So you’ve got a budget and you’re chugging along. Now you realize that you don’t have a way to make future dreams and goals come true. You need to set financial goals! Here’s how (and I’ve included web sites that have some worksheets that you may find helpful).Include everyone- Include your beloved and the kids if applicable in making this financial map for your future. The more money is spoken about out loud, the better for your family’s health.Make short and long-term goals- Goals can include things as close as this month all the way out to well into retirement. The further out you plan, perhaps the more loose you may want to keep the plan.What’s the cost?- Now that you have decided what you’d like to accomplish, what is the cost of this most excellent dream? Write it down, and investigate less expensive and more creative methods of financing the dream.Break it down- How much will you need to actually save to reach the goal? If you initial plan was not realistic because you can’t save that much that fast, take it back a notch or trim some of the vision. OR, get a part-time job. You no have the tools to make life decisions because you can weigh what you want and what lifestyle you are willing to live with to get to that goal.Goals change- Recognize that life is full of surprises. You will mature and your goals may change. That’s okay. Help the family realize that when you begin this planning process. Save!- Start saving and figure out how to track your success. Citations:University of TN Extension worksheethttp://www.utextension.utk.edu/publications/pbfiles/pb1454.pdfRutgers worksheet:http://njaes.rutgers.edu/money/pdfs/goalsettingworksheet.pdfConsumer Counseling Credit of DVhttp://www.cccsdv.org/resources/setting-financial-goals Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com
By- Joan Marie Pellegrini Irritable bowel syndrome (otherwise commonly known as “IBS”) is a condition of the colon. We do not know what causes it and therefore it is very difficult to know how to cure it. The current most common medical theory is that IBS is a disorder of the nerves that control the function of the colon. IBS causes abdominal pain, bloating, gassiness, diarrhea, and/or constipation. The symptoms can be so severe that it limits one’s activity and ability to work. A doctor may diagnose IBS by the classic set of symptoms and by ruling out other common disorders. The doctor may order tests to rule out a malabsorption disorder such as lactose intolerance or celiac disease. Sometimes a colonoscopy is indicated in order to evaluate for inflammatory bowel disease. Once a patient is given a diagnosis of IBS, there is a four-pronged approach to treatment. The four prongs are: dietary modification, stress reduction, exercise, and (lastly) medications. Dietary modification: A person with IBS should keep a food journal in order to determine which foods cause the most symptoms. Common foods to avoid are milk products and foods high in fat. Also, it is important to add fiber. There are many types of fiber on the market and most of them will cause less gas and bloating than the fiber found in foods. Many people find that the soluble fibers cause the least amount of symptoms. I usually recommend to my patients that they use a combination of soluble (inulin) and insoluble (psyllium) fibers along with increasing the fiber-rich foods in their diet. If someone has diarrhea, then it is usually recommended to avoid or limit caffeine intake. On the other hand, caffeine can benefit the person with constipation. Stress reduction: Just about everyone with IBS notices that their symptoms are worse with stress. In fact just about every disease is worse with stress. There are many components to stress reduction with include psychological evaluation, counseling, breathing exercises, biofeedback, acupuncture, yoga, prayer, etc. Exercise: The colon is fairly responsive to exercise. Many people notice that their constipation is much improved with aerobic exercise. It is not quite understood how exercise benefits the bowel but it is a well known fact that it does. Exercise can also be a source of stress reduction. Medications: This is generally considered the last resort. There are medications that treat the symptoms such as laxatives for constipation, anti-diarrheals or anti-spasmodics for diarrhea, simethicone for the gas, and