January 2015 Newsletter

Happy New Year!
It’s almost 2015!  Can you believe it?  Personally, the years seem to be passing by so much more quickly.  But  then, mother said that would happen.  She said it had something to do with age!  Most of us reading this newsletter can remember at least 15 or 20 years ago with little difficulty.  For some 30 or 40 years can be recalled fairly readily, and for others, 50 or 60+ years of memories are filed away.  Whatever the age, it seems that the years do pass quickly and we all have far more to do than we used to.  New Year’s is the oldest holiday, dating back to observances in 2000 B.C.!  New Year’s Resolutions have also been around for a long time and are generally the result of a nostalgic case of the “do-betters”.  By a certain age, most of us realize that much of what happens to us in life results from choices we make.  There are exceptions to every rule, of course, but for the most part we all make decisions that send us down various roads in life, some  of which are far bumpier than others.  But now, a new year is before us! One free of mistakes, poor choices, bad decisions or even good ones for that matter, at least at this point.  So what will 2015 bring?  Success?  Failure?  Poverty?  Prosperity?  As we look back at 2014 to see what we could have done differently, let’s make sure our resolutions include the positive adjustments needed to help make 2015 a better year!

Where Is The New Year Celebrated First?
Maybe you have wondered—or maybe you haven’t—where in the world they get to celebrate New Year’s Day first?  Seemed an interesting question as this newsletter about the new year was in production.  Not having the kind of memory that wins big money on Jeopardy, my next option, in order to provide the  answer was a Google search!  It turns out that it’s the city of Apia, the capital and largest city of Samoa in the Pacific.  Ironically, the last place in the world to get to ring in the new year is American Samoa, which is also in the Pacific and a mere 125 km from Apia, Samoa.  Oh well, everything has to start and end some place and with a circle, the end and the beginning are obviously going to be pretty close together!  We will  start to celebrate the New Year here 20 hours later than they do …but we will still have a full 24 hours to do so 🙂

Neighbor News
Neighbors continue to come and go in Johanna Woods.  It is always our hope that each of you will take the time to meet your neighbors and make them feel welcome.  Having friends that live next door is one of the best and most important security measures anyone can have!
All of us in the Johanna Woods Office thank you for being part of our community and wish you a safe and happy New Year!

Thoughts on New Year’s Resolutions
“Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man.”  Benjamin Franklin in 1775
“We will open the book.  Its pages are blank.  We are going to put words on them ourselves.  The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”  Edith Lovejoy Pierce, Poet
“Tomorrow….Comes into us at midnight very clean.  It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself into our hands.  It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.”  John Wayne, Actor
“Resolution One:  I will live for God.  Resolution Two:  If no one else does, I still will.”
Jonathan Edwards, Colonial American Preacher

Resident Referrals Paying Monthly Dividends!
Seems like every month someone in Johanna Woods is benefiting from our Resident Referral program!  The Paul Krebs family enjoyed rent on us in October and Jovida Behara got to keep her rent in November.  The Tracy Moselys enjoyed free rent in December!  We appreciate all of you who are helping to spread the word about Johanna Woods.  Kim McCormick is keeping her rent check in January and we already have rewards booked through March!  How about you?  Statistics tell us that most people know someone who is considering a move.  Why not tell them about Johanna Woods?  If they buy a home in our community as a result, or bring a home in, we will thank you with a free month of lot rent!  It doesn’t get much simpler than that.  Thank you all!

New Year’s Cook’s Corner
Black-Eyed Pea Gumbo
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
5 stalks celery, chopped
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup brown rice
1/2 to 1 pound smoked sausage, cut into bite-size pieces
4 (15 ounce) cans black-eyed peas with liquid
1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chilies
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and cook the onion, pepper and celery until tender.  Transfer the cooked vegetables and oil to a large pot.  Next, add the chicken broth and mix in the rice, sausage, black-eyed peas, tomatoes and green chilies, diced tomatoes, and garlic.  Bring this to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes or until the rice is tender.  Add a little water if the soup starts to get too thick.  You can add hot sauce or Cajun seasonings to taste if desired.  Serve the gumbo with a tossed salad and cornbread for a new take on a traditional New Year’s Day meal!  Enjoy!

Community Calendar
January 1st —New Years Day!  The office will be closed and there will be NO TRASH SERVICE.
January 1st —Rent is Due.
January 6th – Unpaid rent is late and subject to a $25.00 late fee.
January 19th —City Holiday.  Our regular Monday trash service will be on Tuesday the 20th.