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Thursday, June 22, 2017

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Sangria

We are finally into summer and with July 4th rapidly approaching many people are looking for something different to serve at their holiday picnics. They love wine but after a busy (and extremely hot) summer, sometimes wine just doesn’t cut it. What does one do in an extreme case like this??? Turn to Sangria of course. Sangria, or wine punch,...

Goldilocks in Reverse

We all remember the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, where the bears come home to find “someone has been sleeping in my bed.” Well, during the months of June and July in Northeast Ohio, some night you might come home to find a bear sleeping in your bed! At a recent ODNR presentation, it was noted that...

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,(...

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. Steam rose from the pavement covering the street outside the office window and little drops of dew that happened to plop on the sidewalk sizzled away within seconds. Summer...

Key Considerations for Your Family’s Financial Future

What is the sign of a good decision?® It’s educating yourself and your children regarding finances to prepare for future financial needs. In today’s economy, families are facing increasing pressure to provide for their every day needs. It is important for parents to teach children in a way that gives them a chance for a better future than many parents feel...

“I need a chart of the growing periods of tomatoes. Can you help me?”

The Newton Falls Public Library staff understands the importance of this information to home gardeners, so they can determine the best selection of plants for our growing season. We showed our patron Ortho’s Complete Guide to Vegetables by Jacqueline Hériteau which has several pages of descriptions of various tomatoes with growing periods.  Our patron stated that he wanted a printed...

Robert E. Lee’s ‘48 Chevy

Holy Mackerel, the South’s gonna rise again, in Hiram!  Well, maybe not THAT Robert E. Lee, but never-the-less, Mr. Bob Lee has a 1948 Chevrolet coupe sitting in front of the garage at the white house high on the hill on Rt. 82 coming into Hiram.  I saw the roofline—that old ‘40s car roofline—out of the corner of my...

Mother Nature

It’s no secret that the quality of wine is really up to Mother Nature every year so it’s no surprise how many times I have been asked how the grapes are doing this year. In past years we were spoiled with hot temperatures and little rain but unfortunately last year and this year we are seeing quite the opposite...

Good Grief

If it isn’t one thing, it’s another…how’s that for original thought? I went to my computer, the desktop, which is one of the newer dinosaurs, as compared to the iPads and tablets and such, intending to turn it on and get started on my weekly offering of deathless prose and witty repartee before journeying off into the wilds of assembled...

Whole Life Insurance: An Overlooked Foundation of Business Succession Planning?

Many business owners realize that they will be forced to deal with issues such as business succession at some point, which is why they want to have a plan that’s guaranteed to be there when they need it. The versatility, guarantees, and permanence of whole life insurance can help solve some of these inevitable challenges. Whole life insurance can, for...

Beyond the four walls

High school classrooms tend to follow a similar pattern: students arrive to class, sit in rows, listen to the teacher and take notes, memorize the information, and take the test. All of this is usually accomplished in periods lasting about 45 minutes. At the end of the period, the bell rings and students move en mass to the next...

Costume Crises

Well, it’s all the talk.  Superman, in the new movie coming out soon, “Man of Steel”, has a new look--no tights!   The new costume still sports the iconic red capital “S” across the--very broad--chest on an all-blue, sort of metallic, more-armored-look unitard.  No belt, exactly, but a waist-defining red detail on the sides and red cuffs and a red...

“Single Champagne Bottle Worth $1.8 Million”

“Single Champagne Bottle Worth $1.8 Million”… that was the headline that caught my attention last week. After imagining what I would do with $1.8 Million I started thinking about what makes a bottle of wine or in this case, champagne, worth $1.8 million? I understand land prices, the type of grape, the chemicals that are used (or in organic wines...

“Why is Fido a popular name for a dog? Where does it come from?”

Over the years, the Newton Falls Public Library staff has found that patrons are often interested in the origins of words. We began our search with a selection of print materials including the Oxford English Dictionary and Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang by John Green, and Pet Names by Jean E. Taggart.  In our shared Clevnet catalog we found the title...

By The Numbers: 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...

Spam

Just in time for the summer cooking-out season, the Hormel company has now fessed up to producing ten--that’s 10 different kinds of SPAM.  Well, who’d a thunk it?  Yes! You have your regular old Spam ( which the company likes to call “Spam Classic”).  You have Spam Lite, Spam ”with real Hormel Bacon”, Spam with cheese, hot & spicy Spam...