pain medication for the pain. In general, narcotics are least effective for bowel-related pain. Anti-depressants also may be effective. Finally, there are two drugs on the market for IBS (Lotrenex and Amitiza). These drugs have fairly serious side-effect profiles. If you or a loved one have been given a diagnosis of IBS, the goal is to manage the symptoms and not allow the disease to control your life. There is no cure but there is promise in the future as more reseach is done on bowel motility disorders. Just about every patient who embarks on a well-rounded treatment program will experience significant relief. However, most of the options listed above will need to become part of a person’s lifestyle in the long run. The following is one of my favorite sites for information on IBS:http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/irritable-bowel-syndrome/DS00106
By- Dr. Jonathan WoodDoes a daily â€œdoseâ€ lower your risk of heart disease and stroke?Why do the Kuna, indigenous peoples from islands off the Panamanian coast, have virtually no hypertension (high blood pressure) and no increase in blood pressure with age? And why do these findings disappear with migration to urban centers like Panama City? This phenomenon has been described in similar isolated populations and usually, when investigated, is connected to a lower salt intake in the native environment. But the native Kuna have higher salt intake than their urban counterparts. So why the extraordinary differences in cardiovascular disease? The answer: cocoa! The Kuna drink an estimated (likely underestimated) 5 cups of a native cocoa drink each day. It is their primary drink and it contains large amounts of flavanols, a naturally occurring antioxidant and blood vessel relaxer. When this â€œKuna phenomenonâ€ was first described less than 10 years ago, a flurry of studies of chocolate and cocoa followed. Could this be the new â€œred wineâ€, something yummy that actually was good for your heart health? Unfortunately, to get the same amount of flavanol contained in the 5+ cups of Kuna cocoa drink, one would have to eat and estimated 4.5 lbs of dark chocolate or 15 lbs of milk chocolate! These amounts are obviously not practical nor advisable to suggest. So studies have been done looking at smaller amounts and trying to account for the other less healthy things (fat, sugar, etc) in commercial chocolate But it has been difficult. And the amounts still have seemed too large to promote without more solid data.But now, once again, chocolate is in the news – – and itâ€™s good news! A German study due to be published tomorrow in the European Heart Journal looked at detailed diet (including chocolate), blood pressure, several known cardiovascular risk factors, and some other demographics in a group of nearly 20,000 men and woman, age 35-65. This group was then followed over 8 years. 300 of them suffered heart attacks or strokes during that time. When controlled for all the other factors, it seems that the lower chocolate diet in these 300 people may be responsible: i.e. the more chocolate eaten, the lower risk of stroke or heart attack. Of note, the effect was more pronounced for strokes than heart attacks.The particularly interesting aspect of this study was the amount of chocolate that seemed to be needed to confer â€œprotectionâ€. The difference between the â€œlowâ€ chocolate group (more strokes) and the â€œhighâ€ chocolate group (fewer strokes) was 6 grams/day. And how much is 6 grams? Not muchâ€¦â€¢ 1Â½ Hersheyâ€™s Kisses = 6 gramsâ€¢ 2 little â€œrectanglesâ€ from a standard Hershey bar = 6 grams (i.e. 1 bar should last 6 days!)â€¢ 11 Nestle semi-sweet morsels = 6 gramsAnd should you choose milk or dark? Clearly, dark chocolate has more flavanols than milk chocolate, so if you like it, dark chocolate is a better choice.So should we all rush out and start a daily dose of chocolate? Probably not – – this study was a retrospective observational design and needs to be repeated in a prospective way. But is a little bit of chocolate okay or perhaps even healthy? Likely, yes. And it seems a very little bit (6 grams) may go a long wayâ€¦if you can control yourself and not eat the whole bar! Remember, our chocolate bars (unlike the Kunasâ€™ drink) have much more in them than just cocoaâ€¦ A good rule of thumb: everything in moderation!
