Though it might not be home to as many celebrants as Australia and the United States, the tiny Pacific island nation of Kiribati will be the first country to ring in the new year in 2022. This small nation beats New Zealand’s Chatham Islands to the punch by 15 minutes. When Kiribati is welcoming the new year, it will only be 5 a.m. on December 31 in New York City. The uninhabited atoll Baker Island and the uninhabited coral island Howland Island are the last places to welcome 2022. These tiny islands do so seven hours after the ball drops in New York City’s Times Square.
B Dear Aunt B, I have been dating a man for five years. I don’t feel like I am a priority much of the time. He is older than me and always been single. He is emotionally unavailable. However he does seem to be making some progress. How long should I wait for the change I need?
The end of December is a busy time of year. Families are shopping for gifts for loved ones and friends, holiday celebrations are in full swing and thoughts begin to turn to the new year ahead.
On December 19th Texas Secretary of State John Scott released a report on the second and final phase of the agency’s full forensic audit of the 2020 General Election in four of Texas’ largest counties: Collin, Dallas, Harris and Tarrant. Phase 2 of the audit, undertaken over the past year by the Texas Secretary of State’s Forensic Audit Division, included a comprehensive examination of election records from the 2020 General Election in each of the four counties, resulting in more than 369 GB of data obtained. The Phase 2 final report, which spans 360 pages, includes key findings from the 2020 General Election on aspects of the election process, including: reconciliation of voters checked in versus ballots cast; physical security of election equipment; adequacy of counties’ training materials; ballot-bymail processes; provisional ballots; voter registration; and complaints received regarding alleged irregularities.
My Dad Made Their Uniforms!
There’s one thing (of many) that I love about life: you are never done learning. If you are open to new practices, habits and ideas there is so much more to explore and discover. Big things, little things and everything in between. The day you stop learning is the day you stop living.
Christmas Eve is viewed differently by different people, even those who live under the same Santaready roof. Adults may see Christmas Eve as crunch time when they must prepare food for the next day or set up presents for their children to open in the morning. Children, on the other hand, are focused on Santa’s visit and little else.
Charitable giving grew in 2021. According to Blackbaud Institute, a social good innovator, giving not only increased after COVID-19, but actually rebounded more than it had in a decade - increasing in the United States by 9 percent overall.
Big confession, which might not be such big news to regular readers of this column: I don’t do Christmas trees.
Holiday lights are now everywhere come the holiday season. Private homeowners tend to hang the holiday lights outside their homes around Thanksgiving weekend and keep them up through New Year’s Day. Though it might seem like a tradition without a deep history, decorating a Christmas tree with electric lights can be traced all the way back to the nineteenth century. In 1882, Edward Johnson, who was a friend and colleague of the man who invented light bulbs, Thomas Edison, replaced candles, which had traditionally been used to briefly light Christmas trees, with light bulbs. But at the time of Johnson’s innovation, the high cost and relative infancy of light bulbs ensured the idea did not catch on. And though United States President Grover Cleveland used electric lights to illuminate a Christmas tree in the White House in 1895, it would be another eight years before General Electric would begin selling Christmas light kits. Those kits cost $12 in 1903, which equates to several hundred dollars today. The first outdoor Christmas light shows started to become popular in the 1920s, and this is the same time when commercial sales of Christmas lights picked up. In the 1960s, GE’s decision to begin manufacturing Christmas lights overseas helped reduce the price of outdoor lights even further, thus paving the way for the tradition of decorating home exteriors with string lights during the holiday season to take a firm hold. And that tradition remains wildly popular today.
The pristine, white backdrop of a snowy winter day can be a wonder to behold. While fresh snow on the ground can make for aweinspiring landscapes, the absence of greenery amid the starkness of winter poses challenges for animals that do not ride out winter in a state of hibernation.
Hi. We don’t know each other. But Christmas is on the way, and I wanted to introduce myself. Then again, my name isn’t important. I’m nobody special. I just wanted you to know that I’m thinking about you. I’m even praying for you.
Make a Left
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the City of Mesquite have begun safety improvements along Lawson Road between Milam Road and Cartwright Road. Motorists will soon notice the addition of shoulders to the roadway along with new guardrails throughout the area.
We are asked many times about our personal “Why” - why we so passionately believe in the Forney Education Foundation. And all of the Board members have different whys but they do tend to be the same reason: the children/students in Forney ISD. And I am no different in my main reason— it is the children in FISD that help me ask strangers for funding for FEF, explain what FEF has done for the students in Forney ISD since 2004, and keep me writing these articles.