February is Black History Month – educate and celebrate!

Black History Facts

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Original article from The History Channel

Black History Month honors the contributions of African Americans to U.S. history. Did you know that Madam C.J. Walker was America’s first woman to become a self-made millionaire, or that George Washington Carver was able to derive nearly 300 products from the peanut? Get the story of the creation of the NAACP, famous firsts in African American history and other black history facts.

Black History Month: The celebration of Black History Month began as “Negro History Week,” which was created in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson, a noted African American historian, scholar, educator, and publisher. It became a month-long celebration in 1976. The month of February was chosen to coincide with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.

NAACP: On February 12, 2009, the NAACP marked its 100th anniversary. Spurred by growing racial violence in the early twentieth century, and particularly by 1908 race riots in Springfield, Illinois, a group of African-American leaders joined together to form a new permanent civil rights organization, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). February 12, 1909, was chosen because it was the centennial anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln.

Supreme Court Justice:Thurgood Marshall was the first African American ever appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. He was appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson, and served on the court from 1967 to 1991.

Eminent Scientist:George Washington Carver developed 300 derivative products from peanuts among them cheese, milk, coffee, flour, ink, dyes, plastics, wood stains, soap, linoleum, medicinal oils and cosmetics.

First Senator:Hiram Rhodes Revels was the first African American ever elected to the U.S. Senate. He represented the state of Mississippi from February 1870 to March 1871.

First Woman Representative: Shirley Chisholm was the first African American woman elected to the House of Representatives. She was elected in 1968 and represented the state of New York. She broke ground again four years later in 1972 when she was the first major party African-American candidate and the first female candidate for president of the United States.

Self-Made Millionaire:Madam C.J. Walker was born on a cotton plantation in Louisiana and became wealthy after inventing a line of African-American hair care products. She established Madame C.J. Walker Laboratories and was also known for her philanthropy.

Population Growth: The black population of the United States in 1870 was 4.8 million; in 2007, the number of black residents of the United States, including those of more than one race, was 40.7 million.

Oscar Winner: In 1940, Hattie McDaniel was the first African-American performer to win an Academy Award—the film industry’s highest honor—for her portrayal of a loyal slave governess in Gone With the Wind.

Heavyweight Champ: Jack Johnson became the first African-American man to hold the World Heavyweight Champion boxing title in 1908. He held onto the belt until 1915.

First Lawyer:John Mercer Langston was the first black man to become a lawyer when he passed the bar in Ohio in 1854. When he was elected to the post of Town Clerk for Brownhelm, Ohio, in 1855 Langston became one of the first African Americans ever elected to public office in America. John Mercer Langston was also the great-uncle of Langston Hughes, famed poet of the Harlem Renaissance.

Into Space: In 1992, Dr. Mae Jemison became the first African American woman to go into space aboard the space shuttle Endeavor. During her eight-day mission, she worked with U.S. and Japanese researchers, and was a co-investigator on a bone cell experiment.

White House: In 2009, Barack Obama became the first African-American president in U.S. history. He occupied the White House for two consecutive terms, serving from 2009 to 2017.

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27 Super Bowl Snacks to Kick Off Your Party

With the big game right around the corner, are you planning your party? Feed your guests well with these snack ideas. Full Article

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For Super Coverage with Super Savings – call Scott Lynch at (317) 886-0081 or visit us on line at: Scott Lynch Agency

 

Here is a great organization to get behind!

Bringing Them Back One Song At A Time

Operation Song, the 2018 Hands on Nashville Strobel Award, “Civic Volunteer Group of the Year.”

Operation Song is a 501(c)(3) non-profit based in Nashville, Tennessee. Our mission is to empower veterans, active duty military, and their families to tell their stories through the process of songwriting.

Operation SongTM songwriting programs create an opportunity to transform service related issues, injuries and illnesses into a structured, musical outlet as an enhancement of traditional therapies and/or treatments.