Almost 600,000 new business start each year. Do you have what it takes to be one of the entrepreneurs who plan to open your own business this year? Here’s a list of some of the characteristics that may help you.Discipline- You need a plan and then you need the discipline to stick with the plan. People will hesitate to even begin to do business with you if you don’t have what it takes to stay in business very long. That discipline is important to me. I get my hair cut by women who have the discipline to run a great business, I go to church where- I agree with the doctrine- but they also run a disciplined business. That makes me confident.Risk taker- Starting a business is all about taking a calculated risk. Few people want to take more risk than necessary, and I think minimizing your risk is important, but you will be risking your reputation, your money and your time when you start a business.Spirit of excellence- Building a business takes hours, days, and years of consistent excellence. You will not have repeat customers if you always fail. Mistakes are normal, but you need to be committed to an attitude of excellence in your business activities.Determination- You need passion, a fire in your belly, a determination to succeed because you won’t get every contract, not every person will want to hire you- and really you don’t want them anyway. Not every human being breathing is a good customer for you services. Being an entrepreneur can sometimes be discouraging, so you need to be determined to succeed.Communication- Owning your own business means doing it all- at least at first. You need to share your passion for your goods or services. You need to negotiate with suppliers, you need to work with employees and train them and instill your passion for the work in them. You may need to work with investors and convince them of the excellence and worth of your business. Communication is key to your success.Energetic- To do all this you need to be hardworking and have a lot of energy. It really doesn’t matter what you are doing for your business, you will probably need all these skills to succeed. Live long and prosper!Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com
By- Dr. David PrescottMore and more, health care providers are paying attention to the relationship between medical disorders and mental health problems. One the one hand, having a medical event like a heart attack or stroke leads to a greater chance of experiencing a mental health problem. On the other hand, high levels of psychological stress, depression, or anxiety, put you at higher risk for certain medical conditions. No matter which angle you take in looking at the mind/body connection, it is important to take steps to maintain good psychological health.Is there really much overlap between mental health and physical health? Absolutely yes! Several statistics and facts illustrate this point. â€¢ It is estimated that over two-thirds of primary care office visits are due to stress related symptoms. â€¢ 10-14% of people hospitalized for any medical condition have major depression. â€¢ The diagnosis of depression is estimated to be missed in up to 50% of visits to primary care doctors. â€¢ For certain medical conditions, like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, about 25% of patients have diagnosable panic disorder. â€¢ High levels of hostility have been found to predict heart disease more often than high cholesterol, cigarette smoking, or obesity â€¢ Men high in optimism were less than half as likely to develop heart disease than were the more pessimistic men What are some of the medical conditions most associated with mental health problems?Cardiac Illness and Heart Attacks â€“ Both major depression and anxiety disorders, like panic attacks, are very common following a diagnosis of coronary heart disease or having a heart attack. It is estimated that one in six people who have a heart attack develop panic disorder, and over Â½ (up to 65%) of people develop major depression. Untreated major depression is even correlated with an increase risk of death within 6 months of a heart attack. Cancer â€“ About one in four people diagnosed with cancer develop major depression. Symptoms of depression may be difficult to diagnose during cancer treatment, since poor appetite, weight loss, and loss of energy are characteristic of both depression and treatment for cancer. Diabetes – Rates of depression in diabetes are very similar to cancer (about 25%). Not only is treating depression important in and of itself, but untreated depression may make compliance with treatment for diabetes more difficult. Obesity â€“ The relationship between obesity and depression is complex. In one study, women with obesity had a 37% higher rate of depression than women without obesity. However, it is not clear yet whether depression may cause obesity in some people, or whether obesity may cause depression. It seems likely that both are true! In any case, simultaneously treating both depression and obesity is the best hope for conquering these conditions. Why is it important to treat both medical illnesses and mental health disorders? While clinical anxiety and depression are more frequent in people with significant medical conditions, it does not mean that you are simply supposed to get used to the problem. Getting counseling or medication for anxiety and depression not only helps you feel better, but allows you to focus more energy on recovering from things like heart attacks or cancer. What can I do to make sure that both conditions are treated? Probably the most important step is to tell your doctor or your psychologist/counselor about your concerns with both your emotional and physical health. Donâ€™t think that the fact that you are feeling extremely sad or worried is something you should just keep to yourself, or is something that just happens after a major medical event. Ask your doctor, or a mental health professional, whether what you are feeling is normal, and if there is anything you should do to address the problem. For More Information: Mental Health America: http://www.nmha.org/go/information/get-info/depression/co-occurring-disorders-and-depressionAmerican Psychological Association: http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/mind-body
