(As a side note - if you visit the patio bar at the Westin Kierland in Scottsdale, a bagpiper performs at sunset. Delightful. And I had to picture a piper in my family tartan/MacLeod. I just couldn't stop myself!). We recently went with friends. The food was great too!
March 8th/Sunday - this is the day (12:01 a.m.) when most of the country
springs forward an hour (except Arizona and Hawaii) so be aware when calling your friends and family about the change in time.
See below* about the MAINE LOBSTER LADY's food truck (unbelievable!) who will be at the Scottsdale Art Festival March 13-15. Check it out: http://www.mainelobsterlady.com
March 17th - the luck of the Irish to you - Happy St. Patrick's Day
March 30th – National Doctor’s Day – say thank you to the doctor (s) that keep you going.
*Maine Lobster Lady
Last month when our friends were in town from Heber-Overgaard, we took our own advice (we’d listed it on the THINGS TO DO list in our February newsletter) and went to the Street Food Truck Festival. None of us had done that before so it was fun wandering around and tasting this ‘n that. When we realized the MAINE LOBSTER LADY was there, we ran at top speed to get in line. OK - I ran like the wind - they graciously followed.
We love lobster any way you can prepare it; nothing we’ve run across has come close to her lobster. I’m never short of words, as everyone knows, but describing the "Butter Lobster Roll" properly is beyond my pay-grade. You can get all the details from her website (listed above).
...and Sandy…she’ll be at Gainey Ranch on March 4th and the Scottsdale Art Festival March 13-15! Oh, they say a picture is worth a thousand words.....we've never seen such huge chunks of fresh lobster before. ________________________________________________________________________.
CORONAVIRUS... and its impact in the USA
Other than the normal election-year political race with commercials, debates and so forth as a distraction, our country is at the lowest joblessness rate in years, the highest stock market with good interest rates on home loans. Housing in many of areas is in short supply so a well-priced and maintained home should sell quickly. Building and growth is booming as evidenced all around us. But all of that can change overnight - temporarily.
The only "hitch" to our booming economy is this horrific Coronavirus situation. With travel to/from China slowed down and many Chinese factories closed, the economy world-wide is taking a hit. From toys to electronics to wedding /prom gowns to cars, shortages will be felt at the retail level everywhere. That hits jobs, retail sales and our economy.
Tourism is a major source of revenue world-wide. Many tourists, are not traveling and/or are canceling their plans due to the Coronavirus. A commentator on the news this morning indicated that travelers should not cancel prematurely due to the hefty cancellation fees. They indicated that airlines, tour and cruise line companies, will automatically cancel if danger is perceived. Wait until the last possible minute. At least for the short-term. This too will dramatically hit the economy.
Everyone in the world is worried about the spread of the disease, which is only natural. It is an issue that world leaders are working hard to identify and cure. Who knows how long this will go on or what will happen but the advice we were given is DON’T PANIC – do your due diligence to make wise decisions on everything.
The next census (2020) is right around the corner, and it will serve as a guiding tool as we plan for the next decade. You can expect to hear from the US CENSUS beginning this month. When you respond to the census, your answers are kept anonymous. They are used only to produce statistics. The U.S. Census Bureau is bound by law to protect your answers and keep them strictly confidential. The law ensures that your private information is never published and that your answers cannot be used against you by any government agency or court.
Nearly $3,000 per person, per year, can be tied to the census count; that’s more than $20.5 billion annually. Those are funds needed to build things like our transit systems, community centers and housing. In addition, funds are used to provide medical support, our foster system, and so much more. For more information, go to: https://2020census.gov/en/what-is-2020-census.html
March - the month to start Spring Cleaning
The first spring cleaning of the year is a golden opportunity to refresh, renew, and rejuvenate our homes...and it feels so good when you check off each job completed. Don't know where to start? Take note of these handy hints to help tackle your big 2020 spruce-up.
Create a plan of action for each room/area in your house. Start by getting rid of things you don't need or want. From there, hone in on specific jobs. It'll be incredibly satisfying as you check off each job! Don't look at it as an overall task; break it down into small increments. Otherwise, it'll be too overwhelming.
In your kitchen, pay extra attention to overlooked areas, like the microwave, oven, sink, fridge, pots and pans, and that often-forgotten junk drawer. Empty and clean cabinets one-by-one. Check your canned goods (and refrigerator items) to see if they're still within the suggested date. If you like to keep things eco-friendly, citrus can go a long way: rub a slice of lemon on your cutting boards to help get rid of tough stains.
In the bathroom, delegate your time between machine-washing shower curtains (just be sure to use the gentle cycle), decluttering and getting rid of make-up, ointments, and medicines, freshening shower drains and grouting. Apply a paste made of baking soda and water to grout and scrub with an old toothbrush. Afterwards, spray the grout with white vinegar and water, and let the mixture bubble for 30 minutes before rinsing.
Don't forget to refresh your bedding. Pillows should be replaced every one or two years (depending on their quality), while comforters need a deep clean at least twice a year. Some pillows can be freshened in the dryer. Blankets that are washable should be washed periodically. Same with bedspreads.
When you finish your spring clean, remember to clean your tools and stock up on cleaning supplies so your next cleaning job is efficient and easy. Vacuums, brooms, dryers, and dishwashers deserve your attention too!
