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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Columns & Editorials

Home Columns & Editorials

Apocalypse?

Latest signs of the Apocalypse : O.K., so I’m listening to the radio, some story on economics and financial trends and I hear the money guru on there talking about the latest thing in supermarkets is  cupholders in the supermarket carts, sometimes known as “buggies”.  And I’m thinking, “What?  We need cupholders to circulate around the grocery aisles?  Refreshment is...

Skin In The Game

Ever since  that piece about plastic surgery and the aestheticians who keep having the gall to send me email about how they can get me a “Facelift Miracle”(as if I needed such a thing), I’ve been noticing a number of items in the news about occasions where the focus is on skin and the display thereof. The first one to...

No Computer! Received via email — Thank Goodness!

So…the lightning storm took out the computers—desk top, laptop, probably the remote control for the alarm clock, for all I know—and the Villager deadline is looming on Monday.  What  to do?  What to do? The schedule is filling up : The computer guru who is working on the problem will be arriving with his bag of magic spells and incantations,(...

Did You Hear That?

As you hear the echoes of whirling winds throwing leaves and while changes in weather chills your bones, October is a month rich in tradition of ghostly tales and old folklore. Whether it’s idle curiosity, a sense to hear scary stories, or suspenseful intrigue, Portage County District Library has an enormous collection to satisfy any appetite. Here is just...

It’s All About The Home

The High Point Furniture Market is the largest home furnishings industry trade show in the world.  More than 75,000 retailers, designers, exhibitors, press, manufacturers, and sales representatives descend on the city of High Point, NC for five days every April and October to attend the market.  A common saying in the home furnishings industry is, “if you can’t find...

It’s Navy Week

Avast, me hearties…and a “Yankee Doodle” doo to you! It’s Navy Week.  It’s Navy Week and it’s being observed in Boston by the first sailing of the oldest commissioned ship in the U.S. Navy, the U.S.S. Constitution--“Old Ironsides”-- since 1997 (It’s been tugged to a few places but this is the first time under its own sail power since its...

Puppy Tails

As the moon goes to bed, the sun comes up And here we meet a sleepy pup, Who was walking through G-ville one bright sunny day, Then saw The Villager and decided to stay.

Disability Facts that Might Surprise You

In times like these, good decisions matter. And when it comes to protecting a portion of your income from disability risks, it’s important to base your decision on the facts. In the case of disability, some of those facts might surprise you. For example, more than one-quarter of today’s 20 year-olds will become disabled before they retire.1 And if you...

Farm to Table

I have always been proud of our little town, from the people, to the businesses to the support from all of our guests, we have a pretty amazing town! So a few months ago we were approached by the Nelson Garrettsville Community Cupboard to host a fundraiser. We tossed around a couple of ideas and I mentioned I have...

Notes from the vineyard

I am amazed at  how quickly time flies when you’re having fun! So I am more amazed on how much fun we have had in the past 9 years! From the day we opened our doors on August 13, 2004,  every moment of having the winery has been exciting. Sure – some of those moment have been challenging (especially...

Puppy Tails

All that hard work made Doodle Dog quite tired so he decided he wasn’t going to go too very far from home today, at least not for a little while. The impromptu detour had been fun and all, in its own way, but there is so much else to see and Doodle Dog didn’t want to be sidetracked for...

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

“Imagine looking professional but feeling like you’re wearing pajamas.”

Blush Wines

Now that we have talked about red wine and white wine, let’s get into the topic of blushes or rosé wines. When someone mentions a blush wine (usually this wine is a lighter red to pink color) you may start to think about the sweeter taste of White Zinfandel. While this is the most popular blush wine, there are...

I also love seed catalogs!

I also love seed catalogs.  They’re coming in now and probably will continue until Memorial Day; Hope springs eternal! I used to get lots more.  That was before somebody apparently tipped off Burpee’s Seeds and Plants,  Stark Bros, Gurney’s, Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Park Seeds, et al. that I had a particularly virulent “black thumb”.  Yes, sadly, for green things large...

Making and Keeping Financial Resolutions

How will your money habits change in 2016? What decisions or behaviors might help your personal finances, your retirement prospects, or your net worth? Each year presents a “clean slate,” so as one year ebbs into another, it is natural to think about what you might do (or do differently) in the 12 months ahead. Financially speaking, what New Year’s resolutions...

Outdoors With Skip… Four Hundred Thirty Five Bottles of Beer on the Wall

“Are we there yet,” she said? It’s about 440 miles to Clayton, New York from our house. “I think we have gone five miles”, I said to Emma, my nine-year-old Granddaughter. “We’ve got a ways to go yet.” Nine years old is a great age to be; no worries about how you look to others, or for that matter,...

Caution ~ Auction!

The Kiko folks have taken to putting up signs of this nature along roads where one of their commercial activities is going on, and with good reason.  These secondary highways are plenty full of just plain drivers, let alone the avid auction-goers looking for a place to park--without sliding into a ditch or quicksand (as I found to my...

