Winter Activities The Whole Family Can Enjoy

Slip and Fall Lawyer Newark, NJThere is nothing quite like being able to experience all four seasons throughout a year. Each season brings its own change in temperature, scenery, and weather. There are the fresh rain and new growth of spring, the warmth and sun of summer, the brisk air and colorful leaves of autumn and the chill of a fresh snowfall in the winter.

In accordance with the weather, the varying seasons throughout the year also come with many changes in dress and activities that can be done. For instance, spring and summer make it much easier to wear shorts and skirts and tank tops and t-shirts. Meanwhile, the cool air of autumn means long-sleeved shirts and pants and bringing out the jackets.

When winter finally approaches out comes the wool hats, gloves, winter jackets, and boots. As far as activities go, it is much easier to get up and go do something outside during the spring and summer. The warm weather means trips to the beach, playing sports outside or even leisure activities like a day out on the boat or a picnic in the park.

The cool weather of the fall is even a time when many people are outside enjoying the last of the nice weather. Football is in full swing and a walk around the block exploring the changing colors of the leaves on the trees is always a fun activity.

But then comes winter. Temperatures drop below 32 degrees and wind tends to pick up, making it quite cold outside. Add on the troubles of a heavy snowfall or wintry mix and venturing outside for fun is not something many think about doing.

But here’s the thing: just because winter is cold and windy does not mean there aren’t activities you and your family can do together. There are plenty of cold weather activities to do outside and a handful of great ones to do inside as well.

The National Debt Relief highlights a handful of great outdoor activities in an article online. Their top choice and one many choose to do when the first snowfall hits, is going snow tubing and/or sledding.

The great thing about tubing and sledding is that they are inexpensive activities that can be done wherever there is a hill. Snow tubes can be found online or in a store and sleds can be anything from what you buy in the store to a plastic bag. Make sure to dress warm and in layers and do not forget to invite your friends.

Even less expensive than sledding since it requires only snow is a snowball fight. A fun, playful snowball fight with the family is a great way to get in some exercise while enjoying the fresh snow. You can then take a break from the snowball fight and work on building a snowman or igloo. Top it off with some quality snow angels and you have a solid day of fun in the snow completed.

If your budget allows, taking a family trip to go skiing and/or snowboarding is another great winter activity to partake in. Many lodges offer accommodations and rentals in a package deal, making it easy to just wake up and hit the slopes.

Many ski and snow resorts even offer lessons for those with little to zero experience in the sports. And while some may be worried about injuries, there are always other activities to partake in like cross-country skiing or snow tubing. Snow tubing at a ski and snowboard resort is a bit more organized than in your backyard and usually involves pre-made tracks and hills to tube down.

Outside of the snow-related activities, there are plenty of outdoor activities to do in the winter. An extremely popular activity is ice skating. Outdoor ice rinks tend to pop up in the winter and if not outside, there are plenty of ice rinks around that offer indoor skating.

Ice skate rentals and admission onto a rink are relatively cheap, making it an affordable activity for a family. It is also always better to do your skating on a formalized rink as opposed to finding a frozen pond or body of water. You never know just when that ice may give out.

On an even more relaxed level, a great outdoor activity in the winter is taking a walk and viewing holiday lights. The winter brings many different holidays and with those holidays come many different decorations.

Some towns even hold storefront decoration contests, making it the perfect place to stroll through. After a fresh snowfall, lights tend to sparkle a bit brighter so that is the ideal time to take a walk and take in the sights. Keep in mind though, that sidewalks can be slippery or slick, so take care when walking with the family to avoid a slip and fall. Enjoy the evening and cap it off with some hot cocoa at a local cafe.

Sometimes the cold weather and inclement weather might mean outdoor activities are a no go, but that doesn’t mean the family fun has to stop. There are plenty of indoor activities worth doing as a family, especially beside a warm fire.

