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    My son is only 6, but I’ve already taken 6 important steps to protect him financially – Business Insider – Business Insider - March 5, 2020 by admin

    Personal Finance Insider writes about products, strategies, and tips to help you make smart decisions with your money. We may receive a small commission from our partners, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.

    I grew up poor.

    Living in the projects didn't feel like poverty until I was bussed out to a gifted and talented program where most of my classmates had never even seen food stamps, let alone used them.

    There were never more than two or three Black children in my class (including me) and most of my peers lived in houses instead of the projects.

    I learned that we were poor by comparison, and I was ashamed. Since the other children didn't know that, they'd often make demeaning comments about students they suspected were poor. It is something that has stayed with me.

    Even though my mother kept a job on top of side hustles, I never invited my school friends to our place. And I didn't talk to my mother about money until I got my first job at 14. I had so many questions, but I didn't want to seem ungrateful. I understood that money was important, but I didn't quite understand why. More importantly, I didn't yet understand how I could get more of it.

    As a single mother, I've taken steps to make sure my son understands the role money can play in his future. Here are the six smartest financial steps I've taken to protect my son.

    A lot of millennial parents don't think of insurance when they consider long-term savings for their children. It might be surprising to folks, but term life insurance is a great investment.

    Despite some of the myths we learn about term life insurance, it can be a catalyst for a family's legacy. I won't miss the $30 a month that comes out of my paycheck, and my son won't suffer financially if I die before he's able to take care of himself.

    To most parents' credit, we understand the importance of savings. Even the poorest families still get why it is needed even if socio-economic barriers prevent them from investing in their child's future. I've found that it's not enough to just have a savings account. We also need to teach our kids what it means to save.

    This year, I decided to get a physical ledger from the bank. I only make deposits when my son is with me. Even though he can't yet reach the counter, he writes each deposit and notes the new balance.

    This practice led to a conversation about the difference between regular savings and emergency savings. We discussed why some people have so much more money than we do. He also asked about why some people can't afford a home. It was surprising how much he already understood about the world.

    There are lots of apps out there that teach children about money, but the physical ledger promotes a more acute awareness of what it means to earn, spend, and save money.

    Much like having life insurance, a will is a way to protect our family members after we pass away. My son is my only child, so there likely wouldn't be any disputes about my estate. Still, it's important to lay out his inheritance to reduce confusion and arbitration over my assets.

    Creating and discussing my will as he gets older will help him understand the benefits of planning ahead. It might seem a bit morbid, but I know how much of a financial burden it can be when there is no will.

    Dividing up property among grieving family members can lead to bad blood. Instead, a will offers concrete directions that allow the family to mourn in a more civil manner. Disputes may still happen especially if a family is dividing up debt or tax liability but ultimately a will can prevent things like foreclosures, vehicle liens, and repossessions.

    By having a legally binding will (as opposed to just telling your family your wishes) we can also offer safety. Wills establish legal guardianship so that the state doesn't decide what happens to our children. Moreover, we can set up trusts that mature after our child comes of age.

    The specificity of a will is important, and it increases the chances that the designated guardians or beneficiaries are operating in our children's best interest.

    Create a free, legal will online in minutes with Fabric

    My 6-year-old son does not get an allowance. Instead, he earns money by selling his art. It's not a lucrative business, but he does relatively well for a first grader.

    We are blessed to have the means for an allowance, but in my experience, it has been more beneficial to provide an opportunity to monetize his extracurriculars. During church bazaars, thrift sales, and school events, my son and 9-year-old niece have sold lots of things. Their biggest money-makers are original art, African fabrics, and compliments. Yes my son and niece sell strangers compliments.

    At the end of each event, they give me back any money I invested for supplies, then divide the rest of their profit down the middle. It teaches them lifelong financial lessons that most of us don't even get as adults. On the car ride home, they discuss sales strategies, annoying customers, and ethics.

    We have talked about savings a lot more since buying our first home last year. My son puts about $5 on the water bill bi-monthly. It barely makes a dent in the bill, but it teaches him about how to manage his money. Plus, he feels like he is really contributing to our household.

    My son comes with me to visit houses when we help our friends look for investment properties. He has also helped scrape the carpet glue off the floor during our basement remodeling.

    In addition to being a unique learning opportunity for my little one, a home is a pretty stable investment. As I make improvements, it's building equity, and paying my mortgage on time boosts my credit.

    For some families, money is a sensitive topic. This last step may be the most important, regardless of income level. Honesty is so important. Hiding our money problems from our little ones could be detrimental.

    While I don't necessarily spend hours each week going through each bill with my son, I do include him in conversations about money.

    When he wanted to get a dog, I sat down with him and showed him my budget snapshot how much it costs to keep our household stable. I let him know how much money we had leftover after things like the mortgage, car, and food.

    Then, I had him make a list of all the things a dog would need: food, collar, toys, a doghouse, doctor's visits, walking, etc. We connected either a dollar value or time value. For example: The dog would need to be walked a few times a day. Mom works all day and he is in school, so we would have to pay someone to go to our house and let the dog out.

    At first, he was discouraged, but then we talked about saving money and cutting back. He left the conversation super hopeful and we discussed a cat or turtle since they're less expensive. It was simple and practical.

    He is young, and at this age his attention span is unreliable at best. My hope is that these conversations make him a less impulsive spender and a more fiscally aware adult.

    No parent is perfect. As much as we try to teach our little ones to make the right choices, we still have our own mistakes to learn from. We can give our children the best tools, but the truth is, they'll still stumble. These six financial steps won't always protect my son, but I hope they'll set him up for success as he becomes an adult.

