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New Year Tidbits from Freddie!

1. The dropping of the ball first occurred in Times Square because New York City banned fireworks for being too dangerous.

2. Julius Caesar was the first to set January 1st as the New Year, when he established the Julian calendar (which he named after himself).

3. The tradition of New Year's resolutions dates back to the ancient Babylonians, whose most common resolution was to return used farm equipment. Today, losing weight is one of the most common resolutions.

4. The Times Square ball is made from Waterford Crystal. This beautiful ball weighs over one thousand pounds.

5. Auld Land Syne was written by Robert Burns in the 1700's. Every year people sing this son as the clock strikes midnight. This song can be heard from coast to coast as people ring in the New Year.

6. Paul Revere was born on January 1, 1735.

7. Black eyed peas are consumed all around the country on New Year's Eve. They are thought to bring you good luck. In the south, black eyed peas are a staple during the holidays. Also collard greens and pork on New Year's Day.

8. Each New Year's Eve 1 MILLION PEOPLE gather in New York City's Times Square to watch the famous ball drop. Close to 1 BILLION PEOPLE around the world watch on TV.

9. 44% of American adults plan to kiss someone at the stroke of 12 midnight.

10. 61% say a prayer on New Year's Eve.

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New Year's Bible Scripture:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
2 Corinthians 5:17

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14 Fun and Easy Resolutions for 2014!

Tired of making a resolution only to lose enthusiasm for it a few months later? Here are 14 fun resolutions you'll want to keep - ones that are sure to enrich your life and the lives of those around you.

1. Read more.
Many traditional resolutions focus on exercising our bodies, but what about exercising our minds? Reading is a great way to keep your mind in shape. Set a goal to read a certain number of books, an entire series by a new author or a classic novel you've always wanted to tackle and start reading today.

2. Do something for someone else.
Most traditional resolutions center around self-improvement. But this year, make it your goal to do more for others. Whether you volunteer at a school, charity or hospital, there are countless ways you can enrich someone else's life.

3. Reconnect with a family member or old friend.
The internet makes it easier than ever to find that cousin or classmate you've lost touch with over the years.

4. Learn to use social media.
Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram are valuable tools for keeping in touch with family and friends, and sharing photos and recipes. They're also easy to use. To learn how, take advantage of free tutorials and how-to-videos on the internet.

5. Try a new recipe or food each week.
Add adventure to the ordinary "eat healthier" resolution by trying new foods or recipes. Not sure what to start? Check out tasteofhome.com for simple, tasty recipes sent in by readers around the country.

6. Smile and laugh more.
Laughter really is the best medicine. Need some inspiration? Read a joke a day, watch more comedies and spend time with people who laugh a lot. It's contagious.

7. Hug more.
A hug (no matter how big or small) brightens everyone's day. Research shows getting a hug helps relieve stress and anxiety and lowers blood pressure.

8. Learn a new word each day.
There are many websites, books and word-of-the-day calendars dedicated to expanding your vocabulary. Try to use each new word a few times during the day.

9. Make a bucket list.
The first step to living your dreams is to get them down on paper. No dream is too big. Remember, a goal is simply a dream with a plan.

10. Set aside time to do nothing.
Taking time to just sit and savor the moment means you'll be rewarded with more energy and focus when its time to get going again.

11. Think green.
Start composting. Plant a tree. Help clean a city park. The opportunities to make a difference are endless - and the rewards for both you and the planet will last for years.

12. Get to know your neighbors.
You'll enjoy extra peace of mind knowing someone is keeping an eye on your house or you might discover someone with whom you share a common interest or hobby.

13. Get outside more.
It may be cold now, but when it begins to warm up, head outside. Research shows exposure to sunlight (in moderation) helps boost your immune system and ward off depression. Plus, natural light can help you heal from injuries faster.

14. Start a new family tradition.
Whether it playing family game night, sitting down every Sunday for dinner or creating your own holiday, start a new tradition with your children and grandchildren that can be carried on for generations.

(Bear Facts" provided by physiciansmutual)

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Computer Bite & Tip:

MCM Electronics - Your Connection to Electronic Products and Components

Computer Tip:
My Hard Drive Is Making Scary Sounds

A reader's hard drive is making new and unpleasant noises. Could it be on its last legs?

I would say yes. If your hard drive is making sounds it never made before, especially grinding or screeching noises, you have to assume that it won't be around for long. Any moment now, it could be as dead as Michael Palin's parrot.

[Email your tech questions to answer@pcworld.com.]

First, shut off the PC. Until everything is fixed, you want that drive spinning as little as possible. Preferably, not at all.

