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Yellow Brick Road
December 2017
One Brick At A Time®
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The fan advocates for next month are fans of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons and the USF Bulls. Be sure to check who are the fan advocates in waiting. Do you know them?
Each month a member has the opportunity to be our monthly fan advocate. The fan advocate then selects someone from a not previously selected university to be the next meal advocate. Call (630) 283-6219 or email meal@dorothy.com to recommend a fan advocate.

Ohio State University Fan
Avery Fox

Advocate: Avery Fox  
Fan: Duke Blue Devils
Duke University Fan
Avery Fox

Advocate: Dave Long   
Fan: Nebraska Cornhuskers
Nebraska Fan
Dave Long

Frank Neuener

Advocate: John Mike Ellis  
Fan: USC Trojans
John Ellis

Advocate: John Torzsa  
Fan: Connecticut Huskies
Connecticutt Fan
John Torzsa

Advocate: Todd James 
Fan: Florida State Seminoles
Florida State Fan
Todd James

Published: December 2017
Recipe by: Blue Apron
Notre Dame University
David and Lisa Brown
Each month a member has the opportunity to be our monthly meal advocate. The meal advocate chooses from 3 blue apron meals as their favorite for the month. Recomend someone from a not previously selected university to be the next meal advocate. Call (630) 283-6219 or email meal@dorothy.com to recommend a meal advocate for your favorite team.

Serves 2
Calories: About 670 Per Serving

This dish is inspired by the rich, complex flavor of shepherd’s pie, a hearty meat stew topped with a mashed potato crust. We’re cooking ground lamb and beef with vegetables like mushrooms and celery, plus zesty, aromatic spices like garlic powder, fennel seed and savory. And instead of mashed potatoes, we're topping our finished stew with thin slices of roasted potato, topped with a bit of nutty parmesan cheese.

Tip of the month
Advocate: John Mike Ellis  
Fan: USC Trojans
Published: December 2017

University of Southern California Fan
John Ellis
Each month a member has the opportunity to be our monthly wine advocate. The wine advocate chooses one or two wines to go with the monthly menu item. Recomend someone from a not previously selected university to be the next wine advocate. Call (630) 283-6219 or email wine@dorothy.com to recommend a wine advocate for your favorite team.

John Mike Ellis, business executive, University of Southern California Trojans

Having the good fortune to live on a small walnut ranch "up-north" in Lake County, California (with vineyards all around me) I aspire to become a true Gentleman Farmer as I now quickly move into retirement. Even with my sweaty overalls and dusty truck, I do keep my wine standards high. I must simply break with the tradition of this newsletter segment by only recommending red wines; no whites in my house for this all-seasons recipe. NOT!

Jed Steele Carneros Pinot Noir 2013

Very reasonable priced at about $18.00, this is an excellent "classically-styled" Pinot lover's Pinot (say that fast three times after a glass or two of this wine.) With bright developed flavors and a medium finish the coastal influence upon the vineyards is apparent. The Steele Carneros Pinot combined with this richly flavored dish is a wonderful pairing.

Jed Steele Clear Lake Catfish Zinfandel 2012
Actually, this recipe holds up quite nicely under a medium body Zin and I would definitely offer the Clear Lake Steele Catfish as a very good choice. No, I am not a salesman for Steele Vineyards, I just truly enjoy this particular wine maker. Costing about $19.00 a bottle, this wine is aged in barrels with alternating staves of French & American oaks. With 2012 having a fine growing season, the "Catfish" boasts a mouth full of bright red fruit with good structure and balance; please try this selection.

In keeping with the tradition of the USC University Seal representing the arts, sciences and philosophy, I wish you an episode of a hearty conversation-filled meal with some wonderful vino tinto.

Best Regards,

Published: December 2017

These days, staging your home involves more than decluttering and inexpensive fix-ups. You can spend big bucks. Or not.
  1. Watch the trends and incorporate them in simple, effective ways. In 2012, buyers will be looking for extra storage and great laundry rooms. Declutter all your closets and add inexpensive but attractive storage in the laundry area. Fresh paint and attractive baskets can go a long way.
  2. Position one of today's colors - any shade of blue from cobalt to turquoise, for example - against neutral walls, either by painting an accent wall or by adding hints of color with accessories.
  3. For accessories, try light woods, brass and stone.
  4. Switch down your lighting - dimmers create a warm, romantic mood in bedrooms and dining rooms.
  5. Hardwood floors are still number one, but sisal and seagrass carpeting are becoming popular.
  6. White or off-white kitchen cabinets are still in. Painting cabinets may be labor intensive, but you may avoid that "dated kitchen" label.
  7. Stainless steel appliances remain popular, but building them in to match kitchen cabinets is very now.
  8. Move out all but essential pieces of furniture. Buyers want to imagine their possessions in your home.
Published: December 2017

He’s been an NFL head coach for 20 seasons, leading teams to the playoffs and a Super Bowl. But despite wild success, Jeff Fisher of the St. Louis Rams knew something was missing. “And in my world, there’s never time to figure out what is, in fact, missing,” he says. Full Wiki Article
That was until a moment in 2010 when he stopped his car on a bridge and pulled over. There, a friend asked him a question he couldn’t answer. A question that would change his desire for first place, and lead him to be second.
History/Technology: The American Constitution
Published: December 2017

In celebration of Constitution Day on Friday, September 16, 2016 join Hillsdale College President Dr. Larry P. Arnn for six minutes on the importance of the United States Constitution.

