Life I am the new year

Life I am the new year ~ Happy New Year!!!
I thought this poem was absolutely beautiful & I wanted to share it with all of you.
Please have an absolutely fantastic New Years Eve full of cheer & joy BUT in the end, please make the right choice and drive sober and safely. I want to hear all of your dreams come true over the next year and making the wrong choice behind the wheel tonight can take that all away from you!
God Bless each and everyone of you for playing part in the 2008 chapter of my life.
Love and Blessings,
Life I am the new year.
I am an unspoiled page in your book of time.
I am your next chance at the art of living.
I am your opportunity to practice what you have learned about life during the last twelve months.
All that you sought and didn't find is hidden in me,
waiting for you to search it out with more determination.
All the good that you tried for and didn't achieve
is mine to grant when you have fewer conflicting desires.
All that you dreamed but didn't dare to do, all that you hoped but did not will,
all the faith that you claimed but did not have --
these slumber lightly, waiting to be awakened
by the touch of a strong purpose.
I am your opportunity
to renew your allegiance to Him who said, "behold, I make all things new."
I am the new year.
-- Author Unknown


Send your own ElfYourself eCards


From Our Family to Yours - Merry Christmas

Douglas and I wish you all a blessed Christmas!
Love and God Bless, ~ Jen and Doug

Doug with Our baby girl (our niece) Abigail-


** a few of you have been asking "Where is Jen" - I am undergoing some intense (long-overdue)treatment for my mouth/jaw and will be undergoing some surgeries as well. After 4 years of pain, Douglas and I have been blessed to find an incredible doctor. This medical team is out of state. This has been a long journey that proved itself painful on Monday. Although this is painful, We feel incredibly blessed that this is FINALLY getting accomplished! *******GOD IS GOOD********
I will post details next week.....



When I say Buffalo - You think snow, Right? We get such a bad rap about the amount of snow we receive BUT it looks as though times are changing! This was crazy to see and hear. I was also excited to receive below photos!

By Sun Staff
A rare snowstorm blanketed the Las Vegas Valley on Wednesday, delaying flights, causing widespread fender-benders and canceling events. More than 6 inches of snow had fallen in parts of the valley, forecasters said.

The rarities continued Wednesday night with the Clark County School District's announcement that students are getting a snow day on Thursday. It's the first snow day for Clark County students since 1979, when a storm dropped 9.9 inches of snow in January that year.

With ice and snow on the roads, and district buses responsible for transporting more than 80,000 students, closing school was the prudent move, Superintendent Walt Rulffes said.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning in effect through 6 a.m. Thursday. The weather service said its Las Vegas office had reported 3.6 inches of snow by 9:50 p.m.

"The foothills should see amounts of 5 to 10 inches overnight and the higher mountains between 1 and 2 feet of total snowfall," the weather service's warning said. An advisory from the weather service Wednesday afternoon called the snow event "extremely rare."

photo from the Las Vegas Review Journal website

Passengers, planes frozen at McCarran Airport
Updated: Dec 17, 2008 04:23 PM
(From the FOX5 News Website)

Thursday's winter storm has frozen flights at McCarran Airport.
While the airport is not shut down, flights on the ground are delayed and planes coming in will only land at the pilot's discretion.
Flights around the country that have not taken off will stay on the ground until visibility improves.
There is snow on the runway at McCarran and the National Weather Service has issued a Weather Warning, blaming reduced visibility for possible delays in departures and arrivals.
The warning will last until 4 a.m. Thursday, December 18, with moderate to heavy snow of up to 3 inches at the airport.

7,000 Customers Without Power
POSTED: 7:02 pm PST December 17, 2008
UPDATED: 9:20 pm PST December 17, 2008

(From the FOX5 News Website)
NV Energy Has No Estimate On When Outages Will Be Fixed
LAS VEGAS -- NV Energy announced power outages affecting about 7,000 customers in various areas across the Valley.
Some of the customers are located in the area of Rancho and Owens Avenue, Rancho and Valley View Boulevard and East Desert Inn and South Mojave roads.

