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Monday, April 24, 2017

Columns & Editorials

Home Columns & Editorials

Light Show

It’s funny to take a few minutes to read past articles of mine. For example, I found the original article from 2008 when I first announced the Candlelight Cove Light Show. I boasted that with about 10,000 lights, we had synchronized them to a couple of songs and had a great family friendly event for everyone on Friday nights....

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...

Pairing

I love the holidays – friends, family, food and plenty of desserts! But being a dry red wine drinker, desserts do not always seem to pair well with the wine. So what options do you have for those holiday treats – besides either giving up wine or giving up dessert – let me give you some options. For sweet wine...

You Missed It…

You missed it!  You missed the LAF/SOMe bus trip to the Dunham Tavern Museum and the West Side Market.  What a hoot! The museum was neat; it’s an oasis of green on concrete and steel Euclid Ave. With the main building, a reconstructed log...

“I have this shrub growing in my garden…”

“I have this shrub growing in my garden,” said the Newton Falls Public Library patron, as she showed a small branch to the library staff member. “Can you help me figure out what it is?” The branch had small white flowers, about an inch long, growing in pairs from a single stalk. The leaves were opposite of each other,...

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...

The Economy Heads for Normal: A look at the fundamentals affirms the hunch

The stock market may be up and down this year, but America’s economic recovery seems to be proceeding at a decent pace. Anyone who wants some evidence of that can find it in some key fundamental indicators. Pessimists may counter: didn’t the economy grow just 0.1% in the first quarter? Indeed, that was the federal government’s initial estimate – but...

Treating Your Employees Well

You might think that, with currently high unemployment rates, it will be an employer’s market forever. But, you would be wrong. Even today, as unemployment remains stubborn, some industries are having difficulties filling their job openings. Today, your industry could be in a buy or sell mode as far as attracting top employees is concerned. But there will come a...

Where the rubber meets the road…….

Since the inception of the Nearby Nature column, we have strived to enlighten our readers with what is going on in the natural world around us.-- trying to point out why certain events happen, what to watch for during the various seasons, how to identify what you see with useful references or field guides, and interesting bits of trivia...

10th Anniversary

It hasn’t quite hit me yet because it really seems like just yesterday my husband and I were talking about opening a winery. Young and naïve, only 25 at the time, we said, let’s give it a go and see how far this thing goes. Then we started talking after our first anniversary – “if we make it to 7 years in the business, we’ll have done better than most.” Then year seven came and we agreed that we were having too much fun to stop then. And now as we get ready to celebrate the winery’s 10th anniversary it’s amazing what we have learned, what we have accomplished and most of all how all of you have welcomed us into your neighborhood and have supported us from day one.

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...

At Home Spa

If you’re feeling the effects of the ice and snow of an unusually cold Northern Ohio Winter, you’re not alone. And now that all the major holidays, including Groundhogs’ Day are over, you can spend a little extra time pampering yourself. There’s no time like the present to give yourself the gift of a few at-home spa treatments. First, let...

Notes from the vineyard

We recently celebrated our 9th anniversary at the winery! Time sure flies when you are having fun and boy did we have fun celebrating this year. Over 200 dogs joined us for our annual Pug Day and we loved visiting with each dog and their owner.  During some of my conversations with our guests we got on the subject of...

Another year, another centennial.

The Almanac pages that the papers often have are, at times, sort of desperate to come up with some event having happened on a particular date that is significant enough to mention at all. They have to resort to mentioning obscure baseball players hitting their first home run or the birthday of Foghorn J. Leghorn (from the...

“I’m having a problem with my cable company and can’t resolve the issue…”

“I’m having a problem with my cable company and can’t resolve the issue. I was told to contact my local franchise authority, but I can’t seem to locate a contact...

EPCOT’s Food and Wine Festival

I recently had the chance to go back to Walt Disney World to check out the Food and Wine Festival at EPCOT. I have read many...

Forget the Memoir

Everybody is writing memoirs lately.   It’s the literary style du jour in all of the magazines and reviews.  So I’m thinking, hey, my memories are as good as anybody’s, why not hop to it and make the big bucks? One reason may be that my memories are certainly just fine, but getting them to show up on cue is...

The Muse Is Angered

Well, I just hate it when electrical things get weird and I have to do something about the situation without having a CLUE as to how to approach the problem. So, I go to start writing another of my pieces of deathless prose for inclusion in The Weekly Villager ( This is something that I do on a regular basis...

Meet Bob, he is a cool cat!

