January/February 2018 – Retirement Strategies Newsletter
If you’ve been reading our newsletter for a long time, you know that I’ve never used this space to hock restaurants. We are fortunate to have many wonderful restaurants in the Wilmington area, but I don’t fancy myself a food critic, in part, because I can only come up with so many sophisticated ways to say “Yummy!” It takes more than superior food to encourage me to write about a restaurant; it takes a level of personal bonding beyond taste and presentation. And that is exactly why this is the first time I’m writing about a restaurant.
I got the idea for this article when one of our favorite restaurants, Savorez, was named the top new restaurant in North Carolina by Buzzfeed and Yelp. And it’s ours, all ours, Wilmington! Are we lucky or what? Take that, Raleigh! Savorez is a charming little 36-seat restaurant at the corner of Chestnut and 4 th Street in Downtown Wilmington. Its flavor palate is Central American, but you need only an appreciation for a good meal and the slightest touch of adventure in your soul to be delighted with Savorez. The staff is so friendly and upbeat that it doesn’t take long to feel like family (kind of like Mel’s Diner on a gourmet level).
Their regular menu is simple and delicious (Sam and David favor the Gatos Tacos while I ask for a spoon to capture every bit of the delicious sauce in the Langousta Y Coco—lobster ceviche), but you can never go wrong with one of the specials. It is with the specials that they exercise their creativity and allow their imaginations to soar. If you see a special you like, order it! You may never see anything quite like it again. Their cocktails are just as creative and unique.
We’re there a lot and, in fact, our family celebrated New Year’s at their first (annual, I hope) New Year’s Champagne Dinner. A great time was had by all. And the food was —you got it— yummy. And, of course, champagne!
The owner and chef of Savorez is Sam Cahoon (his father, coincidentally, is Larry Cahoon, a marine biology professor at UNCW, whom I’ve seen at a number of GenX forums advocating for our clean water). As a general rule, I can only see Sam’s torso through the narrow window into the kitchen, but he obligingly stepped out so I could take a picture. He has such a nice natural smile that I only needed to take one shot and it was just perfect.
I realize that practically everyone looks young to me these days, but doesn’t he seem ridiculously young to be so established? It turns out that Sam’s been putting his mark on area restaurants since he was 16. Now he’s 28. All right, he is ridiculously young. According to an interview I read, a bit of trouble he got in at 16 led his father to ground him until he got a job. He started as a dishwasher and discovered he loved working in a restaurant. As a parent, I might have been a little worried that I had created a permanent dishwasher, but Dr. Cahoon must have had faith that his son would find his way. When Sam was only 20, he was managing a 2 million food budget at Dockside Restaurant and Bar, followed by 5 years at the K-38 restaurants, and was executive chef at Ceviche for 2 years. He also attended the Culinary School at CFCC. And now, at the ripe old age of 28, he has pulled together everything he’s learned to create Savorez. I, for one, am thankful.
As of today, Yelp has 120 reviews for Savorez and they still have all 5 stars! That’s pretty amazing! One more thing: There are no televisions! Yay!
Crimes Against a Book Club by Kathy Cooperman
Reviewed by Sandy Robinson (David’s Wife)
We are pretty dedicated readers in this office, so we’ve decided to share our thoughts about books we’ve read recently. We’ll probably share the ones we like best, but there are really no rules here, so we might warn you away from something. You just never know. Give us some feedback or even better—share your favorite book with the rest of us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Okay, I did it again. I had a snooty reaction to a book group choice and it turns out I was all wet. So, now I will introduce you to a light-hearted, escapist novel that is perfect for the doldrums of winter.
