a best-seller in both England and the United States. But because there were no international copyright laws, Dickens didn’t make a cent from American editions.
In December 1855, the paper quoted “A Christmas Carol” in a front-page Christmas Day piece about holiday traditions around the world: “Let us raise our voice with Dickens … ‘Give three cheers for the Christmas old. …’”
An article in the online edition of the New York Times, states that Dickens arrived in New York City in December 1867. He held a sold out public reading on Dec. 9, 1867, where he read “A Christmas Carol” to a crowd at Steinway Hall.
“Mr. Dickens makes free use of gesticulation. … He stirs the gravy, when telling how Mrs. Cratchit made it; mashes the potatoes with something of Master Peter’s ‘incredible vigor,’ dusts the hot plates as Martha did, and makes a face of infinite wonderment and exultation when shouting, in the piping tones of the two youngest Cratchits, ‘There’s such a goose, Martha!’”
Dickens died on June 9, 1870.
One of my favorite things to do at Christmastime is to load everyone up in the car and drive around the city, looking at Christmas lights. Not only does it give us time to enjoy the pretty sights, it also brings the whole family together to create memories that will last a lifetime.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay
Here is a list of a few of the light displays in the Cedar Rapids area.
5801 Michael Drive NE; take Blairs Ferry Road NE west (toward Palo) to Milburn Road, take a right and go to Michael Drive and take a left.
Jacolyn Drive NW, just off E Avenue NW
Lewellen Drive, just off of Midway Drive NW
Skyline Drive NW, end of cul-de-sac
Gordon Drive NW, just off West Post Road NW
East Post Road, just off of Highway 100, toward Cedar Rapids
Cedar Memorial Holiday Display and Nativity
6416 Hoover Trail Road SW; take C Street SW to Ely Road, turn right on Monroe Street and left on Hoover Trail Road
7015 Parkdale Lane NE; Boyson Road to Council Street, turn left and go to Brookdale, turn left and left again on Parkdale Lane.
1251 Staub Ct NE; take 29th Street NE to Prairie Drive, take a right. Take a left on Staub Court.
1606 20th Street NW; take O Avenue NW to 20th Street, take a right.
Highway 13, south, toward Highway 30 from Mt. Vernon Road SE
Central Avenue in Marion, take a left going north from 8th Avenue on 10th Street
10th Avenue in Marion, east from 10th Street
Bowman Woods area, NE Cedar Rapids east on Boyson Road from C Avenue NE
Stoney Point Road, off of F Avenue NW
Photo by Pixabay
By Cynthia Petersen
You’ve heard of the healing power of the aloe vera plant, haven’t you? My mother kept a live plant on the counter in the kitchen. If she was burned while cooking, she would just snip off a tip of the leaf and rub it on the burn. Not only did it take away the sting, but it healed faster, too.
Most people know this little trick, especially if they like to cook, like me, and get burned a lot. However, there are countless other plants that provide health benefits, as well, such as lavender, oregano, rosemary, and peppermint.
Essential oils have been used for thousands of years to heal and ease pain, but it wasn’t until 1910 that the secrets of the oils have been truly revealed.
According to oilsandplants.com, French chemist Rene Gattefosse was working in the laboratories of the cosmetics firm his family owned. He burned his hand during an experiment and plunged it into the nearest tub of liquid, which just happened to be lavender oil.
Gattefosse’s hand healed so quickly and with little scarring, that he became fascinated with essential oils. This inspired him to experiment with them during the First World War on soldiers in the military hospitals. He used lavender, thyme, lemon and clove oils for their antiseptic properties. The chemist saw an increase in the rate of healing in wounds treated with essential oils and that the oils seemed to be free from the disadvantages present with other antiseptics that were currently being used.
And even though Gattefosse’s work showed significant improvements in the healing of wounds and easing of pain with the oils, it wasn’t until the 1990s that more people became intrigued with the oils, a more natural alternative to traditional medicine.