You'll have to buy a new hard drive, of course, and install it. That's the easy part. The hard part will be recovering everything from the old drive.

If you have a complete, up-to-date backup, or you use a cloud-based backup service, congratulations. Your good habits are about to be rewarded. Exactly how well rewarded depends on what type of backup you have.

If you have an image backup of your C: drive, you can restore that to the new drive and be up and working almost immediately. Whatever program you used to create the image should have a way for you to boot the computer and restore it.

If you backed up your data files separately, you'll have to restore those separately, as well.

But what if you have your documents and other data files safely backed up, but never bothered to back up Windows itself? (As far as I know, an image is the only reliable way to back up Windows.) In that case, contact the computer manufacturer and find out how you can restore Windows to the new drive. Once that’s done, you’ll have to restore your programs.

What if you didn’t back up? When preparing this article, I seriously considered giving instructions for cloning the dying drive to the new one. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that for anyone except a very skilled professional, that's a very bad idea. Cloning is generally pretty simple, but not when you've never done it before and your drive could die at any moment.

Instead, I recommend you contact a data recovery service. These services are expensive, especially for a noisy drive. But that's the price of not backing up.

The best-known services are DriveSavers and Kroll OnTrack. PCWorld editors have visited DriveSavers and been impressed with that operation, but Kroll OnTrack and other companies, such as Flashback Data, may be just as good. Data recovery isn't cheap, though, which is why a good personal backup routine remains your best option.

(Computer Tips provided by Lincoln Spector of pcworld.com)

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"In the New Year, may your right hand always
be stretched out in friendship,
but never in want."

Toxic Foods and Plants for Dogs
We are often asked, what is toxic to dogs? Some we know about, however, there are many others we are not aware of that are just as dangerous and poisonous to your pet.Also, view our Toxic Foods and Plants for Cats.
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JANUARY'S JOKE : "New Year's Resolutions You Can Keep"

Are you sick of making the same resolutions year after year and yet you never keep them? Here are some resolutions that you can actually accomplish! Enjoy! :-)

10. Read less.

9. I want to gain weight. Put on at least 30 pounds.
,br> 8. Stop exercising. Waste of time.
,br> 7. Watch more TV. I've been missing some good stuff.

6. Procrastinate more.

5. Drink. Drink some more.

4. Start being superstitious.

3. Spend more time at work.

2. Stop bringing lunch from home: I should eat out more.

and last but not least...

1. Take up a new habit: maybe smoking!

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I'm as "HUNGRY-AS-A-BEAR" Recipe


"I eat this dish every New Year's day, it's supposed to bring you luck, and so far my life's been pretty good. It's also good anytime you need a hearty homey meal!"

Original recipe makes 6 servings..

1 1/2 cups dry Black-Eyed Peas
1 pound Ham Hocks
1 Onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed Red Pepper Flakes
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 cups Water
1 1/2 cups Long-Grain White Rice
1 cup shredded Smoked Cheddar Cheese

1. In a large pan place the peas, ham hock, onion, red pepper, salt and pepper. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 1 1/2 hours.

2. Remove ham hock and cut meat into pieces. Return meat to pot. Stir in the rice, cover and cook until rice is tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle shredded cheese over top, if desired. Serve.

If you have a favorite recipe you would like to share,
email me & I'll be very happy to feature it here!

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Freddie's! Your #1 Online Shopping and Information Site for 2013!




"Happy New Year to everyone! Is 2013 a good year for you or a great year to say goodbye to. For me, personally, this year was terrible. My health was not good, the financial end was alright and can't remember too many good things that happened. I hope your 2013 will leave you with a lot better memories than it did me.

Good year or Good Riddance: Obamacare, Washington, Nelson Mandela, budgets, Bengazi and Susan RIce, Romney vs. Obama, Prince George of Cambridge (the only grandchild of Charles, Prince of Wales) was born to Prince William and and Catherine. Other names that raised eyebrows in 2013: Pope Francis, Miley Cyrus, Eric Snowden, Alex Baldwin, and let's not forget Justin Berber, Duck Dynasty and the Kadashians.

My Carolina Panthers are second seed in the NFL playoffs. They get to rest this weekend and play in Charlotte the following week. Can the Panthers make it to the Super Bowl? I got all my fingers and toes crossed.

I wish everyone the best of health, prosperity and financial wealth in 2014! That's why I'm having my ham, black-eyed peas, and collard greens - I need all the insurance I can get!

Thanks for visiting and remember when you're looking for something online, check here first - Freddie's Freebies and Specialities! "

Happy New Year, Freddie

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