An article from VivaReston Magazine points out just how much fun board games can be on a snowy, cold night. The article says, “games are a fun way to test your trivia, acting, artistic and even strategic skills.” Games are a great way to involve everyone in the family and last long enough for some fun, quality time with each other.

Other indoor activities can include checking out a show at the local theater if travel is not too difficult due to weather. Taking in a movie at the movie theater is also another great activity to do as a family.

It is easy to get lost in the fact that winter is cold and windy but instead of laying in bed all day or just watching television, do your best to get outside. Include the family and enjoy what the season has to offer. And remember, the winter will not last all year. Soon enough, you will be wondering what spring activities are available to do.

Coping with a Breast Cancer Diagnosis During the Holidays

Taxotere Lawsuit Attorney Birmingham AlabamaBeing diagnosed with breast cancer is likely to be one of the most emotionally challenging and difficult experiences of a person’s life. This difficulty can be magnified when the person diagnosed with breast cancer is a loved one. Undergoing treatment for breast cancer can be traumatic, especially as the patient’s body undergoes drastic changes. Perhaps worst of all, the treatment for breast cancer can be incredibly invasive and wear out a person both physically and mentally.

The painful emotions that come with a breast cancer diagnosis, as well as the subsequent treatment, might never be harder to deal with than during the holidays when your family comes together to celebrate the end of the year and the onset of the new year.

Here are a few things you can do to help yourself or a loved one cope with a breast cancer diagnosis during the holidays:

Talk It Out: There is nothing wrong with expressing yourself and sharing your feelings about a breast cancer diagnosis with close friends and family members. In fact, talking about the situation can potentially make the illness more manageable as you move through the physical recovery process and your body heals from medical treatment. Talking things out with a loved one, or with a trained professional, is a good way to manage your anxiety about your breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. Moreover, sharing your feelings in an open and honest way can help to ensure that you don’t lash out at the people you love — the people who just want to make sure that you are alright during this difficult time.

Come Up with a Schedule: Once you start getting medical help for your illness, you may find that performing daily tasks is harder than usual. Even the simplest tasks — such as getting dressed in the morning, picking up groceries from the store, or preparing meals — may present great difficulty when you are physically and mentally exhausted from treatment. One way to combat this is to start planning now and create a schedule of things you think you can really do after treatment begins. Additionally, try to include other people in your schedule so that they know if and when their assistance might be needed.

Allow Yourself to Be Vulnerable: You’ve probably spent your whole adult life taking care of yourself. Now, it’s time to let yourself be taken care of by those who love you. Don’t close yourself off from others as you go through this emotionally and physically challenging process. You need to stay close with your friends and family members and let them help you. This will not only make your recovery process easier, but it will also encourage the people closest to you to stay involved in your life.

How You Look Can Affect How You Feel: It’s possible that you will lose your hair and suffer other adverse physical consequences during chemotherapy. Do not underestimate just how much this can affect your outlook and feelings about the cancer treatment. If you are not in the right mental state, your treatment could be impacted. So, take steps now to prepare by researching wigs, breast prostheses, and other options that might help you to feel good after surgery or treatment.

Try to Maintain Closeness with Your Spouse: As you undergo chemotherapy, surgery, or other medical treatment options for your cancer diagnosis, your body is likely to experience some pretty drastic changes and transformations. One of the first things that might disappear — at least temporarily — during cancer treatment is your sex drive. Remember that you are part of a loving relationship with another person, so try to be open and honest about your desires and needs. Let them know that you still care about them, even if you can’t be physically intimate with them during the cancer treatment. If you are unable to maintain physical closeness with your spouse, at least try to maintain emotional closeness with them.

Don’t Be Shy About Discussing Your Treatment with Doctors: It is important that you do not shy away from discussing your cancer treatment with your doctors and nurses. When you have a negative health reaction to a particular type of treatment, immediately notify your medical treatment providers so that they can properly evaluate you and determine if the medical plan should change going forward. Some chemotherapy drugs like Taxotere can have side effects that include permanent hair loss. If you find yourself suffering complications from Taxotere or some other cancer treatment drug, alert your doctors immediately so that appropriate action can be taken to correct the problem.