National Weather Service records show that snowfall that sticks on the ground and piles up occurs about once every 20 years.
By Mary Manning Wed, Dec 17, 2008 (4:20 p.m.)

Most people envision sun and palm trees swaying in a gentle breeze when they dream about their Las Vegas vacations, but those arriving in Las Vegas between October and mid-April may be surprised to find snowflakes falling.
According to National Weather Service records, the most snowfall recorded in the Las Vegas Valley was 16.7 inches in January 1949, followed by January 1974 with 13.4 inches and January 1979 with 9.9 inches.
Measurable snow officially fell in Las Vegas on Dec. 30, 2003, with 1.3 inches on the ground, the weather service said.


Traffic accidents numerous
By Sun Staff
Published Wed, Dec 17, 2008 (6:52 a.m.)
Streets around the valley were becoming slick and slushy through the evening.
The Nevada Highway Patrol and Metro Police said there had been numerous fender-benders on wet roads, but no serious injuries through Wednesday evening.
As snow continued to pile up, so did the number of car crashes. Metro Police have been working several accidents since the snow began to fall.
One included a pickup truck that had rolled over about 7:15 p.m. in the southbound lane in the 2300 block of Green Valley Parkway outside of the Wild Horse Estate Apartments. The pickup truck knocked down two small trees before it came to a stop in front of the street light. The vehicle rolled once and was on its side, perpendicular to the traffic, blocking the lanes.
At 7:55 p.m., Metro officers were working 26 accidents with four injuries, a hit-and-run, nine other traffic accidents and 11 traffic problems, which range from a stalled car to traffic light outages. The number of traffic incidents decreased into the night as fewer cars were on the roads.
Metro updates its traffic site every 15 minutes with accidents and traffic problems officers are currently working. Officer Jay Rivera said the most common accident officers are seeing involve cars colliding into other vehicles from behind, mostly at traffic lights.
There had been no fatalities through Wednesday evening, he said.
“People are use to following at a certain distance in dry conditions and are following at that same distance in these wet conditions and then rear-ending other cars," Rivera said.
"People aren't used to the snow," Officer Barbara Morgan said. "You need to drive the way conditions dictate."
Metro Police reported 18 wrecks between 2:15 and 3:25 p.m., including two hit-and-runs.
"People are driving silly," Morgan said. "They need to just slow down."
The Nevada Highway Patrol reported two crashes in the Henderson area during the same time frame — one at U.S. 95 and Wagon Wheel Drive and another at U.S. 95 and Horizon Drive. Additionally, U.S. 95 to Searchlight was closed beginning at Railroad Pass.
Motorists traveling to California and outside the Las Vegas Valley were finding major delays on Interstate 15 and other highways.
The Nevada Department of Transportation reported the highway was closed in both direction between Primm and Baker, Calif., because of snowy weather. Officials also said U.S. 95 was closed from the California line to U.S. 93 because of a traffic accident, and State Road 163, State Road 164 and State Road 165 were closed.
NDOT will be deicing bridges and ramps on U.S. 95 and I-15 during the night.
Blue Diamond Highway (SR 160) was closed and motorists were advised to detour using U.S. 95 north to SR 160 south to access Pahrump. Chains, snow tires, or four-wheel drive vehicle restrictions are in place for Mountain Springs and Mount Charleston.
North Las Vegas officials were urging motorists to stay off the streets.
“Motorists should slow down and be aware of their surroundings to avoid slamming on the breaks or jerking the steering wheel on frozen roads,” public works director Qiong Liu said. “These actions could cause a vehicle to veer or slide out of control, posing a risk to the driver and other vehicles on the road.”
The Nevada Highway Patrol was preparing to close Interstate 515 southbound at Railroad Pass, blocking traffic into Boulder City for all but Boulder City residents, Police Chief Thomas Finn said. In addition, traffic along U.S. 93 from Hoover Dam into Boulder City was to be diverted, Finn said.
Traffic will be routed onto Lake Shore Road and through Henderson to get to the Las Vegas area, National Park Service spokesman Andrew Munoz said. Finn said Boulder City residents would be allowed through.
The Regional Transportation Commission has closed a portion of its 402 Route from Nevada State College to Boulder City, and officials cautioned that other bus routes that serve higher elevations may be detoured or delayed as well.