Since 2012, we have written over 600 songs with veterans of WWII to those currently serving. We hold weekly workshops in Middle Tennessee and sponsor events and group retreats throughout the U.S. Those we serve need no musical background, only the desire to tell their story. http://www.operationsong.org/

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Listen to the latest song of the week here on YouTube: https://youtu.be/pWE34n7gBi8

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Valentine’s Day Deals

Save some money on your Valentine’s Day gifts this year! Here’s a great list of sites that are offering deals on gifts for your special someone: Valentine’s Day 2019 Deals

To save money on your insurance and to protect the ones you love – Call the Scott Lynch Agency at (317) 886-0081 or visit us on line here: Scott Lynch Agency

 

How to Achieve Restorative Sleep

Jeff Nichols is a Navy SEAL veteran and exercise physiologist and I recently consulted with him on the topic of sleep and recovery and how to achieve a “restorative sleep.”

As Jeff puts it, the goal is quality hours of sleep that place the body into a rapid eye movement (REM) pattern as many times as possible. This process introduces the hormone response that enables the body to recover from a stressful day and the physical stress of job and training that many tactical athletes endure.

Though there is a list of sleep assistance items and habits to follow, do not try to do all of them at once. The goal is to see what works for you, so keep it simple. Select one or two at a time and implement them for a week or so. Then try to add another. Eventually, you will find the perfect formula that works for you. This process will also allow you to evaluate the new changes to your life effectively.

Treat sleep as the most important part of your day — really! You will sleep 30 percent of your life. You should be good at it because, if you are not, you could be subtracting years from your life due to your inability to metabolize stress properly. It is helpful to prepare for sleep as if you were preparing for any other part of your day. Consider the following rituals:

Four to Six Hours Prior to Sleep

Lay off caffeine several hours prior to sleep. In fact, you should make this the first step to sleeping better. For some people, having caffeine up to 6 hours before bed can affect sleep by over an hour.

Start cooling the room temperature a few hours prior to sleep. Try a setting between 65-69 degrees Fahrenheit. This will allow your body temperature to drop (approximately 0.7 degree Celsius), which is necessary for essential hormone release — such as testosterone, HGHr, dopamine and serotonin, to name a few. This hormone dump is directly correlated to entering REM and is a clear sign of quality restorative sleep.

Food before bed. The goal is slow-digesting protein (casein) sources low in sugar. Foods like the following are good snacks before bedtime:

  • Plain whole milk Greek yogurt (vanilla-flavored casein protein powder will add taste to plain yogurt plus extra slow digesting protein)

  • Quinoa

  • Cottage Cheese

  • Nakee butter peanut butter – https://nakeebutter.com. This product has MCT oil in it, which is ideal for brain function and brain health. There’s nothing artificial in this product, and it comes ready to travel in single-serving packets.

Find a snack that works for you and your digestive system. The amino acids in these protein-rich foods are also helpful with metabolizing stress.

Some Extra Items to Consider Getting and Doing

Bedding. Consider new sheets and pillowcases. Polyester, silk, satin, or any other sheer type bedding is not recommended. Bamboo is a good choice. Here is a brand worth checking out: https://www.cariloha.com. Hemp sheets are a good second option, and pure cotton is fine too.  Bamboo is actually softer than cotton; because of the weave, it is more breathable and will not trap extra heat under the sheets with you.

Air Filter. Get a high-quality air filter for your bedroom, especially if you have pets. Air quality is essential for quality of sleep even though it’s often overlooked. Most any air filter will do. It does not have to be super expensive, just one that focuses on pets and dust stirred up from normal living. Consider this one.

Blue light-blocking glasses. If you spend time in front of the screen prior to bed or in the evening in general (on your phone, computer or tablet), these glasses are mandatory. Just wear them around your house an hour before bed and do what you normally do. This will begin to down regulate your brain and help you quiet your mind and prepare for sleep.

Supplements. People often take melatonin as a supplement, though it’s best to help your body make it naturally. The most effective and simple way is to place yourself in direct sunlight for 10-15 minutes before 9:30 am. This sets the circadian rhythm essential for natural melatonin release each evening. This is very useful when you travel time zones. It  will also align your appetite. The goal is to sleep naturally and not rely on supplements or sleep aids. However, Gaba-250 (Gamma-aminobutyric acid) is a natural, safe, non-habit forming neurotransmitter. Too much excitation can lead to irritability, restlessness, sleeplessness and spasmodic movements. This excitation needs to be balanced with inhibition. GABA is the most important inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain.