Talk to a Mental Health Professional: Cancer does not just take a toll on the body; it can also have a profoundly negative effect on the mind. Many cancer patients get depressed, particularly during chemotherapy. Safeguard yourself against depression by talking to a trained mental health professional on a regular basis during your cancer treatment.

Research It: If you are physically up to the task, take some time to research your cancer diagnosis and inform yourself of the various aspects of the illness and how it is likely to affect you. There are a lot of good websites out there that provide invaluable information about cancer symptoms, causes, and treatment options, as well as national and regional cancer statistics. There is something empowering about understanding your breast cancer diagnosis and everything that is likely to come with the illness before it starts to overpower you.

You may be experiencing a flood of emotions after receiving a breast cancer diagnosis. That’s normal. What is most important now is that you get the love and support you need to make it through this difficult health situation. And please keep in mind that every person who is diagnosed with breast cancer reacts differently and will likely have unique coping mechanisms for dealing with the diagnosis. There is no one right answer for responding to a breast cancer diagnosis.

Can You Be Committing a Crime Online?

Internet Crimes Attorney Morristown, NJWhile many people who are involved in felony level cybercrimes have a clear knowledge about the behavior involved in these violations of the law, many people don’t have the proper understanding of the broad range of online crimes that could lead to criminal charges whether at the misdemeanor or the felony level. Knowing about these crimes can help you avoid an unfortunate situation when you are called into the police or accused of violating a crime. There is a broad range of types of computer crimes that can be alleged against an individual and the complexity of this area of the law is increasing in recent years as technology improves.

Online crimes are more prevalent than ever, including the number of victims coming forward with concerns about privacy and the use of online avenues to carry out illegal activity.

The government is now working harder than ever to try to stop these crimes before they start and also making an example out of anyone who is convicted of such a crime.

Since the technology and the laws surrounding it are changing so quickly, it makes it a better chance than ever that you could be accused of committing a crime online. Users of any and all technology have to educate themselves about this complex area of the law and stay mindful of any updates that make it easier for government authorities to track what you’re doing or to investigate you if you’re suspected of committing a crime.

The evidence collected may include mistakes that tie you to a crime you never committed. In any of these situations, lack of knowledge about the law is not a good defense. This could help the prosecution land a conviction.

Federal Computer Crimes

Many traditional crimes can be carried out with the help of a computer. Other crimes, however, exist only on the internet. Some of the most commonly prosecuted cybercrimes that are categorized at the federal level include:

  • Identify theft: such as taking someone’s identifying information for personal use or for sale. This can include, phishing or hacking.
  • Fraud: Any type of fraudulent scam or scheme that is carried out over the internet can be pursued as a federal cyber-crime.
  • Hacking: Accessing a network or computer without permission is categorized as criminal hacking. Related crimes include destroying data, using a virus to attack a system or stealing data.
  • Blackmail: Blackmail schemes may use illegally obtained data or illicit materials.

No matter, how the alleged crime is identified, a person who is accused of such a crime needs to be familiar with their rights and responsibilities. Criminal laws in New Jersey, for example, do not distinguish between misdemeanors and felonies. Rather they classify crimes by degrees and there are a number of different types of criminal allegations that fall under this category. Whether or not someone is being accused under federal or state violations, a computer crime is a serious matter.

What You Need to Know About Investigations of Internet Crimes

The authorities accusing someone of an internet crime will often only do so after they have gathered evidence that seems to indicate that a person was carrying out some type of crime using the internet. This does not necessarily mean that the entirety of the crime was committed online.

Rather it may also include allegations of other crimes, in addition to the commission of a cybercrime because the internet was in some way used to carry out misdemeanor or felony behavior. Knowing the accusations levied against you can help you to figure out the type of crime being alleged and the type of defenses that may be available. It is also important for someone to know that the law enforcement cannot suggest that you commit a crime that you otherwise had no intention of committing.