When Buying a Home, what is the EMD? (Earnest Money Deposit)
Now that you have found a house that you want to call home, it's time to sit down to write an offer that will get a positive response from the seller. The stronger your offer, the better your chances are for it to be accepted by the Seller. Currently we have a shortage of homes in certain price ranges so if you want that home; make the best offer you can.
One of the first items that we will discuss with you will be the earnest money deposit (EMD) that should accompany the purchase offer upon presentation to the seller. This is the money that shows your good faith and demonstrates that you are serious about going through with the sale. Usually the earnest money deposit is offered in the form of a cashier's or personal check. Or it may be electronically transferred into a designated escrow account upon acceptance of the offer.
Approximately 1-2% of the purchase price is the customary amount of the EMD. It is deposited by the Buyer into escrow immediately upon acceptance of the contract. A contract is binding on both sides. There are three reasons the buyer can get the EMD back and cancel. 1) The inspection shows repairs that the buyer thinks should be covered so can refuse to the property if the seller won't do them. Of course, this is only for items that affect the safety of the home; not cosmetic items. 2) The property does not appraise at value (sales price or more) and a compromise cannot be reached and 3) if it turns out the buyer can't qualify for the loan. This is rare because the buyer has to enter the contract pre-qualified.
Aging with Purpose
No matter your age, there are certain facts that can lead to a happier, healthier life. Be PROACTIVE on taking care of business. It's just wise.
We’ve all read articles about staying healthy and happy – one of the primary indicators for both is maintaining an active life where you interact with others regularly not only socially but in ways that stimulate your brain…reading, playing games with friends/family, volunteering, working and regular exercise. Exercise can be anything from walking daily, doing at-home exercise or going to a gym. All of these activities help to keep us active longer.
Be sure all of your utilities are in both names if you’re married. If something happens to one of you, it’s much easier on the surviving spouse to change the service. Go check – right now please.
If your vehicles are in one spouse’s name, change it so that both spouses are on the title – we do ours as "or" (example Jane L Doe and/or John H. Doe.) Again, if something happens to one spouse, the remaining one can handle the sale of any vehicle (this includes toys like ATV’s, motorcyles, boats, RV’s) without issue.
Be sure your family knows your wishes if something were to happen to you – provide a signed document regarding a DNR (do not resuscitate), and your end-of-life wishes if you were to pass on. This has happened in so many cases where a young person passes and nobody has the information to make the decision you’d want.
If you’re married, do you both know your financial status (your assets/investments, how to manage them – are bills on auto-pay – are your property taxes paid automatically?) We’ve seen a number of cases where property taxes were forgotten. Unpaid HOA fees and property taxes can lead to foreclosure. Both parties should have a full understanding of the finances.
Make a list of people who should be contacted in case of an emergency. Your family may not have any idea.
If you’re unmarried but have a roommate, make sure everything is in writing and/or the roommate knows how to get in touch with your family in an emergency. If you go your separate ways, who keeps what? Keep your finances totally separate – just in case things go sideways one day. Nobody knows what changes life will bring.
Next month, we'll talk about downsizing for Seniors and the plethora of services to help you. We get it - it can be overwhelming to think about sorting, packing and moving. We've got a resource for you.
Which woman founded modern nursing and was nicknamed "Lady with the Lamp"?
Cinnamon-Raisin Bread Pudding
I cut this recipe out of a newspaper in 2003 but it wasn’t until last year that I made it. I modified it a little. And so can you – add whatever you want (chocolate chips, grated orange peel???)
It is so quick and easy to make… and a real crowd pleaser. Even Al, who says he doesn’t like bread pudding, loves it.
You'll need a 9" x 13" baking dish.
1 16-ounce loaf of cinnamon-raisin bread; cut into 1" pieces
1+ cup raisins
6 cups milk (I use 3 cups whipping cream and 3 cups 2% milk)
2 3-oz, boxes of vanilla pudding mix (cook-and-serve: NOT INSTANT)
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F.
Toss the bread, raisins and 2 cups of the milk mixture into an ungreased baking dish until all of the bread pieces are moist. SET ASIDE FOR 10 MINUTES.
In a bowl, combine pudding mix, vanilla, ginger and cinnamon in remaining milk mixture; whip until smooth; then pour evenly over the bread.
Bake 1 hour or until the top is browned and the center is set (soft is OK).
Cool on a rack.
Serve warm or chilled. I ALWAYS SERVE WARM WITH A BIG BLOB OF WHIPPED CREAM. Some people prefer it chilled with ice cream.
Fresh Whipped Cream
Whipped Cream – We’ve all used the Redi-Whip type but freshly whipped is so good and takes seconds. We usually keep a carton of whipping cream in the fridge…just in case. I rarely make dessert for the two of us, but occasionally we’ll have company. Here’s a very quick version of WHIPPED CREAM:
To ONE CUP WHIPPING CREAM…add
2 TBS Powdered Sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
If you chill your glass bowl and whipping cream for about ten minutes, it whips up in a matter of minutes. It keeps for a day or two. If I’m preparing for 6-8 or more), I’ll make 2 cups. DELICIOUS!
This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter. This newsletter is not intended to solicit properties currently for sale.