Bobcats, though seldom seen, are the most common wildcat in North America. The Bobcat, Lynx rufus, is named for its short, bobbed tail. They are medium-sized cats and are slightly smaller, but similar in appearance to their cousin, the lynx.  Rumors of Bobcats being seen on Headwaters Trail, in Pondbrook Conservation area west of Aurora, and several other areas...

Gas & Wine

I  recently read a column about how the price of gas is increasing the cost of the wine bottle. I understand that it will cost more to ship but unfortunately the wine industry is seeing an increase in equipment and an increase in shipping. I am not alone when I say this isn’t fair but I know for the...

Forsooth!

The Settlers “Ye Old” State Renaissance Faire has shuffled off into history once again, leaving bags of gold for the Middlefield “Shop With a Cop” program and the “Middlefield Cares! Food Cupboard”.  Generous supporters included the Nauvoo Family Market, White House Chocolates, Alley’s Grille,  Mary Yoder’s Kitchen, Zeppe’s Pizzaria, EarthLight Art Source, Mangia! Mangia! and The Ghosts of Burton...

Notes from the vineyard

Fruity, dry, full bodied, fruit forward… I could go on and on with terms to describe wine. There are so many wine terms but what do they mean? And do they really match the wine? Well that depends on the taster. Many time we will share a bottle of wine with friends and one of us thinks it’s dry,...

“Where do I go to vote?”

Several of our patrons have been unsure of where to go to cast their ballot on November 8. Fortunately, the Ohio Secretary of State website has made that information easy to find. To find out where to vote, go to http://voterlookup.sos.state.oh.us/, type in your first name and last name, and select your county. It will bring up your polling location,...

Minks and Otters

As promised, we will continue up the family tree of the toughest family on the block, the Mustelids.

As promised, we will continue up the family tree of the toughest family on the block, the Mustelids. This week we will be discussing the “middle “children of the family. But make no mistake, they are just as tough, fearless, and bloodthirsty as their siblings. Next time we will discuss the big boys, the Martens, Fishers, and Wolverines. Now...

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...

The Big Fandango

So here I am at the BIG FANDANGO at the Longaberger Basket Outlet Store at Aurora Premium Outlets and I’m making a basket…me, Little Miss Craftperson, whose biggest venture into crafts was probably when I used to make  molds out of modeling clay and pour plaster-of-paris horse heads, later hand-painted, as gift items for favored individuals (Mom still has...

“Can you help me? I got a Christmas card, I can’t read the signature, and I don’t recognize the return address…”

The lady on the phone asked, “Can you help me?  I got a Christmas card, I can’t read the signature, and I don’t recognize the return address. I tore off the label and my dog ate it. All I can remember was her...

Curiouser and curiouser…

Curiouser and curiouser…as Alice said during her adventures in Wonderland…. NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration)’s Mars Science Laboratory has just succeeded in landing the spacecraft Curiousity on Mars, the culmination of more than three decades of planning and building, theorizing and research, not to mention scrounging for money. The possibility of finding evidence of life on Mars is a motivator,...

Travels With Skip…. Petersburg — Alaska’s Little Norway

One of the features of the ship’s itinerary is to make a couple stops at the local villages so that we might get the flavor-- experience the ambiance-- of the area. One of the towns is Petersburg, settled by Norwegians in the 1800s.  We motored for about three hours south of Juneau on the inland waterway passage of Frederick...

“A friend of mine died several years ago…”

“A friend of mine died several years ago and I was trying to find the death certificate. I don’t want to have to pay for a copy; is there any way you can help me find the information?” The Newton Falls Public Library staff began the online search. The USGenWeb Project had information about how to request documents from...

Hug That Tree!

Awww, g’wan...hug the tree.  It deserves a little attention. After the bushwhacker weather situations we’ve had around here the last couple of weeks, maybe we’d ought to pay a bit more attention to  the greenery instead of taking it for granted all of the time.  Many real estate agents will tell you that one of the things that will sell...

The MyRA, the USARF & Cash Balance Plans New & old concepts to address the retirement savings gap.

How many 401(k)s have more than $100k in them? According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), the average 401(k) balance at the end of 2012 was $63,929. Even with stocks rising last year, the average balance likely remains underwhelming.1 Is this enough money to retire on? No – and this is only part of America’s retirement dilemma. There is...