    The rest is here:
    My son is only 6, but I've already taken 6 important steps to protect him financially - Business Insider - Business Insider

    Anticipating Problematic Red Line Construction, Bryn Mawr Jewelry Moves To Andersonville – edgevillebuzz - March 5, 2020 by admin

    The ambitious CTA Red Purple Modernization Project (RPM) has started the initial phase of construction and will continue for the next several years. With businesses starting to get nervous over the work and what it means for their profits, one retail store thats been on Bryn Mawr for a century has made the decision to move to Andersonville.

    Bryn Mawr Jewelry Company has been located right next to the red line station at 1125 W. Bryn Mawr for just over 100 years, but the looming closure of both the train stop and use of the sidewalk in front of the business from days to weeks on end was just too great a risk. Instead, the jewelry stores owner Scott Freeman is taking a leap of faith by packing up shop and heading to Andersonville.

    Freeman took over the store about 15 years ago from the previous jeweler. In that time he has witnessed the transformation of the area into a more vibrant place with a diverse collection of businesses.

    Ive watched the street slowly get cleaned up over the years and move in the right direction, said Freeman. I honestly wouldnt have moved if they were not remodeling this train station. It truly forced my hand because you cant do business if people cannot walk through your door. However, Ive always wanted to expand and was unable to in our current 750 sq. ft. of space. This gave me the push needed and I am grateful in a way.

    In the craft for 25 years now he specializes in making his own custom creations as well as offering fine retail brands. What has made the store unique though is the relaxed atmosphere and jewelry priced for everyone, from $5 pieces to ones as expensive as $20K.

    The new store will be located just south of Foster Ave. at 5139 N. Clark. and will give the jeweler the bigger showroom he has desired with 1150 sq. ft of space and a full basement area. He has already moved the business into the new location and is just finishing the $50k build-out in time for a grand opening celebration this Saturday.

    I was able to create a space that I always envisioned my jewelry store to look like, Freeman explained. This store is more of a reflection of my personality such as decor and layout. I am also planning on starting a line of my own and hired some new people that can sit at the bench and do repairs so I can free up my time to create.

    The new Bryn Mawr Jewelry Company store will be divided by a large glass partition where people can watch the jewelers at work from the retail showroom. Though Freeman loves to talk and get to know his customers, this will give him the opportunity to still oversee the showroom while still providing a quieter space in order to concentrate on his work. They will also be expanding their showcases from 10 to 16 and introduce additional products.

    I am so excited to be a part of the Andersonville neighborhood, Freeman added. Its just such a vibrant community of small business owners. Its a bunch of mom and pop shops and people who really care about their businesses. Im looking forward to showing the neighborhood what I can do.

    The grand opening celebration will be all day long on Feb. 29 with give-aways, raffles, a ribbon-cutting at 9 a.m. and Drag Queen Story Time with Muffy Fishbasket at 10:30. Around Noon a local teacher will be helping kids make their own jewelry and other art projects. Then at 7 p.m. the adults can play with live music, hors deouvres and cocktails.

    Originally posted here:
    Anticipating Problematic Red Line Construction, Bryn Mawr Jewelry Moves To Andersonville - edgevillebuzz

    JOB: Potter Construction looking to hire a Lead Carpenter – The B-Town – The B-Town Blog - February 2, 2020 by admin

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    Are you looking for a carpentry job that challenges you? A job that works in all phases of carpentry, and is a part of the bigger picture? A job that has opportunity to grow?

    Potter Construction is an award winning Remodeling Company in West Seattle. In business since 1979, we serve the greater Seattle area. We do a lot of beautiful looking additions, kitchens, baths, and basement remodels.

    We currently have a position available for a Lead Carpenter. This position oversees the project and performs the carpentry work. Your job is to do the work and work with the subs and suppliers and make sure everything works well on site.

    This position is supported by the Production Manager, and the General Manager.

    You like to work independently and have organization and communication skills. We provide support with the paperwork and scheduling and weekly meetings. You care about the customer and want to make sure their concerns are heard. We provide an organized approach to projects that keeps drama to a minimum.

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    JOB: Potter Construction looking to hire a Lead Carpenter - The B-Town - The B-Town Blog

    Gardar, ND, volunteers give new life to township hall – Grand Forks Herald - February 2, 2020 by admin

    Volunteers have remodeled the hall, built in 1898, and are constructing an adjoining addition that will house a kitchen, restrooms and office.

    About four years ago, Gardar Township Board members were considering tearing down the township hall, which had become an eyesore. That's when Tom Mullen and Bruce Langerud suggested that maybe it could be renovated.

    We only had a couple of buildings left on Main Street and we wanted to save them, Mullen said.

    Mullen, who lives near the tiny community of nine people about 80 miles northwest of Grand Forks, also had fond memories of playing basketball in the wooden-floored building as a boy. He wants future generations to make memories there.

    It was incredibly fun, playing basketball in there with your buddies, Mullen said.

    Langerud, owner of a construction business, looked at the hall to determine if it could be saved. What he saw wasnt too promising.

    It was on the brink of being gone, Langerud said.

    But that didnt mean it was a hopeless project. When he was younger, Langerud worked for several years with a carpenter who restored old buildings. Langerud learned the trade from him.

    I had done enough work with him to say, We can do this, Langerud said.

    The township board, though dubious, agreed not to tear down the hall and instead to allow Mullen and Langerud to round up volunteer laborers and seek donors to pledge money for the project.