Though aromatherapy has been around for quite some time, its popularity has increased in the last two decades. Essential oils can be used in a number of ways, including through a diffuser. There are many types of diffusers, but most are about 6 or 7 inches tall and sit on a table. The oils are added to water and the diffuser acts as a vaporizer to distribute a mist filled with the essential oils. Not only do the oils have health benefits, it smells good, too.
Some of the oils used in aromatherapy include chamomile, geranium, lavender, tea tree, lemon, orange, cedarwood, and bergamot. Each type of essential oil has a different chemical composition that affects how it smells, how it is absorbed, and how it is used by the body. They are often combined to create exactly what the body requires for each ailment, including joint pain, sleeplessness, digestive problems, headaches, and skin problems.
Each essential oil used in aromatherapy is said to have different properties. For example, some calm while others energize. The following lists some of the therapeutic uses of several oils for a few of today's most common complaints. There are some real "multitaskers," like lavender, ylang ylang and bergamot oils that treat more than one problem.
Aromatherapy can also have an impact on pain. Certain scents activate smell receptors in the nose, which triggers a reaction in the nervous system. This, in turn, stimulates the part of your brain that controls emotion, triggering the release of feel-good hormones, such as dopamine.
Here are a few ways essential oils can benefit your health, according to mevei.com:
Stress– Lavender, Bergamot, Peppermint, Veitievr, Ylang Ylang
Insomnia– Lavender, Chamomile, Neroli, Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang
Anxiety– Lavender, Bergamot, Sandalwood,
Depression– Lavender, Peppermint
Decongesting – Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Pine, Tea tree
SO how do you know if an essential oil is real? It’s no secret that some companies try to sell a product that is not true essential oils. Globalessence.com suggest you look at the bottle; unscrew the cap and see if it has an orifice reducer, a plug that controls the amount of drops that comes out at once. It should also come in a dark or amber bottle and kept in a cool place.
Essentials are not really considered oils at all; it’s just a label that came from essential “oils” not missing well with water. A test you can do to see if a product is real, is to put a drop on a piece of white paper. If it leaves an oil ring, you know oil has been added to the mix and you are better off not purchasing that particular product.
Another thing you want to look at is the price. Essential oils can be costly because it is quite a process squeezing out the essences of a plant. But once again, if you can use essential oils to help you feel better and increase your quality of life, I would personally choose to use essential oils over a trip to the doctor any day.
The old saying remains true today; an ounce of prevention is still better than a pound of cure.
Saturday, November 24, 2018 is Small Business Saturday – a day to celebrate and support small businesses and all they do for their communities. Support small businesses and buy local!
The fourth Friday in November, the day after Thanksgiving, has been the unofficial start to the Christmas shopping season. However, the term “Black Friday,” wasn’t used until the 2000s, when retail companies did what they could to lure customers into their store, including offering ridiculous deals and extended shopping hours.
Small businesses have a difficult time competing with the bigger national companies, whose Black Friday deals can be made up throughout the year.
This is one reason American Express came up with the idea of Small Business Saturday, which was first held in 2010, but wasn’t recognized by the Senate until 2011. Small Business Saturday encourages holiday shoppers to patronize local small businesses and show their support as part of the community.
According to Forbes.com, consumers who support small businesses are also helping to build their community. Small businesses have the potential to become tourist attractions, bringing more customers to the community, as well as offer unique and locally-made items, personalized service, and face-to-face conversations with the owners themselves.
Another reason to patronize small businesses is, according to Forbes, 47.5% of U.S. employees (59.9 million) are employed at a small business. Small businesses produce new jobs, fueling economic growth and contributing to a low unemployment rate. Therefore, when you support small businesses, you are also supporting the individuals working there.
Forbes reports that there are 30.2 million small businesses in the United States, accounting for 99.9% of U.S. businesses. Last year, consumers spent about $12 million on Small Business Saturday alone.
For more information about Small Business Saturday, go to www.americanexpress.com.
By Cynthia Petersen
"If you want to find happiness, find gratitude."