I have a degree in Business with a concentration in Finance, so I am equipped to understand the world of investing, but I also want to help clients feel good about the process of creating their financial plan. To help me do that part of my job better I study books on decision-making. In the Paradox of Choice author Barry Schwartz explains that there are several stumbling blocks to making good decisions. Some of them we control, some is the result of too much choice.MaximizersVs.SatisfiersMaximizers vs. Satisfiers- There are two basic kinds of decisions makers. Maximizers are those of us who want the perfect, only the best choice in their decision. They are plagued by fears that they have not seen all there is to see so they cannot have seen the ‘right’ choice yet. When they finally make a decision they fret and worry that there were better choices out in the world they have missed so even after their decision they are depressed and dissatisfied.Satisfiers have high standards in their decision-making but they believe that their choice is a good one and they let any belief in what else might have been purchased or decided upon, slip away and they rejoice in their choice.The paradox Schwartz refers to in the title is that when we are presented with 6 choices, 30% of people can make a decision and follow through on their choice. But when we are faced with 24 choices of an item, like chocolate, only 3% of people buy. The ‘freedom of choice’ is many times a tie that binds.Why discuss this in a finance section? Investment decision are critical to your retirement future and the book explains how folks decide – very unscientifically- for their investment plans. Overwhelmed and trying to do what is ‘right’ people put a small amount in each investment choice. That wasn’t the reasoning in offering those options. Doing nothing because you are overwhelmed is another common thing I see as an advisor. Decide today to seek help and partner with an advisor who will wisely assist you in planning you financial future. Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com
By- Dr. Amy MoviusSt. Patrick’s Day is Wednesday, March 17th – a lighthearted holiday of green clothes, shamrocks, and (for some) alcohol indulgence. If drinking is a planned part of tomorrow’s celebration, be prepared to distinguish the truths about alcohol consumption from the many leprechaun myths.Alcohol is a Stimulant Nope, it’s a depressant. The initial effects may cause euphoria, and thus seem energizing, but actually, it depresses the brain.It’s Better to Drink With a Full StomachTrue! Though you will still absorb the alcohol you drink, you will do so more slowly with a full stomach and so not feel the effects as rapidly.You can Learn to “Hold Your Liquor”False. Drinking alcohol is not like going to the gym where you can train you body to do more. If the same amount of alcohol doesn’t affect you like it used to, you are developing a tolerance, which is a sign of addiction. It means you need help!Hard Liquor Gets You Drunk FasterNope again. Alcohol is alcohol and you body doesn’t know or care if it was beer, wine or vodka: it’s all processed the same way. What defines “a drink” differs between the three: 12 oz beer, 5 oz wine, and 1 oz of 100 proof hard liquor (1 1/4 oz of 80 proof) are all equal to Â½ oz of pure ethanol alcohol. The person who only drinks glasses of white wine will have the same breathalyzer result as the one who drank the same number of “shots”.Women Get Drunk EasierTrue. Men and women of the same size absorb and metabolize alcohol somewhat differently. This is related to the different proportions of fat to lean muscle between genders as well as a difference in the amount of alcohol dehydrogenase present, the enzyme that breaks alcohol down.Coffee Can Sober You UpCoffee is a stimulant, which may make you feel more alert, but that is not the same as sober. BAC, or blood alcohol concentration (what a breathalyzer measures) decreases at a set, slow rate as the liver breaks the alcohol down. The BAC decreases at about .015 percent/hr. Coffee will NOT affect this. Neither will a cold shower, exercise or anything else. Time alone will sober you up.Drinking Some Alcohol Can Treat a HangoverNo way. The term hangover is derived from the Norwegian word “Veisalgia” meaning “uneasiness following debauchery”. The unpleasant symptoms include headache, nausea, and fatigue (to name a few) and are largely attributed to the dehydrating effects of alcohol consumption. In addition to the “hair of the dog” myth above, MANY products are touted as hangover remedies. They include medications, vitamins, supplements, and foods (bacon, egg and cheese sandwich for one). These products, and even “hangover kits”, can be easily purchased on-line, or at your local drug store. A 2008 article in the British Medical Journal attempted to study the effectiveness of many of these “remedies”. The found the only thing that cured hangovers was time. A better plan may be to prevent the hangover to begin with, by limiting alcohol drinking to moderation.The Younger Children Drink Alcohol The More Likely They Will Have A Drinking ProblemTrue. If you indulge in alcohol during this (or any other) occasion, don’t allow kids to participate. It’s simply not appropriate.If Someone Passes Out From Drinking You Should Let Them Sleep It Off Remember that alcohol is a depressant. It can impair and breathing, blood pressure, heart rate and can be fatal. If someone passes out you would be better taking them to medical attention, not leaving them in alone in a room. References:1. www.uwstout.edu/aod/resources/alcohol/myths_facts.html2. www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/AlcoholFactsandFiction.html3. BMJ2008:337:a2769
The food is important but so is the service, and that comes down to people.In this edition of Take This Job and Love It, Sharon Pelletier discovered being a good waitress takes skill and practice.