Puppy Tails

It had been quite a while since Doodle Dog found himself outside after dark. Though indeed quite curious most hours of the day, the little floppy-eared puppy always tried to make sure he was home, tucked safely in the office, before the sun went to bed and the street lamps lit up to take over its job for the...

Wine Events

2013 is certainly flying by! I’m not sure if it’s Spring, Summer or Fall any more so it’s hard to believe it’s already June! The good news is the official start to summer is right around the corner – and that means one thing to me! The Annual Summer Solstice, Wine, Art and Music Festival is almost here! Sarah’s Vineyard...

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...

A Bad Spell

It wasn’t pretty. The brain trust here at the Weekly Villager sallied forth to adventures in orthography by participating in the22nd Annual Community Spelling Bee for Literacy, co-sponsored by the Portage County Literacy Coalition Community Partners at the NEOMED Conference Center on Friday, May 24, 20013.  And fourth…maybe fifth… was about where we wound up…out of five. Like lots of vital...

Notes from the vineyard

As I mentioned last week, what a month May has been; warm temperature, cool temperatures, hot days and some really cold nights. After I mentioned that we lost most of our vines to the frost some of you noticed that are few vines looked like they were coming back. We had a glimmer of hope that we might get...

Will that incessant noise ever stop!

As we make the transition from spring into summer, the wildflowers are fading, flowering trees and shrubs are ablaze in color, and the mosquitoes, deer flies, and other insects are making their presence known in one way or the other. We are all too familiar with the biting and blood sucking insects that cause us so much irritation, but...

Notes from the vineyard

About a year ago I wrote an article about how Mother Nature gave us a run for our money by May. And while this year’s winter was more of your typical Cleveland winter and spring, we sure have had a number of changes in the weather. While the weather held out for bud break in late April and early...

That was a fine old time!

That was a fine old time! Well, if you weren’t trying to get anyplace in a hurry, that is.  The annual Garrettsville community garage/yard/porch sale seems to have attracted quite a crowd for most of the weekend.  Some of the narrower thoroughfares were a challenge for those just trying to get into their own driveways.  Down Park Ave. some savvy...

Special Places

What makes a person care for and be good steward of the land? Connections with special places are a result of frequent visits over a long period of time. Whether it is a farm, woodlot, backyard, or fishing hole, you really have to know and understand the land. This doesn’t happen after one visit. Often times it takes years,...

Why are oak barrels toasted?

If you’ve been reading my column you know that I am big fan of dry red wines. I especially enjoy a red wine that has been sitting in an oak barrel for a while. The oak gives the wine so much more body than if the wine was sitting in a stainless steel tank. A lot of our guests...

Five Financial Success Strategies for Today’s Busy Woman

What is the sign of a good decision?® It’s preparing for the unexpected to help protect the lifestyle you have worked so hard to achieve.  Women play a pivotal role in the economic vitality of our society. You have worked hard for everything you’ve achieved – as an employee, business owner or even “mompreneur” – and throughout it all you’ve remained...

“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...

Ha Ha!

`You thought that spring had come, just because you looked at a calendar and got out your flip-flops and sunscreen (I wear sunglasses all year, so that’s really no indication), not to mention making pool plans.  Think again, Hummingbird-watcher. I DID hang out four loads of wash on the line to dry; they didn’t even freeze.  Planted several new flowers--I...

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...

Straight Talk

As I type, my dog is in her bed, snoring her head off. The even sounds of her snores work as a sort of white noise machine, making it hard to feel anxious of my impending work deadlines. It also brings to mind the subject of voices we each hear in our own heads. Not the voices that urge...

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.   The rain had finally calmed to a slow drizzle and Doodle Dog decided he’d had enough of this hiding-inside-business. Wet or not, thundering or not, scary or not, the...

Unique

I am always on the lookout for a unique wine, unique label, unique bottle or unique wine accessory. So last week we had the opportunity to pour our wine at WineStyles in Howland. They have a monthly wine tasting where you can sample 5 sweet wines or 5 dry wines while shopping some great vendors. It’s a great wine...

Getting Old is NOT for Sissies!

Just dealing with the medical and insurance issues is enough to send a rational individual(That would be me…no snickering out there) around the bend. I will be the first to admit that my medical and insurance issues are--knock on wood--WAY less fraught with difficulty than many other folk out there who have to deal with catastrophic situations and illnesses.  BUT…...