Pumpkin Pizza

I think we are officially in “that” season… Pumpkin Everything!! Pumpkin latte, pumpkin pie, pumpkin beer, pumpkin pasta… the list of pumpkin items goes on and on. I know in last week’s column I said I would talk about the fermentation process that the grapes are going through but I had many guests this past week ask for some...

Ideas for Your 2013 Tax Refund What could that money do for you?

Is a tax refund coming your way? If you have already received your refund for the 2013 tax year or are about to receive it, you might want to think about the destiny of that money. Here are some possibilities. Start (or add to) an emergency fund. Many people don’t have a dedicated rainy day fund, only the presumption that...

“What happened to the recycling bins which used to be by the Community Center?”

Over the last few weeks this has been a frequent question at the Newton Falls Public Library. “What happened to the recycling bins which used to be by the Community Center?” Our staff confessed we didn’t know, but we would find out. We contacted the Newton Falls City Manager’s office and asked their staff. We were informed that because the...

How Much Will Health Care Cost in Retirement?

In times like these, good decisions matter. And when you have a need for life insurance, you should consider whole life and its flexibility. To begin with, of course, there's the guaranteed death benefit, which can help give you peace of mind by assuring a legacy for your heirs. But there are other benefits as well. For example, the build-up...

Harbingers of spring…The Great Morel

Wow what a winter! It is like the children’s fairy tale “The Never Ending Story” instead we should call it “The Never Ending Winter.” To date, 93% of the Great Lakes are frozen and some say it is the coldest since the winter of 1977-78. Believe it or not, spring IS on its way. Hopefully this is the last...

Notes from the Vineyard

What an amazing Summer we had. A good mixture of temperatures, a great mix of sun and rain and a few days just hot enough to perk up the vines. Unfortunately, this Summer has flown by and we are quickly greeted by Fall! While Fall is not my favorite time of year I sure do enjoy watching the leaves...

Food & Wine

I’ve mentioned a couple of times how I love the local food trucks… from Hodge Podge (who helped put the Cleveland Food Trucks on the map in Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race) to Sweet! The Mobile Cupcakery (yes, they only sell some of the greatest cupcakes) to Cracked Mobile that specializes in breakfast. While Cleveland has some...

“Respect is earned; not given.”

While Marlon Brando in The Godfather usually gets the credit for this quote, he was actually borrowing a bit of wisdom from  the Pakistani Beggar King Hussein Nishah (1538–1599), who wrote, “Treat people the way you want to be treated. Talk to people the way you want to be talked to. Respect is earned, not given.” My father often drove...

“Is there a reason why there is a specific finger for engagement and wedding rings?”

“Is there a reason why there is a specific finger for engagement and wedding rings?” asked the patron, who assured us that he had no immediate plans. The Newton Falls Public Library staff is aware of the custom of wearing these rings on the next to last finger of the left hand, but never considered the reason behind it.Knowing...

Asset Location & Timing to Reduce Taxes in Retirement Read this if you want to preserve more of your nest egg & lower your tax bill

Location, location, location ... It matters when it comes to real estate, and it also matters when it comes to the way you hold and invest your retirement savings. You can’t control what happens with the tax code, but you can control how your savings are held. As various types of investments are taxed at varying rates, some investments are...

Notes from the vineyard

We get a lot of guests that mention they suffer from bad headaches from drinking wine. And, no, I am not talking about the headache you get from drinking too much wine, but some people will get a headache a couple of hours later after drinking just a glass of wine. There are proven studies that some wines may...

Mad Medicine

Open your mouth and say , “Aaaah” Do physicians even DO that any more?  Well, according to an item in the Akron Beacon-Journal, you should not hand over your money before the doc sticks anything in your mouth.  That’s because  some researchers at New York University have discovered an absolutely stunning collection of bacteria,   viruses (Or viri?  Nope, virus...

Gifts From the Kitchen…

This time of year, Santa isn’t the only one who’s making lists and checking them twice. If you enjoy giving handmade gifts, here are some simple spice mixes that are sure to appeal to the foodies on your list. Individually, they make great stocking stuffers. Package them together with some kitchen tools for an even bigger impact.    Porcini Parmesan...

Stuck in Ohio…And Proud Of It!!

During my lifetime I have been blessed with many opportunities to experience nature and our natural world. I have been to National Parks from Maine to California, talked to God in a grove of Redwoods, touched sequoias, climbed to 14,000 feet in the Rockies to sooth my feet in a cold alpine lake, hiked part of the Appalachian Trail...

Events at Candlelight

I have lived in the Cleveland area  all my life and am still amazed to see the temperatures change from 20 degrees and snow to 75 degrees and sun in less than a week. So since it looks like Spring (or perhaps even Summer) is here, it’s time to open the patio, enjoy the outdoors and plan some great...

How Can I Benefit from Tax-Advantaged Investments??

For many people, tax-advantaged investing is an excellent way to reduce their taxes. And while many of the traditional tax-advantaged strategies have been eliminated, there are still alternatives left that can help you reduce your taxes. Some are described below. Real Estate Partnerships Two of the most common types of real estate partnerships are low-income housing and historic rehabilitation. The federal...