This could constitute entrapment. All of these details should be recorded in a written fashion in the event that you may be accused of a crime in the future. Sometimes people do not even realize that a behavior or action that they are carrying out online is actually against the law. One such example is spoofing or phishing. This refers to unlawful accessing a computer without authorization and sending emails, falsifying header information in numerous email messages or resending numerous commercial email messages with the purpose of deceiving a recipient. This element of deceit can be difficult for the prosecution to prove but it can also be hard for a defendant to fight back if they are not familiar with their rights.

Accessing stored communication is another common internet crime that many people may not realize they have committed. This crime requires intentionally accessing a facility through which an electronic communication service is provided, without authorization. Again, the prosecution will bear the burden of proof for showing that this person intentionally accessed this material. A first-time offender could be facing serious consequences, however.

Although gambling inside a casino is legal, engaging in the business of betting on a sporting event over the internet is illegal. Using the internet to bet on sports is a federal crime that can be punished as long as two years in prison. Cybercrimes can also carry over into personal relationships. One such example is stalking or electronic harassment. Anyone who uses the internet to abuse, annoy, threaten, or harass a person who receives a communication could lead to criminal consequences upon conviction.

You might not even realize until there’s a police officer at your door or until you’ve been asked to come in and help with an investigation that there are possible charges against you. In these cases, it’s easier for authorities to develop all the information they need without you even realizing what’s happening until you’re charged with an online crime.

As most people know, crimes can be committed in person, online, or even over a mobile device. As more people are using technology to carry out crimes, the government is using all the tools within their power to ferret out these situations. This means that you could end up facing criminal charges even if you believe you didn’t do anything wrong.

Be sure to check this post out on Medium, too!









Different Types of Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal Injury Lawyer Erie, PABeing hurt in an accident can lead to a broad range of different types of injuries. Depending on the diagnosis from a doctor, the different types of spinal cord injuries can have life-lasting repercussions for a victim. A spinal cord injury need to be diagnosed immediately with the help of a medical professional to give the injured party the best possible opportunity to recover in full.

In many cases, the diagnosis of a spinal cord injury will make it difficult or impossible altogether for the person to return to work ever again. Significant adjustments to their day to day life in addition to rehabilitation, surgery and other medical treatments may be associated with many types of spinal cord injuries.

This is because of the delicate nature of the spinal cord and the important role it plays in supporting the human body. According to research, more than 12,500 spinal cord injuries are diagnosed every single year. This leaves the diagnosed party and their family members to deal with the fallout from a catastrophe. A patient needs to be prepared to speak up for his or her interests, both with regard to medical care and a lawsuit. Understanding how spinal cord injuries work and how this can affect your life can make it easier to recover as much as possible from an accident. In some cases, the maximum medical improvement may not include full recovery from the injuries. In these circumstances, an injured party may be eligible to pursue a legal claim against the responsible party, if the accident was caused by negligence.

Understanding Spinal Cord Anatomy

The spinal cord is a column of nerves that have 31 separate vertebrae inside. Four unique regions are used to break down the spinal cord and depending on where your injury was diagnosed, can influence your ability to recover and impact your day to day life.

The cervical spinal cord is the topmost portion that relates to a vertebra. The thoracic spinal cord is the middle of this important section of your back including twelve vertebrae. The lumbar spinal cord is where the spinal cord begins to bend including five lumbar vertebrae. The sacral spine is the triangle shaped lower section of the spine that has five vertebrae. Finally, the coccygeal region may also be referred to as tailbone and is only one vertebra.

