Food for Thought

As it does every year on July 4th, Nathan's International Hot Dog Eating Contest disgusted me. It's not that I'm a nutrition fanatic. I celebrated our independence yesterday by consuming a couple brats, and a bunch of other stuff I shouldn't have. 

I enjoyed it too!

Real Estate Trends - Update


June sales data from the Brunswick County Tax Assessor's database has been added to the Real Estate Trends page and can be viewed here, or via the link in the sidebar.

There's been so much interest in this information that I modified the page to include the Brunswick Forest neighborhoods. Unlike Waterford and Magnolia Greens, the neighborhoods in Brunswick Forest are listed as separate entities on the tax database. I analyze them individually as well.

If you have comments or questions about this information - or about anything else on this blog, please let me hear about it. You can either leave a comment below, or send me an Email.

Senior Discounts - Where to Find Them

I receive a newsletter every week from personal finance guru, Clark Howard. The one that landed in my email today linked to an article on his website. It, in turn, linked to an article on another website, Mogul. The Mogul article sent me on to a blog piece authored by Steve Herman (whom I’d never heard of in my life). The journey was long, but worth the effort. 

Wilmington Health Convenient Care - Recommended

The Wilmington Health Walk-in Convenient Care clinic in Brunswick Forest is where I go if I don’t want to (or can't) wait for an appointment with my primary care physician. It truly is very convenient, and the two care-givers who see patients there, Bill Malivuk (Physician Assistant) and Kristin Nomides (Nurse Practitioner), are competent and friendly, as are their support staff.

Litfaßsäule (Lit-fass-soil-eh)

In Germany, and across most of Europe actually, you will find Litfaßsäulen (that's the plural form) on street corners, in public squares, and anywhere else where people walking by are apt to stop and take notice.

A Litfaßsäule is a fat pillar, usually three or four feet in diameter, on which advertising and other public notices are posted. Periodically, workers glue new posters over expired ads using a technique similar to hanging wallpaper. The pillars are colorful and informative, and, when I lived in Germany, I often stopped for a minute or two to look at whatever was on display.

Computerized Medical Records are Good for Your Health

The other day I asked someone at Wilmington Health how he likes the new, computerized medical records system that WH is putting in place. He kind of shrugged and gave me that, “If I can’t say something nice, I won’t say anything” look. I pressed him a bit and found out that there are still some hitches in the system but it is improving all the time.

Waterford Special Assessments - Good Decision

Last week we received our bill for the first of two special assessments that will be used to help finance an addition to the Waterford clubhouse. The new space will accommodate a larger fitness center. The old fitness room will be freed-up for other use. The second $100 assessment will be issued in early 2016.

Please, Just Say, "No."

Over the nine years since we moved to North Carolina, it's happened at least a half-dozen times. Someone comes out to look at a job we want done, and promises either to send us an estimate, or actually sets a date to start the work, then disappears.

Real Estate Trends Page Has Been Updated

The Real Estate Trends page has been updated to reflect transactions through the end of May, 2015. I've added some charts which should
do a better job of showing how home prices in our two communities are moving. Have a look.

Mason Bees in Our Yard (Next Year)

Blue Orchard Mason Bee
In 2014, I tried to lure Mason Bees to a bundle of reed-like tubes I'd purchased from a bee expert. I even bought some live pupae to get things started. Nothing happened. My ecological project was a complete failure.

I'd never heard of Mason Bees before we moved to eastern North Carolina, and was surprised to learn how much of a gardening asset they can be. I thought they would be ideal in Waterford where there are few mature trees. A pre-fab nesting place would be just what they would look for. As I said, I blew it last year - most likely because I didn't follow the preparation instructions as closely as I should have. I haven't given up, however.

Leland's Asphalt Jungle

A few days ago, I came very close to colliding with a pickup truck as I was leaving Ace Hardware in Leland. The truck drove out of the blind alley between Ace and the adjacent building just as I started a left turn to head toward village road. It was a near thing. We both had to stand on our brakes to avoid impact.

Waterford Cypress Award

The Waterford Environmental Committee is sponsoring a contest that will honor residents' ecology-friendly landscaping. Gold, silver and bronze plaques will be presented to the winners.

Contact Lynne Shineman for an entry form and submit it by May 28th. Judging by an independent expert will take place on May 29th. Lynn's Email address and phone number are available on the Waterford message board.

Waterford Coyote

I noticed a posting on the Waterford message board yesterday regarding a coyote that a resident had seen in the neighborhood. At first read, people who have moved here recently from urban areas may think coyotes are scary and dangerous. Our experience is that they aren't.

My Post Office - Ace is the Place

One day a couple months ago, I was in line in the Leland Post Office and got so frustrated with the slow moving, grumpy clerk that I got out of there. I went down the road to Ace Hardware, where I should have gone in the first place. Now, I do all my postal business at the hardware store.

New Real Estate Trends Page


My most recent piece presented real estate statistics for Waterford. I have received so many positive comments about it that I decided to publish the data for both Waterford and Magnolia Greens on a readily accessible, dedicated page. You will find the link to Real Estate Trends at the top of the home page, just under the amijohn logo. You can go there from here too.

I'll update the information every month and, as time allows, I'll add some illustrational graphics. I hope my neighbors in Waterford and Magnolia Greens will find this information useful.