January 2016 Newsletter

A Brand New Year Ahead!
Ready or not, 2016 is upon us!  In preparing this article, several thoughts came to mind about the “new” year.  First, we all have the opportunity to make “our” new year different than the last one.  Not with New Year’s resolutions that are too easily made and  too quickly broken, but with purposeful adjustments.  To make significant changes in anything requires determination.  We have to change on purpose, and that change must become a part of our daily life, or it won’t last.  Have you ever been on a diet?  To lose weight successfully, you have to eat the right things, and avoid the wrong things, on purpose every day.  Doing this consistently replaces bad habits with good ones, and helps make the choices more automatic over time.  The second thing the new year brings to mind is that it’s like an empty book.  The story of your life for 2016 has not been written yet.  When it is, what will it say about you?  Will it be a cohesive, orderly account of a life that was lived on purpose?  Or will it be an unorganized tale of a life driven by circumstance?  Without clear purpose in our lives, we will be distracted by “things” that happen, because “things” happen to us all.  When we react to what comes our way, rather than making decisions based on firm plans and beliefs, we will be like a ship driven by the wind, with no set course.  Finally, 2016 is like a blank check.  Not one minute of it has been spent yet!  While none of us know just how much time we have in this life, we have some control over how we spend the time we do have.  What will you do with your “new” year?Life is too short and precious to waste on things that don’t matter.  Live your life with purpose, AND on purpose!

Looking Back
My research for this newsletter turned up some interesting dates  that might remind you of how quickly the years are passing!  We implemented our 4-sided inspections in 2001.  This program has been very important to maintaining our community.  In 2002, we made background checks part of each residency application, which has been important to the security and safety of our community.  Along with that, in 2004 ground was broken on our storm shelters.  Everything we do in Johanna Woods is done so that our residents will enjoy the cleanest, quietest and safest community to live in!

Neighbor News
This continues to be a busy time in Johanna Woods!  If you have new neighbors please start the new year off by getting to know them.  It’s important to the security of your home and our community as a whole that we look out for each other!

About Those Resolutions…
While most of us make new year’s resolutions with the best of intentions, most of us will also fail to keep them.  There are many reasons for this but one of the biggest reasons our resolutions fail is that most of them are too vague.  The top resolution is to “lose weight”.  So, is 1 pound sufficient?  It meets the general goal, but falls terribly short of doing us much good.  On the other hand a goal of losing 50 or 75 pounds might be too unrealistic to ever succeed.  One of the best ways to keep the new year’s resolutions is to make specific goals, that are achievable in smaller steps.  Perhaps the weight loss goal should be 3 pounds per month.  This is more readily attainable with small changes to diet and exercise levels. How about that resolution to “spend less and save more” this year.  Once again, it’s too general.  Perhaps a better plan would be to draw up a monthly or weekly budget, identifying those areas where expenses can best be controlled.  A written budget not only gives you feedback on how you are doing, it might help identify other areas you can make progress in.  How about multi-tasking with your resolutions?  If you are a fan of specialty coffees that can cost $3 to $4 for each cup AND that contain several hundred calories each…just cutting back on a few of those each month will help you lose weight AND save you some money!  You go!  Make your goals realistic, measurable and plan to succeed!

2016 Dollar Stretcher
You can save some real money on expenses for NEXT Christmas by looking for after Christmas sales on wrapping paper, gift bags, decorations, bows and any other holiday  items.  Many retailers will mark these things down by 75% to 80% just to get them off their shelves as soon as possible!  It pays to purchase as many of these things as you can in advance and save some of your money!

Winter Cook’s Corner

Potato Bacon Chowder

1 pound potatoes, peeled & cubed
1 cup water
8 bacon strips, cooked crisp
1 medium onion, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 3/4 cup whole milk
1 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash of pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
Place potatoes in a small pan, cover with water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and cook for 10-15 minutes until tender.  Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet until crisp.  Set aside on paper towels to drain.  In the same skillet, sauté the onion and celery in bacon drippings until tender; drain and add to un-drained potatoes.  Stir in the soup, milk, sour cream, salt and pepper.  Cook over low heat for 10 minutes or until heated through, do not boil.  Crumble bacon and reserve 1/4 cup, but add remaining to soup along with parsley.  Sprinkle each serving with reserved bacon.  Enjoy!

Community Calendar
January 1st—New Years Day!  Rent is due and the office will be closed for the holidays.
January 2nd—The office will be closed for the holiday.
January 6th–Unpaid rent is late and subject to a $25.00 late fee.
January 18th—City Holiday and no trash pick up!  Regular collection will be on Tuesday, the 19th!

The entire Johanna Woods staff would like to wish you a safe, happy and prosperous New Year!