Steve Maraboli is credited with this quote, and he is not wrong. Maraboli, a best-selling author and life-changing speaker, had to overcome challenges of his own and stumbled upon the realization that happiness is equated with how grateful one is.
When we are grateful for what we have, we are content. And when we are content, we have a positive attitude. And when we have a positive attitude, we can't help but feel joyful.
Too often we don't appreciate things and people in our lives because we expect them to always be there; a spouse, a parent, a job, a house, money. Unfortunately, it seems as though the only way we appreciate something, or someone, is when we lose them. It's a lesson that is difficult to learn, but harder still to forget.
Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to take a few minutes and give thanks to all the wonderful things in our lives. It's true; we shouldn't need a holiday to remind us of all the wonderful blessings in our lives, but most of us get so busy with our lives that we sometimes forget to think about how blessed we really are.
One way to appreciate what we have is to count our blessings. Making a list of the things precious to us every night before we go to sleep might give us a better perspective and help us to feel more content, and therefore, happier.
Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!
Even before the Christmas decorations appear in retail stores, nonprofit organizations are busy making plans so those in need can have a nice holiday season.
Boxes for Toys for Tots are available at area businesses, and the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle volunteers are ringing their bells. Food drives are popping up all over, with food basket distributions being planned by local churches.
And though it's no secret that everyone is watching their wallets this time of year, you can still give a gift; a gift of your time. And to help you find the right volunteer opportunity for you, United Way has provided a guide that will help locate the organizations in need of assistance.
Volunteers are needed for a Family Volunteer day, Nov. 17, making literacy kits for kids in the community. Information for this fun activity can be found on the United Way website.
You can adopt a family through HACAP and Catherine McCauley, or serve meals during the holidays. You can help with holiday parties and other activities during holiday events, including Willis Dady, Waypoint Service, Families Helping Families, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the Arc, Four Oaks, Aging Services, and more.
Jessica Butler, Volunteer Manager and Special Events Assistant for the Salvation Army, said the annual Red Kettle campaign raises money that stays in the community and funds programs such as supporting youth activities, rental and utility assistance, food pantry, emergency disaster services, sending kids to camp, and more.
“We have some great volunteer opportunities available,” she said. “We also need volunteers for the Toys for Tots program and food box distribution.”
Closer to home, the Hiawatha Library is offering to pay your fines for you during the month of November, when you bring a packaged food item to the library, 150 W. Willman street.
The library is also collecting men and women socks until Dec. 1. Kid-Powered Kindness is collecting blankets at the library until Dec. 1. The blankets and socks will then be distributed to those in need.
For more information, the Salvation Army’s volunteer page, or on the United Way’s website at www.uweci.org.
About the Coach:
Chris Lembeck grew up in Bloomington, Minnesota with three brothers and one sister. He had many interests, but one mainstay was the sport of wrestling in which he immediately fell in love. Under the guidance of world class instructors Chris won countless youth titles, was a two time undefeated high school state champion and earned a world silver medal at the world championships in Stockholm, Sweden. At the University of Northern Iowa Chris served as a team captain and earned All American honors by placing fifth in the country in Ames, Iowa. Chris has spent much of his adult life helping wrestlers achieve extraordinary success. Chris has coached at all levels of wrestling from youth to division one college and has been featured in numerous national wrestling stages including Take Down Media with Scott Casber, USA Wrestling magazine and Amateur Wrestling News. Chris was inducted into the Minnesota Hall of Fame in 2015. He currently lives in Marion, Iowa where he coaches a wrestling club and serves as a consultant to many elite coaches, teams and athletes across the country.
Chris Lembeck is hoping to produce a whole new breed of wrestlers. And he’s doing it with help from a concept that teaches discipline and respect, as well as strategic wrestling moves.
“Everyone always asks, so what's your secret sauce?” said Lembeck. “The one and only is always inspiration. Inspiration is the one. Inspiration is our everything.”