Crimes Against a Book Club by Kathy Cooperman features Annie, a stay-at-home mom and Harvard-graduate chemist, and her best friend, Sarah, a beautiful, successful lawyer. They each have a very legitimate need for a large, temporary influx of cash. Annie and her family have recently moved to a La Jolla, CA suburb and she tries to make friends by joining a book club. The other women in this group are nothing like her; in fact, they seem to fit every stereotype of the California wives of wealthy and powerful men. They are painfully status-conscious, exercise fanatically, and—most importantly—will carelessly drop thousands of dollars for an exclusive cream to make them look younger. They don’t care that it probably won’t; after all, the cachet alone is worth a few thousand dollars. Annie hatches the plot of selling “exclusive” face cream to the book club members and their friends, using beautiful Sarah as the saleswoman. Taken as a group, the members are so unlikeable that the reader can sort of overlook be lulled into thinking this is okay. The original idea is to cobble together a bunch of other companies’ creams and pretend it was designed by some French doctor to Hollywood stars. Strangely enough, that would have been pretty much legal. But (and you knew there was a “but”) when Annie is disappointed by the results of her efforts, she just happens to have a bag of cocaine, confiscated from her brother, hidden away. Yup, you got it—she adds just a teeny bit to each container, to give it “pizazz.” Well, this is where I ran for the hills. It always makes me crazy to see someone doing something stupid and to be forced to struggle my way through the rest of the book watching the net tighten. So, I bailed. Then, I went to my meeting and heard a group of smart women saying how much they enjoyed the book, and how it was perfect for a dark day. Back to the book I went and, darn it, they were right. When Annie and Sarah do get caught (please, this can’t possibly be a spoiler) it is more entertaining than painful. Also, the book and all its characters have more depth than might initially be expected, and it’s pretty smart and funny. So, not great literature, but entertaining.
When we’re hit with another ice storm and you feel low, this just might be the book for you.
6 cups fresh apple cider
1/4 cup real maple syrup
2 cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves
6 whole allspice berries (available at FreshMarket)
orange peel, 2-3 strips
lemon peel, 2-3 strips
Pour the apple cider and maple syrup into a large stainless steel saucepan.
Place the cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice berries, orange and lemon peel in the center of a washed square of cheesecloth; fold up the sides of the cheesecloth to enclose the bundle, then tie it up with a length of kitchen string. Drop the spice bundle into the cider mixture.
Cook over moderate heat until the cider is very hot but not boiling. Can transfer to crockpot set on low. Do not leave the bundle in cider for more than an hour or the peels will make the mixture bitter.
By Matthew Keegan
The weather outside is not just frightful, but it is downright dangerous. Pity your poor vehicle, buried under a mound of freshly fallen snow with temperatures barely making it into the teens. Welcome to winter, one of the toughest times of the year on any car. Besides summer, that is.
One thing that you may have noticed as you have driven this winter is that your fuel economy has dropped. In some cases it may have plunged, rivaling the low temperatures you’re currently enduring. Cold weather driving is hard on your car, but improving your fuel economy is not outside of your reach.
It is quite tempting to turn on your car and let it run for at least five, probably 10 minutes or more before heading out. The comfort of a warm cabin appeals to you and who can blame you?
Unfortunately, those extended warmups mean that your car is consuming much gas without going anywhere. If you want to save fuel, then you really must get in your car, engage the ignition and drive off within the first minute. Make an exception for icy days, but don’t make too many exceptions here if improved overall fuel economy is your goal.
Your gas mileage will come in slightly lower if you have snow tires or chains installed. This cannot be avoided, nor should it: you need the extra protection tires and chains provide to gain an improved grip on icy and slick roads.
What you should check is your tire inflation. Keep it at the recommended levels and check it regularly throughout the winter. Also beyond that bag of kitty litter or sand that you have in your trunk with a snow shovel and emergency gear, keep your load light. For every 100 pounds of extra weight, your fuel economy will drop by 1 percent.
Practicing your safe driving skills throughout the year is wise. Taking extra care when road conditions are less than ideal is essential. Baby your car through the winter by gently pressing on the accelerator and brakes. Lead-footed driving can cause your fuel economy to drop therefore ease up.
Colder, denser air means that your car has to work harder to reach its optimum operating temperature. As it works its way up to that ideal, it will consume more fuel as it harnesses more energy.
If you live where it is especially cold at night and early morning, you should park your car in a garage. Invest in a heater block too as this device will help your car’s engine turn over fast on the most bitter days.
You can conserve fuel on the open road by maintaining an even speed. If you have cruise control, set it and forget it — at least while you’re taking a long drive. Overall, your fuel numbers will come in lower than what you get during the summer, but you can raise those numbers during the winter by employing our sensible cold weather fuel saving tips.
Matt Keegan is a freelance automotive writer. He is also a contributing writer for Andy’s Auto Sport and affiliated websites, an aftermarket supplier of quality auto parts including Borla exhaust and ARB bumpers.
Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Matthew_Keegan/5222</e,>
By Shohel Poraan
You don’t have to be a Stark to worry about winter (Game of Thrones show reference). This season can bring anyone down with colds and flu. You don’t need modern medicine to help you stay healthy this winter. Here are eight natural ways to prevent getting sick during the winter:
Drink plenty of fluids. As winter brings dry air, staying hydrated throughout the day gets more challenging. Your body needs an adequate amount of fluids to function properly, immune system included. Always bring a bottle of water along with you. Avoid sugary drinks because they can suppress your immune system. Drink herbal teas like chamomile, ginger root, and rose hip to improve your resistance against the cold. Make vegetable soups and broths and consume them throughout the week.