Hillsdale is widely recognized as America’s premier conservative college. By “conservative,” we mean we want to “conserve” the great experiment in liberty that is called the United States of America, made possible by our Constitution and the principles of liberty underlying it. This is why Hillsdale’s mission is so important and so unique. Hillsdale believes America is special, and that a good education requires an understanding of the meaning and history of the Constitution. That’s why every student, regardless of major, is required to take one semester course on the Constitution to graduate! We are proud of what we have built here at Hillsdale – a major institution of higher learning that is unapologetically conservative and intellectually rigorous.

Watch the Constitution Day Celebration
Published: December 2017

Decluttering is in. A Google search on "decluttering your life" generated 1.16 million results in just a sixteenth of a second. Everyone from professional declutterers to Zen masters has something to say about it. Simply said, though, it boils down to this: Declutter, feel good, achieve more.
Following are some tips to help you declutter:
  • Many experts recommend you start small. A post at www.zenhabits.net recommends spending five minutes a day on decluttering. Before you know it, that junk drawer or hall closet will be a thing of beauty.
  • As you're going through that junk drawer or closet, ask yourself if you've used items in the past six months. If not, get rid of them.
  • Delegate a box for the undecided - items you might want in the future. If you don't open the box in three months, get rid of the contents.
  • Everyone has things that don't live anywhere. Consider the often-lost TV converter or recharger for your electronics. Make it a mission to find these things.
  • How many knickknacks do you really need? Pick your favorites and take memory pictures of the rest. Then pass them on to charitable organizations.
  • Buried under papers? One suggestion: Every paper that comes in the door lands in a single place. Sort through the pile every two days and discard or file every piece.
Last but not least, learn to love the decluttered look. You'll stay decluttered for life.
Published: December 2017

How can I use container plants to give my home curb appeal?
Here are four essential tips:

Use big containers: Don't be afraid of using big, bold containers. They will have more impact and will be easier to care for because they won't dry out so easily. Smaller containers tend to get lost in the landscaping, so you'll lose the visual impact you're trying to achieve.

Use quality containers: Avoid plastic containers, as these can look cheap. Terracotta, wrought iron, or zinc containers look great. Choose a container that complements your house and your landscaping.

Fill them with plants: For immediate results, fill your containers with more plants than you normally would. Otherwise, you will be forced to wait for the plants to grow before your container will look lush and healthy.

Feed your plants: Make sure you keep your containers well maintained by watering and feeding the plants regularly.
Published: December 2017

This February, Leonard Cohen, 1960s philosopher and guru to a generation of aging baby boomers, released his 12th album, titled Old Ideas.
It was his first in eight years. Historic in its own way, the album also represents something new ... the rebirth of something old.

These days, everything old is new again. In Cohen's lyrics ("Show me the place where the world became a man; show me the place where the suffering began.") and in philosophical texts turned popular reading (such as The Latest Answers to the Oldest Questions: A Philosophical Adventure With the World's Greatest Thinkers by Nicholas Fearn) the world is rediscovering our debt to ancient thinkers.

Take Thales. This philosopher, who lived around 585 BC, was the father of the idea that everything is one.

Acknowledged as such by Nietzsche, Thales foreshadowed later Greek philosophers such as Aristotle, Socrates and Plato, who effectively shaped our ideas of the universe.

In fact, our current notion of the holistic world had its origin with the ancient Greeks, whose worldview bound together philosophy and politics with culture and science.

Albert Einstein neatly summed up our debt to those who came before, stating, "We owe it to a few writers of antiquity (Plato, Aristotle, etc.) that the people in the Middle Ages could slowly extricate themselves from the superstitions and ignorance that had darkened life for more than half a millennium."

The distance from ancient Greece to the Middle Ages to our current iPad, the world is not as far as it seems.
Published: December 2017

If you're looking for the perfect house, that huge wish list you're carrying around may be holding you back - and ultimately could cost you your dream home.
Even the casual HGTV watcher will be familiar with "granite obsession." Picture this: A couple is viewing a house that has great curb appeal in their chosen neighborhood, at a price they can afford. It's perfect. Or is it?

"Hate that fixture," the husband says, as the couple checks out the dining room.

They pause in the kitchen.

"This has to be completely redone," he says. "No granite countertops."

She agrees. The husband and wife nod knowingly at each other, and the husband says to himself, "Granite obsession."

Despite the home's obvious advantages, the couple can't see the forest for the trees ... or rather the house for its décor.

Instead of obsessing over paint colors, fixtures and granite countertops, the couple should be asking about the neighborhood; discussing recent energy-saving upgrades and the home's electrical system; checking for leaks or cracks that may signal a roof repair or foundation problem; and deciding if the floor plan and room sizes will meet their lifestyle needs.

The couple should ask if window coverings are included and if the appliances are in working order. And even if these are not to their tastes, the couple will save a lot of money if they can live with the status quo and not have to buy new appliances, fixtures or drapes immediately.

Got questions?

Search Angie's List or google for recommend home inspectors, contractors, designers and others you might want to ask for a second opinion.

But don't hold out for granite, hardwood or high-end appliances. You may never get a second chance at your dream home.

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This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter. This newsletter is not intended to solicit properties currently for sale.
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