Left-lane slowpokes drive you crazy?

Left-lane slowpokes drive you crazy?

The words 'move over' -- even if readable in the rearview mirror -- may not mean much to them, but a ticket might. Some states are cracking down. By Christopher Solomon

In these days of longer commutes and simmering tempers, nothing seems to set off already-testy motorists like the left-lane camper -- the guy or gal who drives in the passing lane and bars faster drivers from easily passing. Web sites have cropped up to educate other drivers, or to vent. There's a (somewhat painful) YouTube song called "Keep Right."

Even bigwigs get frustrated. Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell, weary of having his limo slowed down by such left-lane pokies, ordered an aide to have the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission install signs a few years ago reading "Keep Right, Pass Left. It's the Law."

And now some states are cracking down on left-lane campers, both to keep traffic moving and to tamp down the road rage that goes from zero-to-60 faster than ever before.

That's not just a pretext. Last year, a driver was arrested on Interstate 79 outside Pittsburgh after allegedly brandishing a semiautomatic pistol at a driver who was on his tail.

You could get a ticket

Some states didn't allow left-lane lingering but didn't enforce the law. Now they are.

At the start of the summer, the Washington State Patrol began pulling people over for violating the state's left-lane law, which prohibits "impeding the flow of other traffic."

"This a real big hot-button topic for the public at large right now," says Trooper Cliff Pratt. "We've had a lot of complaints" from drivers who've had to deal with left-lane campers.

So far authorities have been gentle with the $124 ticket; the drivers stopped were given verbal warnings.

Last year, news outlets reported that Oklahoma was bolstering enforcement of its left-lane law as well. "We deal with it weekly," Lt. George Brown, supervisor of public affairs for the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, said of left-lane drivers going too slowly. He's issued more warnings than tickets.

Insurers haven't gotten aggressive yet, either, but this kind of ticket has the potential to raise rates.

"Any moving violation that applies points to a driver's record could affect that driver's car insurance rates," says Susan Gallik Rouser, a spokeswoman for Progressive. "And because left-lane driving would be considered as such an infraction, we would take that into account when renewing a driver's policy."

What's the law in your state?

The laws vary widely, according to John Carr, who works for a software company in the Boston area and who compiled a list of the rules in each state after taking an interest in the issue:
  • A few states -- for instance, Kentucky, Maine Massachusetts and New Jersey -- permit use of the left lane only for passing or turning left.
  • Georgia, Colorado and Louisiana follow the Uniform Vehicle Code, requiring drivers to keep right if they're going slower than the speed of traffic.
  • Wyoming prohibits blocking the far left lane of a highway "for a prolonged period," though it adds that the traffic should be "at a lawful rate of speed."
  • In Arkansas and South Dakota, vehicles don't have to stay right.
  • In Alaska, Maryland, North Carolina and Ohio, vehicles can drive in the left lane so long as they're moving at the speed limit.
  • Florida is trying to join in: Lawmakers reintroduced a Road Rage Reduction Act this year, requiring motorists to stay out of the left lane on interstate highways except when passing. It passed the Legislature in 2005 but was vetoed by then-Gov. Jeb Bush, who questioned whether it was based on sound research.

It's no wonder drivers can be confused, and often frustrated.

MSN Money driving-skills quiz

Driving skills © Pixland Image/Jupiterimages


Remember what you learned in driver's education? See how well you score on 20 questions taken from real licensing tests across the country.

'One of my biggest pet peeves'

One of those exasperated drivers in your rearview mirror might be Eli Dozier.

"That's one of my biggest pet peeves in the world, is when people stay in the left lane. They're not passing, they've got people behind them, trying to go around, and they just cruise," says Dozier, 31 and a stay-at-home dad.

"It's probably the most uncourteous thing you can do," he says, adding that it's "obviously" unsafe.

"I'm a fast driver," Dozier allows. "But if I'm not passing, I don't use that left lane at all."