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...

Become a Master Gardener

The Ohio State University extends itself into every county in the state--all 88 of them.  These are called--what else--extension offices and they offer information, advice and services to local residents.  This can cover agriculture & natural resources, community development, nutrition, family & consumer science, 4-H programs--a whole bunch of things.  It’s the largest non-formal education system in the world. ...

Notes From The Vineyard

It is an exciting time for us in the vineyard! We are starting to see some swelling in the vines which means that we should be seeing bud break in the next couple of weeks! The next couple of weeks are a perfect time to start planting a vineyard if you want to try grape growing! Planting and maintaining a...

By The Numbers

What is the sign of a good decision?® It’s putting what’s important to you first. Did you realize that your assets owned at death are generally subject to federal and state taxes? A significant percentage of your estate may go towards tax liabilities. Unless you plan ahead, your legacy becomes open to public scrutiny through the probate process. There are steps you can...

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...

Notes From the Vineyard

How many of you have thought to yourself that owning a winery or a vineyard would be an awesome opportunity? I know I thought that! But when we first started talking about owning a winery or growing grapes we really had no idea where to start. Sure, we loved making wine and we had a couple of vines in...

Puppy Tales

Ahhhhh! Spring is here, spring is here, spring is here! Doodle Dog thought as he bounded down the sidewalk through town. Spring is here, spring is here, spring is here! Doodle Dog thought as he dodged a row of melty puddles made by the dripping mounds of snow that, although they were still here, were no longer massive mountains...

How’s your Easter Bonnet look with snow on it?

Good Grief!  Polar Fleece and long johns, peeps and bunnies with frost on their little noses…er…beaks…er …whatever.  Deep frozen chocolate eggs and jelly beans, rock-hard marshmallow anything.  How crazy has this season been so far?  This is Spring from the old days, the ones where hardy ancestors walked two miles to school every day, uphill both ways, rain or...

By The Numbers

1. DROPS HAPPEN - Since the S&P 500 bottomed on 3/09/09, the stock index has gained +130.1% through the close of trading last Friday 3/22/13 (change of the raw index not counting the impact of reinvested dividends).  Even though the index has more than doubled there have been 13 different pullbacks of 5% or more since the 3/09/09 bottom. ...

“I am looking for a knitting pattern for a poncho that has cuffs…”

“I am looking for a knitting pattern for a poncho that has cuffs. I saw one online, but now I can’t find it again.”  The Newton Falls Public Library staff had trouble imaging what the garment looked like, so we asked for clarification. “It is a poncho you pull over your head, but along the edge there are cuffs...

Notes From The Vineyard

Is anyone else sick and tired of winter yet? Spring officially sprang this week but unfortunately I think the Cleveland area missed that memo, so here we are surviving with cold temperatures and potentially more snow. The cold temperatures and extra moisture has lead to a very popular topic amongst the wineries – “how are your vineyards doing?” Thankfully, the...

Spring Things

How’re you liking Spring so far? Yes, indeedy, the official astronomical beginning of Spring was on Wednesday, March 20 at 7:02, EDT ( Or 11:02, UTC).  Actually, I lied; according to the Farmer’s Almanac there is no “official” start to any of the seasons.  That all depends upon the climate of an individual country.  It IS, of course, the Vernal...

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 ...

By The Numbers

1. LOOKING BACK - Over the 300 months ending 2/28/13 (i.e., the last 25 years), the S&P 500 has been up 64% of the months and down the other 36% of the months.  The period includes the 2000-02 bear market (down 49%) and the 2007-09 bear market (down 57%).  The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index of 500 widely...

Who would have thought…

Since the inception of Nearby Nature, we have discussed many subjects relating to natural history, geology, plant and animal identification, places to experience nature, and many others. Like huge puzzle pieces so to speak, we have tried to create an awareness of how everything “fits together” and works in harmony creating sights and experiences we enjoy every day. Beginning...

By The Numbers

1. TWO MONTHS - The S&P 500 gained +6.6% (total return) during the first 2 months of 2013, 67% of the average annual total return achieved over the last 50 calendar years.  The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index of 500 widely held stocks that is generally considered representative of the US stock market (source: BTN Research). 2. ANOTHER YEAR...

Marc Pfenning