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Rising Debt is the New Reality

Rising Debt is the New Reality

Debt continues to be a major concern for households across North America. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York Center for Microeconomic Data found total household debt reached $17.29 trillion in the third quarter of 2023 in the United States. This upward trajectory has been going on since 2021 and is largely driven by mortgages, credit cards and student loan balances.

Terrell Alliance for Education and the Arts to Host an Evening with Opal Lee
Terrell Alliance for Education and the Arts to Host an Evening with Opal Lee

Terrell Alliance for Education and the Arts to Host an Evening with Opal Lee

Terrell Alliance for Education and the Arts invites the public to an evening with the Grandmother of the Juneteenth Holiday, Opal Lee, in conversation with renowned portrait artist Sedrick Huckaby. Ms. Opal gained national attention for her efforts to establish Juneteenth as a national holiday. Mr. Huckaby painted her portrait which has been acquired by the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., where it will be unveiled in March. The two will share the history of her efforts as well as how the portrait came to be.

How to Begin the Day in a Positive Frame of Mind

How to Begin the Day in a Positive Frame of Mind

Each new day brings the potential for change, even amid the routine of the daily grind. When people start the day with positive thoughts, it can affect how they behave and see themselves throughout the day, and may even benefit their overall health. The Mayo Clinic says some studies suggest personality traits such as optimism and pessimism can affect many areas of a person’s health and well-being. Positive thinking that is pronounced in optimistic people is associated with effective stress management, translates into many different health benefits.

BBB Tip: Recovering from the Freeze While Avoiding Unethical Contractors and Utility Impostors

Over the past few days, plummeting temperatures and wintry weather mixtures have struck communities across Texas with many residents experiencing power outages, ruptured water lines, hail damage, fallen tree limbs, or other issues due to below-freezing temperatures. As home and business owners begin to thaw out in the coming days, many will discover a variety of problems resulting from the sudden cold snap. While some homeowners can easily handle cleanup and repair efforts, others will likely require the help of a professional. Additionally, other residents may begin to piece together facts and receipts to learn they interacted with an impersonated utility company that demanded immediate payment or a fraudulent online seller advertising winter weather and emergency products.

Don’t be Caught Off Guard by Earlier Mild Temperatures, Make Garden Resolutions for 2024

Gardeners should order seeds for their spring gardens soon to ensure the best selection. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Laura McKenzie)

Don’t be Caught Off Guard by Earlier Mild Temperatures, Make Garden Resolutions for 2024

Now is the perfect time to research water-saving methods for your garden that can be applied all year long. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Laura McKenzie)

Don’t be Caught Off Guard by Earlier Mild Temperatures, Make Garden Resolutions for 2024

Garden resolutions for 2024 may include saving water. Utilizing a catchment system off a home’s rain gutter is a great way to help keep gardens growing during times of drought. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Michael Miller)

Don’t be Caught Off Guard by Earlier Mild Temperatures, Make Garden Resolutions for 2024

In order for trees to have the most complete canopies, they need to be planted far enough away from each other so they don’t have to compete for the same resources. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Laura McKenzie)

Don’t be Caught Off Guard by Earlier Mild Temperatures, Make Garden Resolutions for 2024

If you have yet to make your New Year’s resolutions or have already decided you do not want to keep a resolution like spending more time in the gym, consider flexing your green thumb instead.

Kindle the Fire

Kindle the Fire

When the weather decides it would be a good day for a fire in the fireplace (or, in my case, a wood stove), there are certain steps taken to create the fire. First, you have to make sure you have wood and kindling, as these create the way for the fire itself to take hold and start the process. Without kindling, your ability to light a fire in a fireplace is difficult. Kindling can be small twigs, strips of wood, crumpled newspapers, or a variety of store-bought fire starters. You begin by placing the base logs down on the grate and then place newspaper or other tinder underneath. Add the remaining logs on top and place the other kindling in the middle of the log stack. Then light the newspaper and let it carry the flame to the kindling pieces. Once tinder has caught fire, its heat can get the kindling burning. So, tinder catches a spark and grows an ember, and kindling is what is used to go from that to flame.

Why Breakfast Still Matters

Why Breakfast Still Matters

Many adults recall being told “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” when they were youngsters. Though the accuracy of that phrasing hinges on what people eat during their morning meal, scientific evidence supports the notion that breakfast is important to overall health. A 2017 study published in the Journal of Physiology found that eating breakfast decreased the activity of genes involved in insulin resistance and increased the amount of sugar taken up by the cells. Those two results suggest that eating breakfast could help protect against chronic illnesses, including type 2 diabetes. As important as breakfast can be, more important is what individuals eat for breakfast. Various cereals contain a significant amount of added sugars, which the Mayo Clinic notes have been linked to a host of adverse health effects, including weight gain, increased triglyceride levels and tooth decay. In 2019, registered dietitian nutritionist Sharon Collison told Time magazine that a morning meal that contains protein, whole grains, healthy fat, and a fruit or vegetable can increase satiety and reduce risk for snacking later in the day. In addition, such a breakfast should provide significant amounts of fiber, vitamins and minerals that can benefit both short- and long-term health.

Celebrating the Chinese New Year

Each year, millions of people across the globe celebrate a unique holiday that is rich in tradition, spectacle and pageantry. The Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, is celebrated around the world, even by people who do not trace their heritage back to China.

Secret Keeper – An Ode to Barb
Secret Keeper – An Ode to Barb

Secret Keeper – An Ode to Barb

I keep secrets. It is the basis of my trauma bond, the root of which all my anxiety was born and bred, or so I am told. I used to have a therapist named Barb. She helped me greatly as I negotiated my mother’s health decline and attempted to come to terms with some things I’d been carrying for quite some time. Barb said my function as my mother’s only child, and the only child living at home, was to be the secret keeper. It goes like this. A parent who carries a load heavier than they can manage tells a child the bulk of their troubles, thereby shifting load weight onto the child, like a job that parent can’t handle. But, the load is full of secrets that mustn’t see the light of day. So, the child is given another job, mainly never to tell anyone about the things gifted to them in this heavy load. Children weren’t meant to hold down a job, much less two. One day, a child will grow up, God willing. As this former child moves through adulthood, they begin accumulating the normal loads that we carry in this world. Except, they still have that secret load gifted to them all those years ago. There’s only so much they can balance. When they look around one random afternoon, buckling under a heavy load, they might spot their own child in the room. The temptation to lighten that load onto this child is both instinct, from how their parents handled this same dilemma, and survival based. It is hard to break such a trauma bond. My children still don’t know some of the load I was gifted with as a child, so I think I mostly broke the generational curse. That’s what Barb said, anyway. I loved chatting with Barb via Zoom, but the nonexistent internet situation in Forney, coupled with a whole bunch of dogs and cats, made our appointments yet another load of anxiety I began carrying. But one day, Barb, perhaps we shall meet again.

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Forney Messenger

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 936, Forney, TX 75126
Physical Address: 201 W. Broad St., Forney, TX 75126
Phone: 972-564-3121
Fax: 972-552-3599