    The restoration project began with digging new footings and pouring a foundation several feet west of the town hall, then jacking up the building and moving it to the new site. Once the hall was on a solid foundation, volunteers began repairing it, including putting new siding on the exterior, installing new windows and remodeling the entry.

    The volunteers also made a new stairway to the basement where the "bleachers" that were used during basketball games are stored. The bleachers, A-frame sawhorses with laid boards on top, were placed along the sidelines of the basketball court, Mullen said.

    The township hall was used for Gardar High School games until it closed in 1961. The hall's basketball backboards and the antique timing clock are being restored and will be placed back in the hall after the work is finished.

    The hall has a history that began long before it was used for township activities. The building was constructed in 1898 as a lodge for the Independent Order of Foresters, a fraternal organization based in Toronto, Mullen said.

    That changed in about 10 years. The IOF decided to go with the Ancient Order of United Outdoorsmen, he said.

    In the 1940s, the fraternal organization became Mutual Life Insurance, which had a building in Fargo. The company no longer had a use for the hall in Gardar so the company sold it to the Gardar Township School District. When the school was redistricted in 1961, it sold the hall to Gardar Township. The hall was used until about 20 years ago, when it began to fall into disrepair.

    Volunteers originally estimated the repairs would cost about $60,000, but that amount has grown to about $100,000.

    We thought, weve gone this far, we might as well do this and that, Mullen said. Part of this and that includes the adjoining Eldhus addition, which includes a new kitchen and restroom next to the hall.

    The refurbished township hall already has been used for community events, including last summers 90th birthday celebration of former North Dakota Lt. Gov. Rosemarie Myrdal, who lives near Gardar. Volunteers hope to complete the Eldhus by this spring. Then the Gardar Township Hall will be ready to host a variety of events.

    It could be used for birthday parties, graduations, wedding dances, family reunions, Mullen said.

    We hope this building will be around here for the next 100 years and that future generations will use it, he said.

    More here:
    Gardar, ND, volunteers give new life to township hall - Grand Forks Herald

    Renovated railhouse, 21 tiny homes heart of Fruit Valley project – The Columbian - February 2, 2020 by admin

    Breaking ground

    Part one is the railhouse. The preliminary remodel, budgeted at $30,000, is just aimed at making the building safe and habitable, including reinforcing the porch, replacing kitchen appliances and clearing out ducts and vents.

    The house will have four private bedrooms and shared living space, including a kitchen, bathroom, living room and basement laundry room. Prospective tenants need to have been referred by a partner group or regional addiction recovery programs, such as Kleen Street and Community Services Northwest.

    Right now, were getting everything safe and habitable so we can get bodies off the street, said Justin Crouch, general contractor for JC Remodeling and Construction, working at the site on Monday.

    The goal was to by the end of February have everything livable, and were definitely going to meet if not exceed that.

    A more comprehensive remodel is scheduled for the coming months, paid for in part by a $100,000 grant from Vancouvers Affordable Housing Fund, and will see the roof replaced, the existing paint stripped and replaced, and a renovation performed to transform the basement originally built to accommodate a horse and buggy into a laundry room and office space for the nonprofit.

    The tenants will be a community mix, Thobaben said, meaning that the house is inclusive of all ages and genders. Sex offenders and people convicted of violent felonies are ineligible.

    Rent per room would be tough to match elsewhere: $450 a month.

    The 150-year-old building isnt without its charms; historic details, like carved wooden awnings and intricately engraved door hinges, survived the restoration. But it also has some quirks. Expensive quirks. Theyre already about $6,000 over budget.

    If youve ever done a remodel, you peel back the wall, and you find five things you didnt know about, Thobaben said. You budget the best you can based on what you can see.

    The older it gets, the harder it gets, Crouch added.

    For the three-man construction crew, the project marks a kind of full cycle. Theyre all graduates of the Kleen Street recovery program, a group that helps addicts experiencing homelessness overcome their substance abuse problems and put the pieces of their lives back together.

    Crouch got addicted to opioids after a back injury nearly 20 years ago. He lost his family, his job and his home, and he was living in his truck.

    Every time you use could be the last time. I had five overdoses. The goal is to be able to get people through a program like Kleen Street, or through Community Roots, and get people back to the fortunate position that Ive been in, to get back to a normal life, Crouch said.

    Crouch said he knows firsthand that the community a recovering addict surrounds themselves with makes all the difference. Neighborhoods like this one could go a long way.

    You pick up the characteristics, to an extent, of the people around you. If youre around people that are trying to achieve the same outcome, you tend to kind of pick up those traits, Crouch said.

    The major phase of the Fruit Valley development will take place over the summer.

    Through a contract with Wolf Industries, a tiny home builder based in Battle Ground, the nonprofit is commissioning 21 structures for $58,000 apiece.

    Derek Huegel, owner and founder of Wolf Industries, said Monday that his company can produce approximately one tiny home per week. This is a major contract for the company, which Huegel says has built about 80 houses since opening in 2016. So far, most of their business has been primarily accessory dwelling units, or ADUs, he said.

    If we can scale this appropriately, then well be able to start in May, Thobaben said.

    A model version of the tiny homes headed to Fruit Valley includes one bedroom, a kitchen with a refrigerator and stove, and a bathroom with a toilet, shower and sink.

    Why tiny homes for an affordable housing project?

    Theyre cheaper than traditional houses. But unlike trailers and mobile homes, which depreciate in value over time similar to a vehicle, tiny homes act like a miniature real estate investment.

    These are built to Washington State Labor & Industry standards, Thobaben said. They are actual houses. They just happen to be able to be moved. They retain value over time.