Lembeck, owner of Optimized Wrestling Systems, is the author of 90% Mental - The Way of a Wrestling Guru. He teaches boys and girls the importance of working hard to reach their goals, as well as a few good habits along the way.
Lembeck assigns “homework,” which requires the kids to make their beds, do their calisthenics, and write in their wrestling journals every day.
“Understanding and honoring that these kids are still very young, one of our aims is still to optimize their training experience ergo their over-all rate of development and evolution.”
Lembeck implements the "Plan Stan," which involves fun, engaging, and smart training methods.
“We slowly, but systematically weave many championship attitudes and habits into the training at a time when it's easiest to do so,” he said. “The parents seem to enjoy and appreciate that we ask them to make their beds first thing. We can find common ground, work together, and move faster. It's a win/win.”
Lembeck said communication is another key to OWS’s success.
“We break wrestling concepts down so they can understand it fully,” he said. “This feeds the kids’ confidence in self, which has more benefits than I can list.”
Lembeck said the kids’ families have been very supportive and like the idea of requiring the kids to make their beds every day.
Abby Devine said she and her son, Wes, loves the program. “He loves coming here for practices, and it’s really made a difference at home, too.” She added that the “homework” the coach gives the kids is a bonus because she doesn’t even have to tell Wes to make his bed; he just does it every morning.
“The kids are so interesting and the unique make up has been nothing short of magical, it truly has,” said Lembeck. “I'd even go so far as to characterize them as movie-like.”
Lembeck offers private and group lessons in the Revolution MMA building at 5309 North Park Place NE.
“Our wrestling room is quite nice, comfortable, inviting, easy color accented with a long stretch of mirrors flanked by some striking wall posters,” he said.
The group practices are held twice a week while private lessons are given at various times during the week.
“Our practices aspire to be extra organized, purposeful and powerful,” he said. “We try to be spot on with techniques and philosophy and are rigorous in our focus of high standards. Yet at the same time, we try to keep the room light and fun as you will see as kids seem to learn better when they are enjoying themselves.”
Lembeck also offers consulting services to all wrestling levels including college.
“We offer simple but potent Systems that empower teams and individuals to move further, faster. You'd be surprised at all the ways that there are to achieve this task. There's a whole world of tools and tactics to be discovered out there. We're just getting going but so far we have an NCAA, Big Ten school, a Division lll College, and several high schools that we currently serve.”
Lembeck said that one thing he does differently than any other coach is that he also incorporates life coach techniques.
“I’ve researched philosophies, tactics, mind sets and mind hacks on how to be effective and efficient, successful, and happy and believe that focusing on doing your best, no matter what that might be, not only raises your self-esteem, but your self-worth, as well.”
Lembeck graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and a Master’s degree in Education Administration. He has been recognized for his coaching abilities by several publications, including USA Today and coached five Iowa High School Individual State Champions.
“Coaching these kids is literally the best part of my days.”
For more information, visit owswrestlingclub.com or call Lembeck at (319) 491-1235.
Tony the Tiger, Snap, Crackle and Pop, Lucky the Leprechaun, and Toucan Sam are all icons of my childhood. Saturday mornings consisted of heaping my cereal bowl full of my favorite cereal and plopping down in front of the television set for hours of cartoon-watching.
And although Kellog brand cereals have been around my entire life, I dont' iften sit back and think about where it all started.
I learned that Kellogg Co. was established in 1906 by William Keith Kellogg, who was the younger brother of Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, founder of the Battle Creek Sanitorium in Battle Creek, Mich. Dr. Kellogg had created wheat flakes in 1894 as a nutritious food for his health spa clients. The company was incorporated in 1925.
According to adage.com, Kellogg spent $90,000 on advertising in 1906, including $4,000 for a page ad in the July issue of the Ladies' Home Journal, pioneering the use of color in advertising. The ad included a coupon for customers to take to their grocers to sign and return requesting Corn Flakes. Consumers who successfully enlisted new stores received "a season's worth" of Corn Flakes for free.