Sleepwear. The act of getting into pajamas is a trigger for the brain to start preparing for sleep. Do this an hour prior to sleeping. Bedtime clothing recommendations are the same as for sheets — bamboo, hemp or cotton. A cotton-poly blend isn’t bad either, especially since many of them are very soft and comfortable.

The ChiliPad. Mattress temp is equally important as air temperature in the room. Consider getting a mattress cover that cools. Try the ChiliPad at 69 degrees. Keep in mind that as morning approaches, you may need to turn it up to 71 degrees. This is because, as you go into REM sleep, your body temp will drop and you may get a chill. This is normal.

Binaural Music. Specifically, “delta wave binaural tones” is the soothing music of choice. Simply put, it involves sound tones that places the brain in a state to receive sleep. Your brain will produce an electrical wave in a Delta pattern when in REM sleep.

Showering before bedtime. The combination of heat radiation and the mammalian response, or diving reflex, will help ready you for sleep. Take a warm shower and make sure you stand under the shower head for a minute or two as it pours over your face and head — breathe and relax. Keep the bathroom dim during the shower. Do not brighten the bathroom or bedroom after the shower. Once you have dried off, get into bed and do not cover your feet or hands. The heat leaving your body will simulate a body temperature drop similar to entering REM. As you feel yourself getting sleepy, cover up and get comfortable.

Your bedtime habits can elicit a response that helps you relax, but you have to start associating relaxing events or times in your life with that time right before sleep. For instance, before sleep, smell something that reminds you of something nice, like a baby’s hug or your bedroom as a kid — something relaxing to you. A picture of your child or puppy sleeping will also work. But smell is very powerful to help with this response.

For more information about Jeff Nichols’ programming, check out www.performancefirstus.com.

Original Article: How to Achieve Restorative Sleep

Art Deco Puzzle Cabinet – Craig Thibodeau Fine Furniture

This Art Deco cabinet was designed for a puzzle collector and incorporates several puzzles and hidden details in the construction, it is the second in a growing series of mechanical furniture pieces I have built.  There is a 25 piece sliding tile puzzle with a marquetry picture of two birds on some flowering branches in the top.  It is hidden by a sliding cover opened with a hidden magnetic key.  Next to the puzzle is a secret compartment with a hinged lid that opens by pressing a small button hidden under one of the sliding puzzle pieces.  The front doors have a series of 13 randomly placed sliding locks holding them closed.  Sliding the correct locks allows each door to be opened with the magnetic key.  Overall this was a fun piece to build and I’m looking forward to building more like this in the future.

Watch Video here: Art Deco Hidden Puzzle Cabinet

Size:
42″ wide by 18″ deep by 34″ high
Materials:
Etimoe, Amboyna Burl, Curly Sycamore, Maple Burl, Ebony, and various marquetry woods

The YouTube video of this piece was created by his website designer Chad Thompson of Monkey C Media, thanks Chad.

 

Indoors getting stale? Try these 10 Plants for cleaning indoor air.

Home closed up for winter and rooms smelling stale? Try these 10 plants to clean your home’s air and brighten your mood.

english ivy

  • English Ivy (Hedera Helix) – Excellent for removing harmful chemicals found in the home. It can grow in full shade to full sun.
  • Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea Seifrizii) – Prefers part sun or shade. Good for removing harmful elements such as benzene and formaldehyde.
  • Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema Modestum) – Thrives n low to medium light. Can be toxic to pets.
  • Gerbera Daisy (Gerbera Jamesonii) – Prefers warm temperatures. Removes harmful elements and has beautiful flowers.
  • Dragon Tree (Dracaena Marginata) – Great office plant. Can tolerate low light.
  • Mother-in-Law’s Tongue (Sansevieria Trifasciata ‘Laurentii’) – Great for beginners. Prefers little to no water at all.
  • Pot Mum (Chrysanthemum Morifolium) – Colorful addition to the home.
  • Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum ‘Mauna Loa’) – Fights toxic gases such as carbon monoxide and formaldehyde. Can be mildly toxic to pets and humans, wash your hands after touching.
  • Spider Plant (Chlorophytum Comosum ‘Vittatum’) – Thrives in bright, indirect light.
  • Mass Cane/Corn Plant (Dracaena Fragrans ‘Massangeana’) – One of the most popular varieties of Dracaenas for its lovely foliage that ranges from green to yellow.

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