    Tenants will be able to pay down their tiny homes in a lease-to-own agreement. If they pay down their unit, theyll continue to pay rent on the land, similar to agreements in traditional mobile-home parks. But the rent will drop from $700 to $250, not including utilities, and theyll have the option of moving their home to a different location.

    Thobaben said his ultimate hope is to create a model thats not only successful but replicable. The Fruit Valley community would be the first of its kind in the county, but ideally not the last.

    Its not a complete solution to homelessness in Clark County, Thobaben acknowledged.

    Theres the housing-first approach, which is essential, Thobaben said, citing a homelessness strategy that prioritizes housing before other issues like addiction can be properly treated. This is not that, though.

    The folks we have identified out of Kleen Street are folks like Justin. They have six months to two years in the program already, theyre ready to graduate, they just need the space to do it, and they need an affordable space.

    And he said its discouraging that even with so many factors cutting down project expenses including the project manager and engineer, Ginn Group and PLS Engineering, offering services at-cost, as well as charitable donations and public funds monthly rents on the tiny homes cant go any lower than $700 a month to keep the project solvent.

    Thats still a high hurdle, Thobaben said, especially for many people transitioning out of recovery programs and rebuilding their lives. The high rent is indicative of a larger problem that Community Roots Collective isnt necessarily equipped to handle solo, he added.

    We need housing, and we need it in a bad way, Thobaben said.

    Follow this link:
    Renovated railhouse, 21 tiny homes heart of Fruit Valley project - The Columbian

    5 Tips for Improving the Value of Your Home – The Realtime Report - January 16, 2020 by admin

    5 Tips for Improving the Value of Your Home

    Whether youre looking to eventually sell, or you just want to increase the value of your property, there are many things you can do to essentially improve its reassessment value. While some changes are less extreme, they often dont bring the price increase that youd want to see when adding the house to the market. Making these improvements can even make the residence more comfortable for you and your loved ones. Some of these upgrades can be done yourself in an attempt to save money or by working with experts who do the job for you.

    Improving Curb Appeal

    The outside of the house is what most people see when first pulling up in front of the property or walking passed. If there is overgrown grass, dying trees or dead, flat flowerbeds, it leaves a lot to be desired. Improving the curb appeal can be as simple as getting on a routine mowing schedule or as detailed as hiring a landscaping company to do the work for you. Get rid of old, dying trees and consider adding rock walls and pathways that improve aesthetic appeal. Faux lawns are all the rage, since they dont need to be watered or mowed and look great no matter the time of year.

    Adding an Elevator

    Who wouldnt want to come into a home and see a fully functioning elevator ready to be used? Elevators add thousands of dollars worth of value to homes. They are ideal for getting from one floor to another and are an absolute must for individuals who are disabled or mobile-impaired. By working with a residential elevator company, you can have the addition of your dreams and the daily living convenience that you need.

    Kitchen and Bathroom Remodels

    The bathroom and kitchen of the house are the two most-used rooms for the family. If theyre outdated and lacking in available features, this not only devalues the property, but it makes living there more inconvenient and uncomfortable. Remodeling a bathroom can mean pulling up and replacing old tubs and sinks as well as adding heated flooring and toilets. Your kitchen can be remodeled in a way that includes more counter space and refines the cooking experience.

    Improving Energy Efficiency

    Potential buyers and current homeowners need a house that is as energy efficient as possible. This could be as simple as adding smart faucets to sinks and showers that turn off after a specified amount of time or installing solar panels on the roof. The key is to properly lower utility costs and enhance the living experience for those who are staying there.

    Finishing Up the Basement

    That cement floor and leaking wall in the basement isnt necessarily what potential buyers want to see when taking a tour of the home. Nowadays, most people use their basements for entertainment purposes or even use as a home office. It might serve as a great place to game online, watch movies or as an area for the kids to play. Finishing up the basement entails adding walls and flooring, as well as ensuring there is sufficient heating and cooling available.

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    5 Tips for Improving the Value of Your Home - The Realtime Report

