Administrative Professionals – Thank Them For All They Do

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Administrative Professionals Week – April 21, 2014 – April 25, 2014

Celebrating excellence Administrative Professionals Week recognizes the achievements of the administrative staff members who help run your office. The people who help run your business are an invaluable part of the team, and for most of the year their work often goes overlooked in a hectic work environment.  Give one of our Administrative Professionals Day Gift Baskets and remind them how important they are and how much you appreciate all of their hard work.

Thanks A Million  $64.95

Thanks A Million $64.95

Thank You  $59.95

Thank You $59.95

 

New Arrivals for the New Arrival

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A new arrival in the family is a joyous occasion and cause for celebration! These beautifully arranged and designed new baby gift baskets from Exquisite Gift Baskets incorporate safe plush toys and layette materials in pastel blue and pink, or customers can also choose to put together a custom baby gift basket that includes the exact items they wish to give. 

 

The New Arrival - $64.95

The New Arrival – $64.95

 

The New Arrival - $64.95

The New Arrival – $64.95

Celebrating Women of Character, Courage, and Commitment

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

March is ‘National Women’s History Month’….

The National Women’s History Project (NWHP), founded in 1980, is an educational nonprofit organization. Their mission is to recognize and celebrate the diverse and historic accomplishments of women through information, education, and programs.

This year’s theme, “Celebrating Women of Character, Courage, and Commitment”, honors the extraordinary and often unrecognized determination and tenacity of women. Against social convention and often legal restraints, women have created a legacy that expands the frontiers of possibility for generations to come. They have demonstrated their character, courage and commitment as mothers, educators, institution builders, business, labor, political and community leaders, relief workers, women religious, and CEOs. Their lives and their work inspire girls and women to achieve their full potential and encourage boys and men to respect the diversity and depth of women’s experience. These role models along with countless others demonstrate the importance of writing women back into history. ~NWHP, 2014

2014 NWHP

Just A Common Soldier

Tags

, , , , , , ,

He was getting old and paunchy
And his hair was falling fast,
And he sat around the Legion,
Telling stories of the past.

Of a war that he once fought in
And the deeds that he had done,
In his exploits with his buddies;
They were heroes, every one.

And ‘tho sometimes to his neighbors
His tales became a joke,
All his buddies listened quietly
For they knew where of he spoke.

But we’ll hear his tales no longer,
For ol’ Joe has passed away,
And the world’s a little poorer
For a Soldier died today.

He won’t be mourned by many,
Just his children and his wife.
For he lived an ordinary,
Very quiet sort of life.

He held a job and raised a family,
Going quietly on his way;
And the world won’t note his passing,
‘Tho a Soldier died today.

When politicians leave this earth,
Their bodies lie in state,
While thousands note their passing,
And proclaim that they were great.

Papers tell of their life stories
From the time that they were young
But the passing of a Soldier
Goes unnoticed, and unsung.

Is the greatest contribution
To the welfare of our land,
Some jerk who breaks his promise
And cons his fellow man?

Or the ordinary fellow
Who in times of war and strife,
Goes off to serve his country
And offers up his life?

The politician’s stipend
And the style in which he lives,
Are often disproportionate,
To the service that he gives.

While the ordinary Soldier,
Who offered up his all,
Is paid off with a medal
And perhaps a pension, small.

It is not the politicians
With their compromise and ploys,
Who won for us the freedom
That our country now enjoys.

Should you find yourself in danger,
With your enemies at hand,
Would you really want some cop-out,
With his ever waffling stand?

Or would you want a Soldier–
His home, his country, his kin,
Just a common Soldier,
Who would fight until the end.

He was just a common Soldier,
And his ranks are growing thin,
But his presence should remind us
We may need his likes again.

For when countries are in conflict,
We find the Soldier’s part
Is to clean up all the troubles
That the politicians start.

If we cannot do him honor
While he’s here to hear the praise,
Then at least let’s give him homage
At the ending of his days.

Perhaps just a simple headline
In the paper that might say:
“OUR COUNTRY IS IN MOURNING,
A SOLDIER DIED TODAY.”

~A. Lawrence Vaincourt~

memorial_salute_shimage

Remembering Martin Luther King Jr.

