How sweet it is!

Today is National Doughnut Day, celebrated on the first Friday in June of each year. Lest you think it’s just an opportunity to get a free “ring-shaped sweet snack made of fried dough, usually rolled in sugar or glazed with icing and filled with jam, custard, or cream,” here’s the real story.

Over the years, much of the meaning of this holiday has been lost to history. The tradition started with a young military doctor who on his way to reporting to the military base decided to pick up some doughnuts. Throughout the day, while helping wounded soldiers, he passed out those doughnuts. The practice caught on and was used during World War I at the canteens where the military would attend to the soldier’s needs at the front. It was a way to cheer up soldiers risking their lives and limbs in the trenches during the war.

Doughnut Day became a way to raise awareness about the war and to raise funds for Salvation Army's activities on the battlefield. It also celebrates the men and women who served soldiers during World War I.

So, when you visit your local doughnut store today, remember, this day is about more than a “free sweet treat.”


Posted by MJ Thomas

A time to remember…

On Monday, May 27, people in cities and towns across the United States will celebrate Memorial Day – the American holiday, observed on the last Monday in May – commemorating the men and women who died while in the military service of their country.

Over the years, this holiday has come to mean different things to different people. There are parades, family gatherings, barbecues and cook outs, cemetery and memorial visits, wearing of the red poppy, a three-day weekend, holiday sales and for some, the unofficial start of summer.

First and foremost, though, it is a day of remembrance for the veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. It’s a day to honor the sacrifice of those who did not return from defending our liberties in battle; those who are currently serving to preserve those liberties; remember family and friends no longer with us and cherish the ones that are; appreciate what we have and renew our hopes for the future.

In the words of John F. Kennedy, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter the words, but to live by them.”

Happy Memorial Day!

Posted by MJ Thomas

There's a storm coming

The National Weather Service is predicting a major storm for our area this weekend. Since at Sentry we’re in the business of safety, thought it would be timely to share some thoughts and tips on staying safe this winter.

First, let’s talk driving. Let me see a show of hands. Who reading this blog thinks that winter driving is the same as driving at other times of the year? There better NOT be any hands up out there. Winter driving carries with it a unique set of challenges. And yet how many how many of us have experienced the nail biter, demolition derby, knuckles clenched on the steering wheel situation because some people don’t think the rules apply to them? We’ve all been there.

Consider this – an ordinary driver reacts to road situations while a good driver anticipates them. Here’s some great advice from Car and Driver magazine on winter driving.

“Drive like you’re tiptoeing on ice, because you might be. Use small, slow motions. Ease on the brakes, drive like there’s an egg under the accelerator, and if you start to skid, steer in the direction you want to go and keep steady, light pressure on the gas. If you’re skidding sideways, the brake is not the pedal to press. It will just make things worse.”

Be prepared for delays on the highway; give yourself extra time to get to your destination. Make sure your windshield wipers work, the gas tank is at least half full, tires are properly inflated and have enough tread, and windows are clear for maximum visibility (not like the people who scrape out a small circle on the driver’s side windshield and head out onto the highway). Don’t brake at the last minute.

Have a winter weather safety kit prepared for your car – warm clothes, blanket, food, water, cell phone charger. And don’t forget your home. In many bad weather conditions, structures are damaged and electric power is lost. Make sure you are well stocked with food, water, medication, flash light and first aid kit among other items. Keep rock salt and kitty litter on hand for icy sidewalks and driveways. The rock salt helps melt the ice and the kitty litter gives temporary traction.

If you must be outdoors, dress appropriately; wear several layers of loose fitting, lightweight warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. Mittens are warmer than gloves. Don’t walk with your hands in your pockets. Why? It increases the risk of falling or completely losing your balance if you slip while walking on snow or ice. Here’s an interesting way to keep yourself upright on slippery surfaces – walk like a penguin! Spread your feet out slightly and take small steps. The waddle keeps your center of gravity over your front leg and will help you stay upright. Who knew?

Most important? Be safe.

Posted by MJ Thomas