    Green Country Home and Garden Show – KRMG - January 10, 2020 by admin

    The morning after Iran lobbed missiles at bases housing U.S. military forces in Iraq, President Donald Trump signaled on Wednesday that he would not be ordering any immediate U.S. military response to Tehran, though the President said he would place new economic sanctions on Iran in a further bid to halt their nuclear ambitions. 'Iran appears to be standing down,' the President said at the White House, as he made clear the U.S would not respond right now with military might. 'The United States is ready to embrace peace, with all who seek it,' Mr. Trump added, even as he tried to turn up the economic pressure on Iranian leaders. 'These powerful sanctions will remain until Iran changes its behavior,' the President added. 'If you value your life, you will not threaten the lives of our people,' Mr. Trump said. In his nine minute speech, the President did not address questions about the underlying intelligence behind the U.S. strike which killed Qasem Soleimani, a top Iranian paramilitary leader - but Mr. Trump made clear he had no second thoughts. 'Soleimanis hands were drenched in both American and Iranian blood,' the President said. 'He should have been terminated long ago.' In Congress, anti-war Democrats breathed a sigh of relief at the lack of a military response. 'I'm heartened that our President stuck with the script, did not humiliate Iran & recognized that Iran is standing down,' said Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA). But the choice of more sanctions was not embraced by all. 'Direct, firm, and peaceful engagement with Iran is more likely to bring about positive change than are further sanctions and warfare,' said Rep. Justin Amash (I-MI). Here is the full text of the President's remarks, as provided by the White House: REMARKS BY PRESIDENT TRUMP ON IRAN 11:28 A.M. EST THE PRESIDENT: As long as I am President of the United States, Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon. Good morning. I'm pleased to inform you: The American people should be extremely grateful and happy no Americans were harmed in last nights attack by the Iranian regime. We suffered no casualties, all of our soldiers are safe, and only minimal damage was sustained at our military bases. Our great American forces are prepared for anything. Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned and a very good thing for the world. No American or Iraqi lives were lost because of the precautions taken, the dispersal of forces, and an early warning system that worked very well. I salute the incredible skill and courage of Americas men and women in uniform. For far too long -- all the way back to 1979, to be exact -- nations have tolerated Irans destructive and destabilizing behavior in the Middle East and beyond. Those days are over. Iran has been the leading sponsor of terrorism, and their pursuit of nuclear weapons threatens the civilized world. We will never let that happen. Last week, we took decisive action to stop a ruthless terrorist from threatening American lives. At my direction, the United States military eliminated the worlds top terrorist, Qasem Soleimani. As the head of the Quds Force, Soleimani was personally responsible for some of the absolutely worst atrocities. He trained terrorist armies, including Hezbollah, launching terrorist strikes against civilian targets. He fueled bloody civil wars all across the region. He viciously wounded and murdered thousands of U.S. troops, including the planting of roadside bombs that maim and dismember their victims. Soleimani directed the recent attacks on U.S. personnel in Iraq that badly wounded four service members and killed one American, and he orchestrated the violent assault on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. In recent days, he was planning new attacks on American targets, but we stopped him. Soleimanis hands were drenched in both American and Iranian blood. He should have been terminated long ago. By removing Soleimani, we have sent a powerful message to terrorists: If you value your own life, you will not threaten the lives of our people. As we continue to evaluate options in response to Iranian aggression, the United States will immediately impose additional punishing economic sanctions on the Iranian regime. These powerful sanctions will remain until Iran changes its behavior. In recent months alone, Iran has seized ships in international waters, fired an unprovoked strike on Saudi Arabia, and shot down two U.S. drones. Irans hostilities substantially increased after the foolish Iran nuclear deal was signed in 2013, and they were given $150 billion, not to mention $1.8 billion in cash. Instead of saying 'thank you' to the United States, they chanted 'death to America.' In fact, they chanted 'death to America' the day the agreement was signed. Then, Iran went on a terror spree, funded by the money from the deal, and created hell in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Iraq. The missiles fired last night at us and our allies were paid for with the funds made available by the last administration. The regime also greatly tightened the reins on their own country, even recently killing 1,500 people at the many protests that are taking place all throughout Iran. The very defective JCPOA expires shortly anyway, and gives Iran a clear and quick path to nuclear breakout. Iran must abandon its nuclear ambitions and end its support for terrorism. The time has come for the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, and China to recognize this reality. They must now break away from the remnants of the Iran deal - or JCPOA - and we must all work together toward making a deal with Iran that makes the world a safer and more peaceful place. We must also make a deal that allows Iran to thrive and prosper, and take advantage of its enormous untapped potential. Iran can be a great country. Peace and stability cannot prevail in the Middle East as long as Iran continues to foment violence, unrest, hatred, and war. The civilized world must send a clear and unified message to the Iranian regime: Your campaign of terror, murder, mayhem will not be tolerated any longer. It will not be allowed to go forward. Today, I am going to ask NATO to become much more involved in the Middle East process. Over the last three years, under my leadership, our economy is stronger than ever before and America has achieved energy independence. These historic accomplishments changed our strategic priorities. These are accomplishments that nobody thought were possible. And options in the Middle East became available. We are now the number-one producer of oil and natural gas anywhere in the world. We are independent, and we do not need Middle East oil. The American military has been completely rebuilt under my administration, at a cost of $2.5 trillion. U.S. Armed Forces are stronger than ever before. Our missiles are big, powerful, accurate, lethal, and fast. Under construction are many hypersonic missiles. The fact that we have this great military and equipment, however, does not mean we have to use it. We do not want to use it. American strength, both military and economic, is the best deterrent. Three months ago, after destroying 100 percent of ISIS and its territorial caliphate, we killed the savage leader of ISIS, al-Baghdadi, who was responsible for so much death, including the mass beheadings of Christians, Muslims, and all who stood in his way. He was a monster. Al-Baghdadi was trying again to rebuild the ISIS caliphate, and failed. Tens of thousands of ISIS fighters have been killed or captured during my administration. ISIS is a natural enemy of Iran. The destruction of ISIS is good for Iran, and we should work together on this and other shared priorities. Finally, to the people and leaders of Iran: We want you to have a future and a great future -- one that you deserve, one of prosperity at home, and harmony with the nations of the world. The United States is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it. I want to thank you, and God bless America. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you.

    Continued here:
    Green Country Home and Garden Show - KRMG

    Yum China Stock Up 39% in a Year: Will the Bull Run Continue? – Nasdaq - January 10, 2020 by admin

    Shares of Yum China Holdings, Inc. YUMC have witnessed a sharp gain of 39% in the past year, outperforming the industrys growth of 20.4%. The increase can be primarily attributed to robust unit growth, solid performance of KFC, menu innovation and digitalization. However, high costs associated with restaurant operations and lesser focus on the franchise model are concerns. Can the company continue its bull run in 2020? Lets delve deeper.

    Growth Drivers

    Yum China is focused on relentless unit growth of its restaurants to drive sales. In 2018, the company opened 819 restaurants and re-modeled 931 stores. This exceeds the companys target of opening 600-650 stores in 2018. In the third quarter of 2019, Yum China opened 231 new restaurants and remodeled 126 stores, reflecting a significant rise from the first half of 2019. Notably, the company is aggressively remodeling in the fourth quarter to achieve the target of 500 store remodeling for the full year. More than 80% of the company's current portfolio has been remodeled or built over the past five years.