Aunt Ruth’s Potato Salad

Growing up we always knew summer was on its way when Aunt Ruth’s Potato Salad appeared. Aunt Ruth was Grandma Tr’ybls Granddaughter-in-law after marrying my Grandfathers brother. She would show up for the“Season”at graduations, wedding anniversaries (why did the “Greatest Generation” always get married in June?), Memorial Day Weekend, July 4th .. with her FAMOUS Potato Salad. This dish...

If It Isn’t One Thing…

If it isn’t one thing, it’s another. We’ve finally seen the end of the political ads (Do you ever get the feeling that the only reason we have elections is to find out if the polls were right?—Robert Orben).  The signs should all be picked up until the next go-round and we can listen to the moans of the losers...

The Investment Needs of Non-Profits

As non-profit organizations grow, they also need to grow and preserve wealth. In accepting donations to fund their operations and programs, they realize they cannot rely on fundraising alone. They decide to invest, and they turn to financial professionals for input. Because non-profits exist to carry out particular missions, their investment preferences may differ from those of individuals. A non-profit...

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...

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...

TrekOhio

I can assure the readership that this will not be a critique of the famous Dickens novel of the same name, but a few ideas on how to make the most of your adventures when exploring Nearby Nature. When you go to the zoo you want to see the animals, the same can be said about hiking, camping, or fishing; you want to see and experience nature first hand. When the sun is shining, birds chirping, and you go out to experience nature, one of the most disappointing things that can happen is that by the end of the day all you have experienced is tired/aching legs and bug bites from your hike.

Notes from the Vineyard

I recently went out shopping for Christmas dinner and was so excited to see the displays of champagne. So now that I am in the holiday mood the best way to celebrate the season was to go out and find some champagne to recommend for your holiday parties. I selected two bottles from the label of Domaine Ste Michelle...

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...

Busy Week! Heckuva weekend.

Lots of it was just stuff. You know, things that have to be done but really not planned for except in a sort of fly-by-night fashion--medical events, grocery shopping, yard work-- that kind of stuff. Then there were actually scheduled activities --lunch with the Nelson Literary Musical Club (All decked out in green they were; I wasn’t), choir practice,...

NOT One Of My Better Weeks

Not one of my better weeks; suffice it to say that I’m now looking for a new car and not a rehab facility.  That’s the good part.  Time to move on. The rollercoaster begins again : school is starting!  Whooeee!  Anyone got an office/coffee klatsch/bowling league/civic group/ neighborhood betting pool going on whether the newly -added-on-to Garfield Elementary School will...

“I need a book about chipmunks.”

“I need a book about chipmunks.”  The Newton Falls Public Library staff member wasn’t too surprised by the statement; we have another patron who enjoys books about squirrels.  After careful questioning as to the exact nature of information wanted about chipmunks, it was learned the our patron is having a problem with chipmunks in their garden.  She wished to...

“Can you help me to find information about a piece of property?”

“Can you help me to find information about a piece of property?” Over the years, this question has been asked of Newton Falls Public Library staff...

A Rash of Trash

Spring having sprung and all that, could I comment upon the sad indication that numerous persons hereabouts in the area are taking the opportunity to come down with a bad case of illiteracy? I am referring to the piles of stuff—junk would be a more accurate description but I’m attempting to be kind—that are appearing outside the various...

“I’ve heard the expression ‘like white on rice,’ but I’m not really sure if I’m correct in understanding what it means. Can you find me the information?”

English has some very unusual phrases that the patrons and staff of the Newton Falls Public Library have found to be interesting. Our search began in the library’s reference collection.  On the cover of Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang by Jonathon Green, which is, according to Evening Star Standard  reviewer Jonathan Meades says “. . . a terrific piece of work...

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...

Holiday Leftovers

By now you probably have had your share of turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberries and desserts! But if your family is like mine you also have enough leftovers from dinner to have a second Thanksgiving dinner. Whether you are serving turkey sandwiches, turkey chili, turkey soup, turkey frittatas or just plain turkey there are so many ways you can...

Valentine’s Day Tips

It’s hard to believe that Valentine’s Day is a couple of weeks away. While I love the romance of this holiday, it is definitely not one of my favorite holidays. I always feel pressured to make sure the day is “ultra” romantic and full of hearts and flowers. In reality, I wish that every day was Valentine’s Day! So...

Damsels & Dragons

Recently my son was photographing nature by our pond; he photographed several different types of dragonflies. This got us wondering just how many different types there were. So the search began. When you see a dragonfly, the images of a large fierce flying insect quickly flitting from place to place come to mind. Though dragonflies/damselflies are excellent predators and...

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