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“He is the first person in the Western world to have shown us that a struggle can be waged without violence. He is the first to make the message of brotherly love a reality in the course of his struggle, and he has brought this message to all men, to all nations and races.  Today we pay tribute to Martin Luther King, the man who has never abandoned his faith in the unarmed struggle he is waging, who has suffered for his faith, who has been imprisoned on many occasions, whose home has been subject to bomb attacks, whose life and the lives of his family have been threatened, and who nevertheless has never faltered.”  ~ Gunnar Jahn, Chairman of the Nobel Committee on 10 December 1964

——————————————–

A Baptist minister and social activist, Martin Luther King Jr. played a key role in the American civil rights movement from the mid-1950s until his assassination in 1968. Inspired by advocates of nonviolence such as Mahatma Gandhi, King sought equality for African Americans, the economically disadvantaged, and victims of injustice through peaceful protest. He was the driving force behind history making events such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the March on Washington, which helped bring about such landmark legislation as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Martin Luther King Jr Day

———————————————-

The Early Years

Born in Atlanta, Georgia on January 15, 1929 Martin Luther King Jr. grew up in Atlanta’s Sweet Auburn neighborhood, then home to some of the most prominent and prosperous African Americans in the country.  King was a gifted student, at the age of 15 he was admitted to Morehouse College, where he studied medicine and law. Although he had not intended to follow in his father’s footsteps by joining the ministry, he changed his mind under the mentorship of Morehouse’s president, Dr. Benjamin Mays, and after graduating in 1948, King entered Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania, where he earned his Bachelor of Divinity degree, as well as winning a prestigious fellowship and being elected president of his predominantly white senior class.  King then entered a graduate program at Boston University – While in Boston, he met Coretta Scott and in 1953 upon earning his doctorate in systematic theology he married Coretta, settled in Montgomery, Alabama where King became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church.

———————————————

The Montgomery Bus Boycott

Less than a year after the Kings settled in Montgomery, the highly segregated city became the epicenter of the burgeoning struggle for civil rights in America, energized by the landmark Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision of 1954. On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a Montgomery bus and was arrested. Activists coordinated a bus boycott that would continue for 381 days, placing a severe economic strain on the public transit system and downtown business owners. They chose Martin Luther King Jr. as the protest’s leader and official spokesman.

By the time the Supreme Court ruled segregated seating on public buses unconstitutional in 1956, King, had entered the national spotlight as an inspirational proponent of organized, and nonviolent resistance.  Invigorated by the boycott’s success, in 1957 King and other civil rights activists (most of them fellow ministers) founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), a group committed to achieving full equality for African Americans through nonviolence, with its motto being, “Not one hair of one head of one person should be harmed.”  He would remain at the helm of this influential organization until his death in 1968.

Montgomery Bus Boycott 1955-1956 Time & Life Pictures/Getty Imags

Martin Luther King Jr. – Montgomery Bus Boycott 1955-1956
Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

—————————————

Southern Christian Leadership Conference

As SCLC president, Martin Luther King Jr. traveled across the country and around the world, giving lectures on nonviolent protest and civil rights as well as meeting with religious figures, activists and political leaders.  In 1960 King and his family moved to Atlanta, where he joined his father as co-pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church.  King’s new position did not stop him and his SCLC colleagues from becoming key players in many of the most significant civil rights battles of the 1960s.  During the Birmingham campaign of 1963 their philosophy of nonviolence was put to a particularly severe test.  It was during this campaign activists used a boycott, sit-ins and marches to protest segregation, unfair hiring practices, and other injustices in one of America’s most racially divided cities.  On April 12, 1963 King was arrested for his involvement – While in jail King penned the civil rights manifesto known as the “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” an eloquent defense of civil disobedience addressed to a group of white clergymen who had criticized his tactics.

—————————————-

Marching for Freedom

Later that year, Martin Luther King Jr. began working with a number of civil rights and religious groups to organize the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom – A peaceful political rally designed to shed light on the injustices African Americans continued to face across the country. Held on August 28 and attended by some 200,000 to 300,000 participants, the event is regarded as a watershed moment in the history of the American civil rights movement and a factor in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The march culminated in King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, a spirited call for peace and equality.  Standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, King shared his vision of a future in which “this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’” The speech and march cemented King’s reputation at home and abroad – Later that year he was named Man of the Year by TIME magazine and in 1964 became the youngest person ever awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

King’s elevated profile drew international attention to the violence that erupted between white segregationists and peaceful demonstrators in Selma, Alabama in the Spring of 1965, where the SCLC and Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee had organized a voter registration campaign. The brutal scene was captured on television and outraged many Americans and inspired supporters from across the country to gather in Selma and take part in a march to Montgomery led by King and supported by President Lyndon Johnson, who sent in federal troops to keep the peace. That August, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act, which guaranteed the right to vote (first awarded by the 15th Amendment) to all African Americans.

Martin Luther King Jr. - March on Washington 1963 Image credit: Bettman/Corbes

Martin Luther King Jr. – March on Washington 1963
Image credit: Bettman/Corbes

———————————–

The Final Years

The growing rift between Martin Luther King Jr. and young radicals who repudiated his nonviolent methods and commitment to working within the established political framework was deepened in the wake of the events in Selma.  As more militant black leaders rose to prominence, King broadened the scope of his activism to address issues such as the Vietnam War and poverty among Americans of all races. In 1967, King and his SCLC colleagues embarked on an ambitious program known as the Poor People’s Campaign, which was to include a massive march on the capital.