So what's a frustrated motorist to do?

GPS navigation system © Corbis
Progressive is giving motorists a chance to save up to 60% on their car insurance. The catch? They want to monitor your car's every move.

Dozier heard in a chat room about some windshield decals that said "Slower Traffic," with an arrow pointing to the right-hand lane, printed backward in large letters for reading in a rearview mirror. "And so I immediately ordered one. I jumped on it."

He loves the thing. "Most people, it's just inattentiveness" that keeps them in the passing lane, Dozier says. "Most people, when you pass them, they'll give you a wave. They're thankful" for the reminder.

At least, he says, women tend to be. Men sometimes take Dozier's sticker as an affront and will retaliate by slowing down, he says. There have been some middle fingers, some choice words. And then, Dozier says, "I have been known to show them how good the back of my car looks." At very close range. Which only exacerbates the situation.

Overall, though, both he and his wife are delighted with the results, he says. They recently bought her a Dodge Ram 1500 with a quad cab, and they've ordered a decal like his for it.

Pennsylvania authorities also find that reminders do work. "Anecdotally," says Carl DeFebo of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Authority, "you do see a lot less people . . . enjoying the weather" in the passing lane since 25 signs went up on the turnpike in 2003 and 2004. It probably helps that "sometimes our police will actually enforce this," DeFebo adds, handing out warnings or tickets that add up to $108.

Courtesy counts

The creator of those stickers, J.A. Tosti, is also director and founder of Left Lane Drivers of America. "What we're seeking to do is raise awareness," he explains.

A frustrating experience was a "Eureka!" moment for Tosti. "One day I was driving one of the local freeways in the area here -- we're not far from Portland (Ore.) -- and I got behind a guy who was going slow in the left lane," says Tosti. "And I got to thinking, boy, it sure would be nice if I could reach out and tap this guy on the shoulder and ask him to move over. And that's when the light bulb went off."

Tosti went home and designed a see-through decal for windshields that says "REVO EVOM." Seen in a rearview mirror, it reads "MOVE OVER."

Save money on car insurance © Frank Whitney/Brand X/Corbis
"It's been a labor of love," says Tosti, who didn't disclose how many $29 stickers he's sold. He would like to sell more to law-enforcement agencies.

Tosti said aggression only aggravates other drivers. For him, response to the decal on his car has always been positive and pleasant -- in large part because he is a patient, nontailgating driver.

"It's amazing how effective it is," he says. "On one trip from Portland to Seattle, I felt at times like I was sweeping the left lane with a broom."

A faster, more courteous -- and well-swept -- highway? Sounds like something most folks could live with.

Defending the driving

But not everyone agrees with those who tell them to get out of the way.

"The left lane is for passing . . . not a license to speed till you kill someone," wrote a contributor to Motor Trend's blog. "Grow up. If I'm in the left lane doing 65 while the speed limit's 80, I'll move over. But if I'm doing the speed limit, and someone decides he's Mario Andretti . . . he/she can go around me and break the law further up the highway."

Washington state law says, "It is a traffic infraction to drive continuously in the left lane of a multilane roadway when it impedes the flow of other traffic."

"I think there is some misunderstanding," Pratt says. "A lot of people think that if they're going at or near the speed limit that they don't have to get out of the lane."

And the left-lane driving debate goes on.

Published Dec. 8, 2008


How Dangerous Is Your State For Drunken Driving?

How Dangerous Is Your State For Drunken Driving?
(Find your state in the list below)

If you want to avoid liquored-up drivers this holiday season, steer clear of Montana.

In 2007, the state reported 106 fatalities in crashes involving at least one driver who was legally drunk. That comes out to 11.1 drunken driving-related deaths that year for every 100,000 people living in the 957, 861-person state. What's more, that number is up slightly; in 2006, Montana reported 10.9 drunken driving-related fatalities per capita.

One reason: With less than a million citizens stretched across 146,000 square miles, Montana faces distinctly rural challenges.