Why 2014 May Be a Very Good Year More improvement may be in store for the economy & the stock market.

Will the economy & the bull market make further strides next year? On both Wall Street and Main Street, 2013 has turned out better than many analysts expected. Will the recovery gain additional momentum in 2014, and will stocks climb even higher?   Optimism is widespread. Do you remember how gloomy things got at the end of 2012? Fears about...

Stewardship

Last article, we learned that those squishy, pink earthworms that we adore in our gardens are invasive and capable of dramatic changes in our natural habitats. We also learned what can be done to help the situation. This started a series of upcoming articles designed to inform our readers about opportunities to be good stewards of the environment.   stew·ard·ship ...

Wine Festivals

The season of wine festivals is upon us and people all over the greater Cleveland area are celebrating. But during a recent festival, some new wine drinkers had some great questions that I have always taken for granted. So after thinking about their question, I figured of few of you might have similar questions. The question that I received the...

40-Something is the New 20-Something

I’m beginning to think that 40-something is the new 20-something. And no, it’s not because of medical miracles, cosmetic surgery or skin cream. Rather, it’s a strange convergence of rising college costs, a constricted job market and renewed outlooks as a result of the first two economic realities.  Middle age used to be a locked-in stage of life where home,...

April Showers

April showers bring May flowers, eh? Somebody alert the providers of floral items.  They’re either going to be left twiddling their thumbs because the general public is inundated by blooms of exotic sizes and descriptions springing up along every highway and by-way or their own backyards…or…there will be wholesalers of flowers lurking around corners trying to off-load cheap orchid and...

Game Nights

One thing I have learned over the years is that wine tastes the best when shared with friends with some friendly competition. On any given Sunday night you can find us hanging out with the owners of Sharon James Cellars (11303 Kinsman Road, Novelty, Ohio – www.sharonjamescellars.com) enjoying some wine and playing a variety of board games. Between Apples to...

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes but having new eyes.”

In many of our articles we hope to give our readers a new set of eyes so as they can discover “nature” as they have never seen it before.  Most of our readers have been to Nelson Ledges State Park and are struck be amazing rock formations, but who would have thought that if you stand in the parking...

RMD Precautions & Options: A reminder about mandatory withdrawals from IRAs & other retirement plans.

Just what is an RMD? After you turn 70½, the IRS requires you to withdraw some of the money in most retirement savings accounts each year. These withdrawals are officially called Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs).1 You must take an RMD from a traditional IRAs after you turn 70½, even if you are still working. If you don’t, a severe financial...

Notes from the vineyard

The Super Bowl is over and now my ultimate favorite sporting event is about to begin! I love watching the Olympics – especially the Winter Olympics. Sure, there are the normal favorites of skiing, ice skating and hockey. But I really like watching some of the other sports,  my favorite Olympic sport is Curling. Most people find it quite...

What’s in a name? “Geography 101”

We all know the three most important factors in real estate: Location, location, location. What stories can the names of geographic locations tell? Most of our county names in northeast Ohio derive from significant geographic features in the area and their Native American names.  What’s in a name? “Geography 101” Our state name is derived from the Seneca word ohi-yo’, meaning...

New Years Resolutions at The Winery

We are three weeks into 2017 and so far I am extremely happy with how this year is going! I’m not one to make New Years resolutions but I figured this would be a good year to come up with a couple of goals for the year. My first resolution for 2017 is to try new grapes. Teams from...

Why is a new ship christened with a bottle of champagne?

The caller on phone line number two wanted to know, “Why is a new ship christened with a bottle of champagne?” This is...

Help Protect Your Assets

Lawsuits have become increasingly common in our society. From 1951 through 2009, the cost of torts (civil suits) rose at more than double the annual rate of general inflation and even surpassed the annual increase in medical expenses (see chart). In this litigious environment, it is especially important to protect your assets and your future income. If you entertain often,...

Trying To Embrace The Dating Dot Coms (Part 2 of a Series)

I got to know pretty much most of their customers by their pictures and crazily made up names like AnAn, Sexygurl, and Poosie Suzie which invariably were sent to me over and over and over again. I have trouble remembering names, except for one unfortunate, ill-chosen name –Msphyllis—(yes, I read and re-read that one several times to make sure that it wasn’t what I initially thought it was) but if I see a face once I remember it forever.

Puppy Tails

Several months ago, a little floppy-eared puppy found his way to the office of The Weekly Villager. The editors immediately fell in love with him and didn’t want...

First Fishing Trip: First Boat Ramp Frackas

It was the best of days; it was the worst of days. It was a day that we had been looking forward to since last September. This was the first time we could get out fishing this spring, and it was long overdue! Because of our cold spring the fish have been slow to begin to bite. And probably...

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions…

By this time of year the seed catalogs, fruit tree catalogs, and various outdoor planting publications are all dog eared, paper clipped, or marked in some fashion. You have been working on re-doing your landscape, making sketches, imagining what this would like here, and that there. Is this shrub or tree going to have the desired effect? The sun...