The Two Primary Types of Spinal Cord Injuries

Every spinal cord injury falls into one of two categories, complete or incomplete. Complete injuries happen once the spinal cord is severed in full. Some physical therapy and treatment may make it possible for a victim to recover some function, but usually, the function is eliminated entirely. In an incomplete injury, the spinal cord experiences a partial severing. The degree of the person’s function following an incomplete spinal cord injury depends on the extent of the injuries. Several of the most frequent types of partial or incomplete spinal cord injuries include:

  • Central cord syndrome: which is damage to the center of the cord leading to partial impairment, paralysis of the arms, paralysis of the legs and loss of fine motor skills.
  • Interior cord syndrome: This occurs to the front of the spinal cord and damages the sensory pathways and the motor pathways in the spinal cord. It may be difficult for a person who has been diagnosed with this injury to move regularly.
  • Brown-Sequard syndrome: This injury has to do with damaged one column of the spinal cord and movement on that side may be difficult.

Other types of common spinal cord injury include:

  • Triplegia: which means loss of movement and sensation in one arm or in both legs usually the result of an incomplete spinal cord injury.
  • Paraplegia: which happens when the movement and sensation are eliminated from the lower half of the body such as the legs. These injuries are typically more pronounced when they are located more closely to the top vertebra.
  • Tetraplegia: This is the most severe type of damage to the cervical spinal cord, which eliminates the ability to move below the site of the injury, causing problems with respiration, bowel, and bladder control.

Identifying the Symptoms of a Spinal Cord Injury

Identifying when someone has suffered a spinal cord injury can help to get the appropriate care for that person and increase their chances of maximum recovery. Some of the most common spinal cord injuries symptoms include:

  • Loss of fertility
  • Changes in personality or mood
  • Headaches
  • Chronic pain
  • Bed Sores
  • Difficulty with bowel and bladder function
  • Frequent infection
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Degrees of paralysis
  • Chronic muscle pain
  • Nerve pain

All of these situations are serious and require the assistance of an experienced medical professional.

If you’re not yet sure whether or not you have suffered a spinal cord injury, take care not to be moved. If you arrive on the scene of a car accident or something similar, the same guidelines apply. Trying to move someone who may have sustained a spinal cord injury can make the situation much worse and more dangerous.

Getting medical help is extremely important in these situations as it can help to minimize the chances that a dangerous situation becomes life-threatening. Moving a person who has a spinal cord injury could lead to devastating consequences including paralysis.

Anyone who feels unable to move or is reporting severe back pain should be taken seriously. Not following up with a medical professional or going to the hospital could exacerbate the situation and make things much harder for the victim in recovery.

After being diagnosed with a spinal cord injury, the patient should receive a customized treatment plan from a doctor. This can include years of physical therapy and exercises, but in some cases, the person may never experience feeling in their affected limbs again. While modern medicine is always improving with regard to the research surrounding spinal cord injuries and the treatments available, a person who has been seriously affected will have to adjust to many new aspects of their life in this difficult time.

My sister was born with a Tethered Spinal Cord that went undiagnosed for the first ten years of her life. I remember going in and out of hospitals with her, watching her writhe in pain as she had multiple doctors tell her and our parents that she was just experiencing “growing pains.” It wasn’t until she was close to paralysis from her waist down, at 11 years old, that our family was finally given the truth about her condition. Today, my sister’s fine, and she takes more Instagram photos than most 28-year old women, but her severe condition going unnoticed for over a decade was a case of medical malpractice.

While she’s seen a chiropractor and has begun to finally feel relief, she’s spent her entire life suffering from incontinence, along with excruciating pain in her lower back and her legs – pain, mind you, that feels like she’s finished first place in a 25-mile long marathon. She’s in constant pain from sitting down, standing, walking, and sometimes doing nothing at all. So often, it’s hard to think that any sort of medical malpractice case or spinal cord injury will affect you personally, but when it does, it makes you want to share your story and help someone else along the way.

Be sure to check this article out on Medium, too.

Is It Ever a Good Idea to Hire a Friend?

Small Business HireThe time has finally come. You have put in the legwork, the late nights, the money, the research and your small business is finally taking off. What started out as a laptop and desk in your spare room became something that requires office space and maybe even a warehouse for products to be sold and stored. Furthermore, you now need help. You are expanding, meeting consumer orders, packaging and shipping, and handling finances, but it has taken its toll. The next step in taking your business further and continuing to grow is hiring employees.