Tragically, on the evening of April 4, 1968, King was fatally shot while standing on the balcony of a motel in Memphis, where he had traveled to support a sanitation workers’ strike. In the wake of his death, a wave of riots swept major cities across the country, while President Johnson declared a national day of mourning.

After years of campaigning by activists, members of Congress and Coretta Scott King, in 1983 President Reagan signed a bill creating a U.S. federal holiday in honor of King – Observed on the third Monday of January, it was first celebrated in 1986.

Ooooohhh Chocolate!

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Delicious and with surprising health benefits, chocolate is one of the most cherished gift-giving traditions. Chocolate gift baskets are a great choice for all occasions including birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, birth of a new baby, and thank you. Exquisite Gift Baskets‘ chocolate gift baskets include products from exceptional chocolatiers including Lindt, Ghirardelli, and Godiva.  Each chocolate gift basket is exquisitely designed and contains gourmet selections to please every palate, from creamy white chocolate confections to rich dark chocolate candy. 

Buy 2 and save 14% each!

(Discount valid for January, 2014)

Chocolate Madness  $99.95

Chocolate Madness $99.95

Chocolate Cravings  $74.95

Chocolate Cravings $74.95

Chocolate Delight  $49.95

Chocolate Delight $49.95

Happy New Year!

Tags

, , , , , , ,

The most iconic New Year’s tradition in the United States is the dropping of the giant ball in New York City’s Times Square at the stroke of midnight.  Close to 1 billion people around the world watch the event on television, and approximately 1 million people gather in Times Square to watch the ball drop. Over time, the ball itself has ballooned from a 700-pound iron and wood orb to a brightly patterned sphere 12 feet in diameter, weighing in at nearly 12,000 pounds, and covered with almost 2,700 crystals.

————————————-

Early New Year’s Celebrations

The earliest recorded festivities honoring the arrival of the New Year dates back some 4,000 years to ancient Babylon. For the Babylonians, the first new moon following the vernal equinox (the day in late March with an equal amount of sunlight and darkness) heralded the start of a new year. The Babylonians marked this occasion with a massive religious festival, “Atiku” (derived from the Sumerian word for barley, which was cut in the spring) that involved a different ritual on each of its 11 days.  In addition to the new year, Atiku celebrated the mythical victory of the Babylonian sky god Marduk over the evil sea goddess Tiamat.  This also served an important political purpose, as it was during this time that a new king was crowned or that the current ruler’s divine mandate was symbolically renewed.

Throughout antiquity, as civilizations around the world began developing more sophisticated calendars, they typically pinned the first day of the year to an agricultural or astronomical event.  In Egypt, the year began with the annual flooding of the Nile, which coincided with the rising of the star Sirius, and the first day of the Chinese new year, occurred with the second new moon after the winter solstice.

————————————

January 1 Becomes New Year’s Day

In the eighth century B.C., Romulus, the founder of Rome, created the Roman calendar, which consisted of 10 months and 304 days, with each new year beginning at the vernal equinox.  A later king, Numa Pompilius, is credited with adding the months of Januarius and Februarius, making it a 12 month calendar. Over the centuries, the calendar fell out of sync with the sun, and in 46 B.C. the emperor Julius Caesar decided to solve the problem.  After consulting with the most prominent astronomers and mathematicians of his time, Caesar introduced the Julian calendar, which closely resembles the more modern Gregorian calendar that most countries around the world use today.

As part of his reform, Caesar instituted January 1 as the first day of the year, in part to honor the month’s namesake: Janus, the Roman god of beginnings – Janus’ two faces allowed him to look back into the past and forward into the future. The Romans celebrated New Year’s  by offering sacrifices to Janus, exchanging gifts, decorating their homes with laurel branches, and attending raucous parties.  In medieval Europe, Christian leaders temporarily replaced January 1 as the first of the year with days carrying more religious significance, such as December 25 (the anniversary of Jesus’ birth) and March 25 (the Feast of the Annunciation); Pope Gregory XIII reestablished January 1 as New Year’s Day in 1582.

———————————-

Did You Know?

In order to realign the Roman calendar with the sun, Julius Caesar had to add 90 extra days to the year 46 B.C. when he introduced his new Julian calendar.

happynewyearclock

Merry Christmas!

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

From our family to yours, we would like to wish you a Christmas blessed with peace, joy, love, and happiness and warm wishes for a bright and prosperous New Year!

We are most appreciative of all of your interest, support, and patronage throughout this last year – We look forward to sharing 2014 with you!

Best wishes ~ Connie Obee

merry-christmas-and-happy-new-year-in-advance

‘Twas The Night Before Christmas

Tags

, , , , , , ,

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

“Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”

~Clement Clarke Moore, 1822~

 

Illustration by Tasha Tudor

Illustration by Tasha Tudor

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,340 other followers