Monday, April 29, 2013

The Market Opens

The Market, a new small grocery at Sequoya Commons, is now open!  With little fanfare, The Market opened it's doors for business last week.

The Market carries staples such as milk, eggs and bread, as well as a small selection of wines, craft beers and specialty cheeses.  The store also plans to have prepared sandwiches for the lunch crowd.

Katy Kovall, the owner of the small store, tells me there are still a few items they are waiting to stock, such as produce, but the doors are open and business has been swift.

"We've had excellent response from the neighborhood," she says.  "We are really happy to be here!"

The Market plans a Grand Opening in a few weeks.  In the meantime, they are open daily for all your last minute grocery needs.  Be sure to stop it!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Green Opportunities

While we are officially entrenched in the spring season, it certainly doesn't feel like it!  Mother Nature has dealt us a wicked blow after a long, cold, snowy winter!  Thoughts of garden bed clean up, planting flowers and cleaning out the clutter of winter are on hold for most of us, at least until the weather warms up.

Despite the cool, rainy temps, there are a few "Green Opportunities" that may help make you feel like you are making headway toward springtime activities.

  • The Friend of Hoyt Park will hold their Annual Meeting on Monday April 22nd from 6:45-9 p.m. at  Hoyt School.  The Friend of Hoyt Park are a group of volunteers who share concerns about the future of this Madison park and assist with maintenance of the Park's natural areas, historic structures and recreational lands. 

  • On April 20th, West High School is having its annual electronic recycling drive . If you have any unwanted electronics with a plug and batteries under 75 pounds, you can drop them off at West High's parking lot, off of Van Hise.  Electronic collection will occur from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm, with a suggested donation of $10. There is a mandatory fee of $15 per TV.
Here's hoping the "real" spring arrives soon!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Unsung Heroes

On a recent rainy, cold spring day I buzzed through the drive thru for my daily cup of caffeine.  In front of me in line, was a friend of mine.  We waved at each other and through open car windows we exchanged pleasantries.

"Are you on your way to work?", I asked.

"No," she replied.  "I'm getting hot chocolate for the crossing guards."

"Wow, how nice!  What a great idea!"

We moved forward through the line and I watched as she drove to deliver her first steaming cup of hot chocolate to one of three crossing guards who would be the recipient of her kindness.

Kudos to this busy mother of three for taking time from her day to make the gloomy day a little brighter for the unsung heroes that are our crossing guards.  And double kudos to those brave souls who, rain or shine and wielding only a hand-held stop sign, keep our children safe as they navigate across busy intersections during the crazy morning and afternoon commute.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Food for Thought on the Housing Market

In recent years, we have seen the value in home prices fall.  A sad situation.  Today, all indications are that the housing market is on the rebound.  You have seen it on the news and unless you've been hiding under a rock, you have probably seen the flurry of activity in your own neighborhood.
I've said it here before, too.  Buyers are out and inventory is low.  So what's with that?  Well, I believe there are home Sellers who are still on the fence.  Is now really a good time to sell or should I hold out and wait for prices to increase even further?
While we all enjoy a market where home prices increase over time, the undeniable fact is that the replacement homes that those Sellers will be purchasing in the future will also be more costly. Result: If you sell your current home for $25,000 more in the future, but have to pay $25,000 more for the replacement home you are purchasing, you have gained nothing by waiting. So, what have you potentially lost? Answer: The current market interest rates.

Currently hovering just under 4%, there is much agreement in financial circles that rates will begin to rise into the 4.5% - 5.5% range as early as the end of this year. In strictly numerical terms, if you buy a $250,000 home with 20% down, your $200,000 loan (which at 4% would cost $955 per month), would cost $1075 per month at just 5%...that’s an extra $1,440.00 per year! Adds up rather quickly.  Just some food for thought.

Monday, April 1, 2013

No Foolin'

As a gesture of thanks, a friend of mine wanted to mail a gift to another friend.  Here's how the conversation at the post office went: (I am not making this up!)

Clerk:  Does this contain anything perishable, breakable, hazardous?

Friend: It's a bottle of gin but I packed it really well.

Clerk:  (long pause...)  Sir, it is illegal to send alcohol through the mail.

Friend: What?!? Really?! (longer pause...)  It's actually a book.

Clerk:  (long pause...) Well... I hope the recipient enjoys their book.

Of course, I don't condone sending alcohol through the mail, but I have to admit, it's a funny story.

Happy April Fool's Day!