Instead of trying to handle everything yourself, you need to divvy up the tasks and have more hands on deck to make sure your consumers are getting what they need. You might actually be looking to act more as a supervisor and take a step back and let someone else manage your business day-to-day.

So where exactly do you start when it comes to putting your small business in another’s hands?

You most certainly want someone you can trust and someone you believe to be loyal to your business’s ideas and vision. Also, you definitely want someone you can relate to and have chemistry with to make the work you will have to do together feel a little less like work.

It is not easy to find those traits and characteristics in someone off the street, making the choice to hire a friend at the forefront of your mind. But as a small business owner, is it really a good idea to hire a friend?

It is a question that has been around for centuries and debated just as long. To this day there is no definitive or correct answer — it will most likely turn out good or bad based on your relationship. As a small business owner, it is necessary to look at the pros and cons of hiring a friend before jumping into it, as there are a handful of things to take into consideration.

An article from Business Know-How highlights a few major considerations, especially when a friend approaches you looking for work. While it may be a friend looking for a job and source of income, you still need to treat them like any other hire. You will want to consider their skill set in relation to the job, their work ethic, prior experience and any potential long-term effect it can have on your relationship.

That is the easy part. If you do not feel your friend can meet the demands of the position or even your own expectations then the simple answer is: do not hire them. If they do qualify, however, then you need to further analyze the pros and cons.

A few pros were already mentioned earlier and to reiterate: hiring a friend most likely means you already have a developed trust and agree for the most part on important work-related ideas and visions. You also already have a friendly relationship that can make working together easier and enjoyable. Furthermore, you know their reliability and if they will be able to do what needs to be done in the time required. This means you can always look to them when things get tough or you need something important to be done.

As it turns out, all of those pros can quickly turn into cons. For instance, while working with a friend can be enjoyable and relaxed, it can also lead to “goofing off.” It might end up taking longer to get a project done because of time wasted just enjoying each other’s company. Along the same lines, if you have hired a friend for your small business and they are not living up to your expectation, it will be difficult to reprimand them. On one hand, you do not want to hurt their feelings or damage your personal relationship, but on the other, you need to be the boss and get them to do their job as it needs to be done.

Other potential issues that will most likely arise can stem from money. You might feel a pressure to pay your friend more than another employee simply because they are your friend. Your friend might feel entitled to higher pay or find it easier to request pay raises for the same reason.

This can also lead to more disdain from other employees you might have. They might feel you are favoring your friend over them (even if you are not) just because of your relationship outside of work. It will also make it difficult to promote your friend over another employee or vice versa because the other employee might feel the promotion went to your friend out of favoritism. If your friend did not get the promotion they might believe it to be personal, damaging your relationship.

Another good point, brought up in an article from Business Knowledge Source, is that hiring a friend at work could mean outside, personal disputes carry into work. It can also work the other way where a work-related disagreement or issue spills over into your personal lives.

Lastly, the biggest con comes if you get pushed to the point where you have to fire your friend. Many people do not like to think about that situation when hiring a friend, but in reality, it is something that may end up a possibility. Before hiring a friend you have to know you are capable of firing them if necessary. You also need to be prepared for any repercussions from a friend you have fired. They might take it personally or feel they were wrongfully terminated for reasons beyond the workplace. Again, this just becomes another strain on your original relationship and is most likely something you do not want to have to deal with.

When it comes down to it, your main goal is to keep your business thriving and growing. Your business’s success is and should be the only priority. If that means hiring a friend will help you reach that desired success, then hire a friend. But if you feel hiring a friend will put your business’s livelihood at stake and you do not want to damage your already existent relationship, then it might not be the best move to make.

Always weigh the pros and cons and make the decision that is best for your business.

Check out this article on Medium, too!