"Eighty percent of travel in Montana is on rural roads," says Jim Lynch, director of Montana's Department of Transportation, head of its Highway Traffic Safety Office, and the governors' representative for highway safety, "So most crashes involve speeds in excess of 55 miles per hour. A more urban state like Massachusetts has less than 6% of its drivers on rural roads--the majority of its traffic is in urban environments at slow speeds. We also have much longer emergency response times because of the distance; the average response time in Massachusetts is about 20 minutes, while in Montana it's an hour and 20 minutes. So an accident in Montana is far more likely to be life-threatening."

2007 Fatalities per One Hundred Thousand People
1. Montana 11.07 (estimated population: 957,861)
2. South Carolina 10.50 (estimated population: 4,407,709)
3. Mississippi 10.35 (estimated population: 2,918,785)
4. Wyoming 9.37 (estimated population: 522,830)
5. Louisiana 8.57 (estimated population: 4,293,204)
6. Alabama 8.41 (estimated population: 4,627,851)
7. North Dakota 8.28 (estimated population: 639,715)
8. West Virginia 7.84 (estimated population: 1,812,035)
9. New Mexico 6.75 (estimated population: 1,969,915)
10. Arkansas 6.42 (estimated population: 2,834,797)
11. Tennessee 6.33 (estimated population: 6,156,719)
12. Oklahoma 6.05 (estimated population: 3,617,316)
13. Delaware 5.78 (estimated population: 864,764)
14. Missouri 5.75 (estimated population: 5,878,415)
15. South Dakota 5.65 (estimated population: 796,214)
16. Wisconsin 5.59 (estimated population: 5,601,640)
17. Texas 5.40 (estimated population: 23,904,380)
18. North Carolina 5.37 (estimated population: 9,061,032)
19. Arizona 5.30 (estimated population: 6,338,755)
20. Maine 5.01 (estimated population: 1,317,207)
21. Kentucky 4.95 (estimated population: 4,241,474)
22. Florida 4.88 (estimated population: 18,251,243)
23. Idaho 4.67 (estimated population: 1,499,402)
24. Georgia 4.62 (estimated population: 9,544,750)
25. Nevada 4.60 (estimated population: 2,565,382)
26. Alaska 4.39 (estimated population: 683,478)
26. Alaska 4.39 (estimated population: 683,478)
27. Nebraska 4.34 (estimated population: 1,774,571)
28. Virginia 4.30 (estimated population: 7,712,091)
29. Kansas 4.11 (estimated population: 2,775,997)
30. Pennsylvania 4.02 (estimated population: 12,432,792)
31. Oregon 4.00 (estimated population: 3,747,455)
32. Indiana 3.62 (estimated population: 6,345,289)
33. Iowa 3.55 (estimated population: 2,988,046)
34. Vermont 3.54 (estimated population: 621,254)
35. Hawaii 3.51 (estimated population: 1,283,388)
37. Ohio 3.41 (estimated population: 11,466,917
38. Illinois 3.38 (estimated population: 12,852,548)
39. Maryland 3.19 (estimated population: 5,618,344)
40. California 3.16 (estimated population: 36,553,215)
41. Minnesota 3.04 (estimated population: 5,197,621)
42. Michigan 3.03 (estimated population: 10,071,822)
43. Washington 3.01 (estimated population: 6,468,424)
44. Connecticut 2.88 (estimated population: 3,502,309)
45. New Hampshire 2.58 (estimated population: 1,315,828)
46. Rhode Island 2.36 (estimated population: 1,057,832)
47. New Jersey 2.29 (estimated population: 8,685,920)
48. Massachusetts 2.26 (estimated population: 6,449,755)
49. New York 1.99 (estimated population: 19,297,729)
50. Utah 1.93 (estimated population: 2,645,330)

To determine which states had the highest drunken driving death tolls, Forbes looked at the number of drunken driving-related fatalities in each state according to a compilation of motor-vehicle crash data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System and the General Estimates System. Released in August by the National Center for Statistics and Analysis, an office of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the numbers reflect fatalities in 2007.

They then multiplied by 100,000 and divided the result by the Census population estimates for 2007. This determined the states with the most accident-related fatalities per capita where at least one driver had a blood-alcohol content of .08 or more.

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