Use a saline nasal flush. Dry mucous membranes make you more susceptible to microbes. You can prevent this by flushing your sinuses with mild salt water daily. For nasal irrigation, you can use a neti pot or ready-to-use plastic bottles that come with saline packets.
Limit simple sugars from your diet. Simple sugars are also known as “empty calories” because they contain very little nutrients like fiber, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. Limit your consumption of candies, cakes, cookies, syrups, sweetened drinks, and refined grain products. Several studies have shown that refined sugars can alter your immune system for several hours after consumption.
Include protein with every meal. Your body requires protein to synthesize enzymes and other materials needed by the immune system. Get protein from different sources such as seafood, white-meat poultry, yogurt, eggs, beans, and nuts.
Eat lots of colorful fruits and vegetables. These foods contain vitamins A and C and phyto-nutrients, which boost the immune system. Consume at least five servings of vegetables and at least three servings of fruits a day.
Prepare food with garlic, onion, ginger, and other spices. Garlic and onions have antimicrobial properties that help you fight off infection.
Get enough sleep every night. Sleep helps restore and heal the body. You need adequate sleep to keep your immune system in optimum condition. Establish a healthy sleep-wake cycle by getting to bed early during the long winter nights. Try to get seven or eight hours of sleep each night. If you have difficulty sleeping, try using relaxation and breathing techniques to help get rid of stress and quiet your mind.
Exercise regularly. Several studies have linked moderate, regular exercise to a healthy immune system. Exercise increases the production of macrophages (bacteria-killing cells) and improves circulation of immune cells to help fight off bacteria and viruses.
Life is short. Everyone wants to succeed in the life. But what makes a person’s life a success is still a big question. Many attributes are related to success that range from physical to mental counts, hard skills to soft skills, hard works, thought-process, dreams, reality, happiness, hardship and what not!
Factors that have an effect on and affect the success in life also vary. In a broader aspect, one thing actually determines the ultimate SUCCESS of life:
BE THE PILOT OF YOUR LIFE!
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Shohel_Poraan/2189141
FUNDRAISER: Beethoven 5K and 15K
The Wilmington Symphony Orchestra presents the 5th annual Beethoven 15K and 5K at Brunswick Forest in Leland, NC. January 28, 2018 9:00 AM
Listen Up Brunswick County Concert
The Listen Up Brunswick County Concert at the Odell Williamson Auditorium in Bolivia, NC, features Lucy Kaplansky, whose singing voice has appeared on albums by Shawn Colvin, Nanci Griffith, and Suzanne Vega.
February 2, 2018, 7:30 PM
FUNDRAISER: Wine & Chocolate Festival
The annual Wine and Chocolate Festival at the Coastline Convention Center in downtown Wilmington, NC, features a Friday Night Grand Tasting ($45-$50) with live entertainment and hors d’oeuvres. Saturday and Sunday feature The Marketplace ($15-$20), a tasting tour of the best Carolina wineries, sweet goodies from the region’s signature chocolatiers plus demonstrations, activities for kids, informal talks, raffles, music and more.
February 2, 2018 to February 4, 2018
An Evening with Art Garfunkel
An Evening with Art Garfunkel at the Wilson Center in downtown Wilmington, NC, features the singer, actor, and poet who has made an indelible mark on the music world as both a solo artist and half of the unrivaled Simon & Garfunkel.
February 6, 2018 @ 8:00 PM
Part of the string of Broadway shows at the Wilson Center in downtown Wilmington, NC, the classic Cabaret features some of the most unforgettable songs in theater history, including the title song, Willkommen and Maybe This Time. February 20, 2018 to February 21, 2018 @ 8:00 PM
An Evening with the Celtic Tenors
Cape Fear Stage presents An Evening with The Celtic Tenors at the Wilson Center in downtown Wilmington, NC, featuring a mix of classical, pop, and Irish songs. February 28th @ 7:30 PM
By Kristen Fowler
Every winter, your home goes up against the roughest of weather. From relentless snow, pounding hail storms, and ever-lingering ice, the elements sure do put your home through the ringer. And according to the Insurance Information Institute in 2014 alone American homeowners who failed to winterize their homes lost a collective $2.4 billion dollars from storm damage.