    Yum China relies heavily on the potential of KFC and Pizza Hut. With chicken being the most preferred form of protein among Chinese people, KFC has become the largest restaurant brand in the country. The brand, which has been witnessing considerable average check growth owing to its affordability, currently operates in 6,324 units in China. Pizza Hut, on the contrary, operates in more than 2,255 units and is keeping pace with the rising consumer demand for casual dining and delivery services. Notably, the company reported its 12th consecutive quarter of system sales growth, with same-store sales improvement at both KFC and Pizza Hut during the third quarter.

    Coming to loyalty memberships, Yum Brands created a robust loyalty program that has more than 265 million members, combining both brands. Backed by deliveries and digital sales, the companys loyalty membership rose at a high-double-digit rate year over year for both brands in 2018. As of Sep 30, 2019, the KFC loyalty program constituted more than 200 million members and the Pizza Hut loyalty program had more than 65 million members, up from 55 million and 15 million, respectively, in the comparable year-ago period.

    Concerns

    Yum China is facing structural high costs of labor and rentals. Apart from wage inflation, the company is bearing the costs stemming from promotion, menu innovation and technological novelty. In order to curb labor costs, it is increasingly focusing on delivery channels. This is again expected to curb margins in the near term. Also, costs related to transactions and franchises are expected to increase in the near future.

    Notably, in 2018, total costs and expenses grew 6.9% year over year to $7,474 million. This upside can be attributed to a 10.5% increase in restaurant expenses, an 11.1% rise in Payroll and employee benefit expenses, and a 14.4% hike in food and paper expenses. In third-quarter 2019, total costs and expenses increased 3.9% year over year to $2,019 million. This upside resulted from a 4.2% increase in restaurant expenses, a 5.8% rise in Payroll and employee benefit costs and a 6.7% hike in food and paper expenses.

    Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

    Yum China has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked stocks worth considering in the same space include Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. CMG, Domino's Pizza, Inc. DPZ and Dunkin' Brands Group, Inc. DNKN. All these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of todays Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

    Chipotle Mexican Grill reported trailing four-quarter positive earnings surprise of 16.1%, on average.

    Domino's Pizza and Dunkin' Brands Group have an impressive long-term earnings growth rate of 13.7% and 10.9%, respectively.

    5 Stocks Set to Double

    Each was hand-picked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2020. Each comes from a different sector and has unique qualities and catalysts that could fuel exceptional growth.Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.

    Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>

    Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (CMG): Free Stock Analysis Report

    Yum China Holdings Inc. (YUMC): Free Stock Analysis Report

    Domino's Pizza Inc (DPZ): Free Stock Analysis Report

    Dunkin' Brands Group, Inc. (DNKN): Free Stock Analysis Report

    To read this article on Zacks.com click here.

    Zacks Investment Research

    The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

    Link:
    Yum China Stock Up 39% in a Year: Will the Bull Run Continue? - Nasdaq

    Pioneer Potluck: Memories of my mom on her birthday – Kenai Peninsula Online - January 10, 2020 by admin

    This column is in memory of my mom, Loretta Edith McClure.

    Born Dec. 19, 1915 Fort Collin, Colorado

    Died Feb 3, 1999 Fort Collins, Colorado

    As you can see by the above title, our mother spent all of her life in the same area.

    This is what my mother wrote in her tiny handwriting in what I call my Heritage Book.

    Loretta Edith Cogswell grew up near Wellington, Colorado with her parents on a farm. She attended school near Wellington and studied piano for several years by a teacher at the school When the instructor was no longer available she studied by correspondence with the American College of Music in Kansas City, Missouri. Following two years of high school in Wellington she moved with her parents to a fruit orchard near Fort Collins. She assisted her father with the care and harvest of the fruit and worked various jobs around and in Fort Collins. On August 28, 1936 Loretta and John Melvin McClure were married in Greeley, Colorado. John, formerly of Westfall, Kansas, came to Colorado from Kansas in 1934 working for various area farmers. After spending a month in Kansas following their marriage, John and Loretta return to Colorado, where John was employed by a farmer and sheepherder.

    The following year February 1937 they rented an irrigation farm east of Fort Collins and one mile from the orchard where Lorettas parents resided. The owner of the farm Sam Kamp was well known as a producer of Japanese popcorn. He wished to retire. The corn was marketed as KempKorn which he canned and sold to Safeway Stores.

    (Dad continued to grow corn for Safeway for a few years.)

    That is all I know about my mother growing up. I never heard her play the piano. She did see to it that Elaine, Ginger and I received piano lessons for many years from Kathryn Sutherland. I inherited my dads tin ear and monotone voice. Playing the piano and keeping rhythm and timing were very difficult for me. Once in a while my mom would poke her head through the door while I was practicing and say, Ann start over or can you play something different? I played Christmas carols all year long, just so I could get them perfect at Christmas. I am sure my mother tolerated more than I know!

    There are five kids in the family: John Jr, Virginia, Elaine and Jim, and I am the oldest. We all were born in Fort Collins and lived in the farm house north of Fort Collins.