Sales in 1906 soared from 33 to 2,900 cases a day. In the first six months of 1907, Kellogg's advertising budget reached $300,000. After the stock market crash of 1929, when many other advertisers were cutting back, Kellogg doubled its ad budget.
By 1940, Kellogg's total advertising expenditures had passed $2.3 million, with approximately $1.5 million in print and $860,000 in network radio, including children's shows such as "Don Winslow of the Navy," "Buck Rogers" and "Superman."
Mr. Kellogg was an innovator in packaging and consumer and trade promotion as well. He introduced the first wax-paper liner to preserve product freshness and the first "prize" in 1910, a "flip book" titled "The Jungleland Funny Moving Pictures Book." Among his many trade promotions, he provided grocers with free samples of Corn Flakes to give away to customers who winked at them.
Kellogg used scores of other slogans for its flagship brand over the years. Among the more notable were: "What breakfast was meant to be," "Wins its favor through its flavor," "The original and best," "The best way to start the day," "The nation's breakfast" and "It's gonna be a great day."
Mr. Kellogg commissioned the first advertising "character" for Corn Flakes in 1907: a woman holding a shock of corn dubbed "The Sweetheart of the Corn." The use of cartoon characters became a hallmark of Kellogg's advertising. Snap, Crackle and Pop, introduced in 1941 for Rice Krispies, were the first and continue to be the longest-lasting cartoon spokescharacters in Kellogg ad history.
Most of Kellogg's characters were created by Chicago-based Burnett, including Tony the Tiger for Frosted Flakes (1952), Sugar Pops Pete (1958), Milton the Toaster for Pop Tarts (1971), Toucan Sam for Froot Loops (1963), Dig'Em the Frog for Sugar Smacks (1972) and Cornelius the Rooster for Corn Flakes (1957).
Kellogg has also been a major broadcast advertiser, using spot and network TV since the early 1950s, sponsoring Jimmy Durante's "All Star Review" and "Howdy Doody," its first national buy. In the late 1950s, Kellogg bought, financed and produced one of the earliest syndicated TV programs, "Wild Bill Hickock." Other sponsorships during TV's golden age included "Superman," "Dennis the Menace," "Captain Kangaroo" and "The Beverly Hillbillies.
Advertising strategy at the start of the 21st century positioned Kellogg brands as adjuncts to a healthy lifestyle, a return to the company's wellness origins of a century earlier. An umbrella campaign was launched in 1999 with the tagline: "With Kellogg's, a healthier life is within your reach. So tomorrow morning, help yourself." Meanwhile, the company in 2000 expanded into cookies and snacks with the purchase of Keebler Foods for $3.6 billion.
The History Center celebrated its new home with a ribbon-cutting Oct. 13 and free tours. The new center, located at 800 2nd Avenue SE, once belonged to the Douglas family, the Sinclair family, and eventually became a mortuary.
The History Center took the house over in 2014 and began a fundraising campaign to pay for renovations.
Caroline Sinclair, widow of T.M. Sinclair, who owned the Sinclair meat-packing plant, built Brucemore (known then as Sinclair Mansion or Fairhome) for her and her six children, which the Douglas family, who owned Douglas Starchworks and what was later Quaker Oats, built a mansion on 2nd Avenue SE. Somewhere a long the way, the two families switch houses and the Sinclair family took over the Douglas mansion, while the Douglas' moved to Brucemore.
Several members of the community spoke during the ceremony, including Board President, Tim Klima and Cedar Rapids council member, Susie Weinacht.
Several older model cars and trucks were on display in the parking lot adjacent to the Center, which included a truck from Mechanicsville, complete with its own ice box.
Exhibits inside the center include displays on Diversity in Iowa, Collins Rado, Quaker Oats, Shiver-Hattery, the railroad, and handmade quilts, complete with embroidered names of people living in Linn County.
Hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm. The price of admission $7 for adults, $5 for students (with ID), free for children 4 and under and museum members.
For more information, visit the Center's website.