How you ask? From all the associated property damage. For example, the average claim for damage caused by a frozen pipe that has burst is about $18,000. This cost often includes replacing or repairing the pipe itself, as well as the drenched floor and drywall. Collapsing trees are another example. Weak or dead branches can snap off, caused by wind or the weight of ice and snow. This can cost $5,000 to $10,000 dollars in damage to your house per tree. Ice could destroy your chimney. Extremely powerful winds or snow could damage your roof.
Winterizing your home can help prevent these disasters that could cost you thousands of dollars to repair. The best way to see what needs fixing in your home is to perform a winter home fitness test. There is an extensive list of benefits that go along with winterizing your home. Real estate experts note that weatherization efforts, on average, lower homeowners’ energy consumption by as much as 35%, as well as reduce their annual energy costs by 32%.
As a bonus, weatherization efforts boast a strong ratio of savings from the home improvement investment. For example, for every $1.00 you spend on safeguarding your home from airflow and insulation issues, you’ll net a return of $1.80 in savings in your bank account. On top of all the energy savings, preventing a small problem from becoming a huge one will save you thousands. As our wise founding father Benjamin Franklin once quipped, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” And here’s how you can make the most of your prevention efforts this winter.
Because winterizing your home entails a lot more than just making a quick trip to the nearest supermarket for some eggs, milk, and bread. You have to keep in mind that the blizzards, sleet, and the extreme cold can wreak havoc on your home’s structure and safety. And to ensure that your home is fit and properly prepared for the next blast of winter weather, use our Winter Home Fitness Checklist below to do a complete once-over of your property and fill those cracks. It’s a simple breakdown for how you can prepare and protect your home – both inside and out.
Insulation: Check the insulation in your attic, basement, and garage. According to data collected by the National Association of Realtors, improving insulation alone can reduce your heating bills by 20%.
Pipes: Make sure all the pipes passing through these unheated places are adequately insulated. Ideally, they should be wrapped in electrical heating tape first, followed by foam insulation. Turn off the water supply to all your exterior faucets, and drain out excess water from plumbing lines, underground sprinklers, garden hoses, and pipelines by opening the exterior faucet.
Heating: Examine your furnaces, heating vents, thermostats, oil tanks, wood stoves, and water heaters. Make sure they’re clean and in good, working condition. Buy a space heater to keep on hand as a good back-up on those extra chilly days
Filters: Replace dirty filters in your furnace and HVAC system every month or two. Dirty filters can, sometimes, lead to a fire. And if you use a propane or oil-powered furnace, be sure that you refuel it.
Weather Stripping: Check for weather stripping on all sides of the doors and the windows. If some it cracking or missing, apply new or additional weather stripping. You can also use rope caulk for this by simply pressing it into the areas where air leakage has been taking place. Air leaks can cause the cold air from the outside to come in and allow your warm air to escape, compromising your home’s efficiency by up to 30%. It is, therefore, crucial to avoid them.
Fans: Make sure that your fans are spinning in the right direction. During the summer, ceiling fans run counterclockwise to create cool breezes. Turning blades in reverse displace hot air as it travels upward to the ceiling, sending that hot air back into the room – making the space more comfortable for those nearby and reducing heating bills by up to 10 percent.
Water Heater: While most water heaters are set to about 140 degrees Fahrenheit, they can operate at 120 degrees without a perceptible change in performance. Stepping down into your basement or into the maintenance closet to adjust your furnace will just take a few minutes, but the positive impacts will last until next spring. Covering your water heater in a special insulating wrap will also keep it working more efficiently.
Roof: Check your roof for cracks or other openings. Make sure you replace any missing shingles and install weather stripping on the roof opening(s) to deter melted snow from seeping into your home.
Chimney/Fireplace: Make sure the chimney’s flue and draft is functioning properly and fully operational. It needs to easily and securely open and close and then drawing up the smoke as well. Apart from that, keep your chimney clear of bird, rodent, and other animal nests.
Walkways and Driveways: Spread anti-slip gravel out all over your walkways and driveways. This will help prevent slips, skids, and falls when the snow comes down. Also, make sure you’ve got shovels and rock salt on hand for when the next snow storm strikes.
How to Win the Winter Weather War: Prevention
Remember, your home is your castle, and it’s smart to start treating it as such. So make the smarter move and devote the time it takes to properly prepare your home for whatever wicked winter weather may come your way. Because, after all, it’s always smarter to over-prepare than to be left out in the cold.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Kristen_Fowler/2384127</e,>
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