    My first recollection of celebrating my mothers birthday probably was when I was 6 or 7. Mom always baked her own birthday cake, chocolate angel food cake, and dad would give her a small present. One year he gave it to me to wrap, which I did with utmost care and great honor. I found real pretty wrapping paper and took a long time wrapping it. Those were the days of no Scotch tape, so it had to be tied with ribbon. I was so proud to hand it to her. Dad even said, thats real pretty, Ann. As I gave her the present, she looked at me a little sideways, her chin down and her eyebrow up, and said, This is Christmas wrapping paper; I guess I have to wait till Christmas.

    Dad and I both convinced her it was a birthday present and that she could open it now. So on every birthday, I would remember this and always look for the prettiest birthday paper I could find in the middle of December. In later years she was emphatic about If you wrap my birthday present in Christmas paper I WILL NOT open it until Dec. 25!

    In earlier years she fried chicken, mashed potatoes, made gravy and made her own biscuits for her own birthday dinner. I do not remember Dad ever taking her out to eat, which she probably would have declined anyway. And in later years he bought her flowers they did not have to be wrapped.

    We had many birthday parties for her through the years and she was always a little embarrassed at all the fuss. And we never knew exactly how old she was. And she never told either!

    If my mom was known for anything it was baking cookies. She baked cookies all year round. She baked tons of cookies for Christmas. Susan recalls when we moved to Alaska, she would send us baggies full of cookies, wrapped tightly with twist ties. Packing was crumpled newspaper, which we smoothed out and read. Then the shipping box was wrapped in brown paper and tied with twine. Still no Scotch tape. How did we ever do without scotch tape? She would ship us cookies throughout the year.

    Mom loved flowers and spent many, many hours irrigating her yard full of lilies of the valley, cosmos, iris, marigolds, pansies, and tending to the big lilac bush. As I have mentioned before, she always carried a hoe everywhere to clean out the little irrigation ditches but most of all just case she saw a snake. Then she would do her snake dance, chop that little water snake into little bitty pieces, dig a little bitty ditch and scrape the remains of the little snake into the ditch. She would scrape some soil over the top of it tamp it down with the bottom of the hoe and then finish by stomping it with her feet. I still smile with this image.

    Mom loved Christmas and she worked hard for us to have a beautiful Christmas tree, thoughtful presents, wonderful dinners and, most of all, her cookies. She would start the first of November making cookies and continue to bake them after Thanksgiving and a week before Christmas. She stored them gently and carefully in her big freezer. She doled them out carefully, and when the tray was down to crumbs, magically she would fill it again.

    Her Christmas dinners were spectacular after the remodeling of the farm house. She worked even harder at her dinners and her baking. I can honestly say her most satisfying moments must have been when everyone seated at the dinner table complimented her on her dinners and her baking. She planned her life around baking and cooking.

    My moms favorite cookbook was The Boston Cooking School Cook Book written by Fannie Farmer. I have this cookbook plus I have collected three more, one just recently.

    During World War II, Mom helped Dad in the fields and then cooked meals. She sewed for us, washed clothes in her ringer washing machine in the basement, and carried the wet clothes in the basket up the stairs, out to the clothesline. They were hung on the clothesline in her orderly fashion so the occasional neighbors would not see our underclothes.

    We would wait for the gentle Colorado breezes to dry them. She taught me how to carefully fold and place them in the basket. After we carried them in the house, we put the towels, sheets and pillowcases away, also the underclothes. Then the clothes that were to be ironed were laid out on the table. We would sprinkle them with warm water and fold them so they could be ironed the next day. That was done every Monday and Tuesday. Mom taught me how to iron so as not to have one wrinkle because what would the neighbors think if we had one wrinkle in our nicely starched clothes.

    I find myself doing more and more things like my mother did, however, I do not iron clothes because my neighbors do not care if I have wrinkles in my clothes and neither do I. We have a simpler life compared to how it was in the olden days. I am not so sure its the best.

    Happy Birthday Mom! I bet she is in Gods kitchen baking cookies!

    BANANA BREAD: NEW, DIFFERENT, GOOD

    Two eggs well beaten

    3 large bananas mashed

    1 cup sugar

    2 cups flour

    1/2 teaspoons salt

    1 teaspoon baking soda

    cup vegetable oil

    1 cup chopped nuts

    2 teaspoons vanilla

    To the well beaten eggs, slowly add sugar. Add bananas to egg mixture. Add the oil. Mix and add flour, salt and soda. Blend well. Add vanilla and nuts. Pour into small greased loaf pans. It will take three small or a large loaf pan. Cook it 350 degrees F until tested with a toothpick about 45 minutes for small loaf pans and 60 minutes for large pan. (I mixed this all by hand not with a mixer.) Great texture and great flavor!

    STIR-FRIED CASHEW CHICKEN

    This tasty dish has the flavor of orange and ginger.

    Prepare 4 cups of boiling water with 2 cups of white rice according to package.

    1 pound of boneless skinless chicken thighs, or boneless skinless chicken breast, partially frozen so you can cut in thin strips.

    2 large carrots, cut diagonally

    2 ribs celery, cut diagonally

    1 medium onion, cut in small chunks

    red pepper and yellow or green pepper, cut in chunks

    bag stir-fried frozen vegetables

    1 small can sliced mushrooms or 1 cup of fresh sliced mushrooms.

    Cut and slice chicken set aside. Slice vegetables set aside.

    Combine the sauce:

    34 cups orange juice

    1 tablespoon cornstarch

    3 tablespoons soy sauce, or according to your taste

    14 cup corn syrup I used honey for better flavor.

    12 to 1 teaspoon grated ginger or more depends on your taste (Keep ginger in freezer and grate it frozen.)

    Combine and set aside.

    Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in large skillet or wok. Add carrots and celery. Stir and then add onions and peppers. Stir-fry 1 minute and add the half bag of frozen stir-fried vegetables. Stir-fry to desired crispy tenderness. Take out a skillet or wok keep warm. Add 1 more tablespoon oil. Stir-fry in small batches, until sliced chicken is no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Push aside in pan and add the orange juice, ginger, and soy sauce mixture stir quickly until sauce is cooked clear. Add the vegetables. Stir in. Place in warm bowl with 1/2 cup crushed cashew pieces sprinkled on top. Serve in individual bowls over hot rice. Four large servings. NOTE: To expand this: add 1 cup pineapple chunks, drained. If you do not have orange juice, use the drained pineapple juice in the sauce.

    MEXICAN FIESTA BAKE

    I found this on the back of a can. I have often thought I should name a cookbook I Found This on the Back of a Can or Box.

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

    1 pound ground beef, moose, venison or elk (I used to combine ground turkey half-and-half with the wild game.)

    1 cup chopped onion

    1 cup chunky style salsa

    1 dry package taco seasoning mix

    12 cup water

    1 cup corn

    12 cup sliced ripe olives, drained

    Cook your choice of meat with the onion in a skillet until no longer pink. Drain off grease. Stir in salsa, taco seasoning, and water.

    Bring to boil and reduce heat. Simmer for 5 to 6 minutes until thickened. Stir in corn and always. Spoon into an ungreased 8 x 8 inch baking dish.

    Topping:

    1 box of Jiffy Corn Meal Muffin Mix

    1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

    1 4-ounce can diced green chilies about 12 cup

    Prepare the batter for the corn muffins according to the directions on the package. Stir in cheese and chilies. Spread over top of meat mixture. Bake uncovered in preheated oven at 350 F for 30 to 40 minutes, until crust is golden. Top with more cheese and bake 5 more minutes. Cut in squares and serve with salsa, sour cream, chopped onions and shredded lettuce. I have another recipe similar title Enchilada Pie. Great company-coming dish!

    SOUR CREAM LEMON PIE

    I love lemon pie and this is especially good.

    You will need one 8-inch baked pie shell

    Mix:

    1 cup white sugar

    3 tablespoons cornstarch

    1 tablespoon of flour

    1 tablespoon lemon peel

    13 cup lemon juice

    1 cup light cream (I always use canned milk)

    14 cup butter

    Slowly bring to a boil on LOW heat, stirring constantly until mixture is thick and clear. You have to watch this because it burns easily. Cool to room temperature. Add 12 cup sour cream. Fold into lemon mixture until well blended.

    For topping:

    1 cup Cool Whip

    12 cup sour cream

    2 tablespoons powdered sugar, fold in until well mixed

    12 teaspoon almond extract

    14 teaspoon lemon extract

    Fold in. Spread over pie and garnish with thin lemon slices. Chill 1 hour.

    By ANN GRANNIE ANNIE BERG, For the Peninsula Clarion

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    Pioneer Potluck: Memories of my mom on her birthday - Kenai Peninsula Online

    What Are the Solutions To Stop Water Leakage – – VENTS Magazine - January 7, 2020 by admin

    The truth is not numerous people have the vision to initiate preventative actions concerning cellar water damage, leakages, and flooding, and foundation uprightness. That is the purpose why it is amplest to ask advice from an expert when you eventually accept the fact that you want help. The condition may have already declined, and the only appropriate response can save your house from slipping into decay around you.There are lots of Do-It-Yourself renovation models for jobs like vault clean up and water removal on your own. With no knowledge or training, it is suggested that you converse with your local alleged bunker waterproofing contractors to get the best outcomes. Asking an expert will end up preserving excess of money for you in the long run.

    Emergency Services

    Its crucial to find a basement repair contractor who is accessible 24 hours a day and seven days a week. A basement flooded with water needs urgent care. The humid conditions will quickly give a lift to mildew and mold. A parasite infestation can grow abruptly within 24 to 48 hours of water contamination. An excellent contractor has to volunteer crisis services for such a situation. You do not fancily mildew settling in, and you do not yearn for constant water damage either.You might get across many firms that want you to wait in order to strike a reply team. There are many more popular firms that will be at your doorstep in no time at all. Pick your contractor well as it could be the discrepancy between a quick fix or the need for much more comprehensive repair work that will be more costly as well as time-consuming.

    Basement Water Extraction

    Aleaky basementneeds to be dealt with immediately. A flooded basement will need more money and more expertise to repair. Get a contractor who is well versed in administering with all features of basement repair including, complete and thorough basement water removal.

    Water extraction will need intelligent tools and equipment. Flooding in confined, small spaces like basements needs the expertise of a known basement water extraction services and contractor. With an approved contractor, you can be sure they will have the precise equipment. A wet/dry vacuum will not be able to manage something like this. Its best left to a professional.

    To hire the best waterproofing I would recommend to hire Lees Summit MO Foundation Repair. They are the best waterproofing company I know and personally use.

    Depending on the origin of the water, water extraction will grow all the more critical. If the water is clear but left standing, the infection can occur. Sewerage, being backed up can be very critical to the inhabitants of the home as well as the structural integrity of the house.

    Complete Waterproofing Services

    You will need to seek the services of a competent and impeccable professional contractor, not just to clean up the existing mess, but also to prevent similar problems in the future. Entire basement waterproofing is fundamental to home remodeling to any home.

    Pick a reputable professional basement repair and waterproofing contractor immediately!https://smartfoundationsystems.com/Repair And Basement Waterproofing. Visit them online for a free basement.

    The rest is here:
    What Are the Solutions To Stop Water Leakage - - VENTS Magazine

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