By- Dr. Thomas RajanMarch 7-13 marks National Sleep Awareness Week, and it is a great opportunity to take the time to highlight the importance of getting a good night’s sleep.According to the National Sleep Foundation 74% of American adults experience sleeping problems a few nights a week or more, 39% get less than seven hours of sleep each weeknight, and 37% are so sleepy during the day that it interferes with daily activities.One of the reasons some people may not be getting a good night’s sleep is because of sleep apnea. People with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times during the night and often for a minute or longer. According to the National Institutes of Health, sleep apnea affects more than twelve million Americans. Risk factors include being male, overweight, and over the age of forty, but sleep apnea can strike anyone at any age, even children. Yet still because of the lack of awareness by the public and healthcare professionals, the vast majority remain undiagnosed and therefore untreated, despite the fact that this serious disorder can have significant consequences.Untreated, sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure and other cardiovascular disease, memory problems, weight gain, impotency, and headaches. Moreover, untreated sleep apnea may be responsible for job impairment and motor vehicle crashes. Fortunately, sleep apnea can be diagnosed and treated. Several treatment options exist, and research into additional options continues. Please talk to your primary care provider for more information on how you can get a better night’s sleep.
Maybe you’ve been together for years and you think you know each other. But inside the beautiful brain of the person you love may lurk an assumption and since you are, undoubtedly wanting a happy futre it would be good to make ceratin that you are both on the ‘same page.’Get specific- It’s time for a talk about exactly what the next ten or twenty years will look like. Did one of you mention moving to Florida as a retirement plan and the other ignored that comment? So has your partner maybe then made plans thinking that’s what’s happening while you are just hoping they have forgotten? You’ve got to talk more specifically about your hopes and dreams now before any more time passes.Be creative- If you do end up with very different hopes for the future see if you can stir those great ideas all together and get an even better future. Can you do several of the ideas and make everyone a little happy? There is still time to work out the kinks, to save more money, to come up with a plan. Whatever has come before is water under the bridge. Ditch the ‘woulda-coulda-shoulda’ and focus on now and your great future, together.Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com
Ingredients:Â 1c fresh lobster meat1 10oz can of tomato soup4 tbls of cream cheese1 med onion, chopped fine2 cups of organic whole milk1/4 tsp whole ground black peppersalt to tasteDirections:Cook onion until soft. Strain off water. On low heat warm milk and beat in the 4 tablespoons of cream cheese. Once the cream cheese has melted add lobster meat, can of tomato soup, cooked onion and black pepper. Add salt for taste. Serve with toasted cheese sandwiches and celery tops. Makes a great cold afternoon lunch.Â Recipe submitted by: Marvel HutchingsÂ
By- Dr. Jonathan WoodParasomnias are “repetitive unusual behaviors or strange experiences that occur in relation to sleep.” These include common occurrences like nightmares, night terrors, sleepwalking, teeth grinding, and bedwetting, but also the more unusual REM sleep behavior disorders and epileptic nighttime wandering. These can be confusing and sometimes quite dramatic. Fortunately, the most common parasomnias are generally the least worrisome. Sleepwalking is one of these common, but benign parasomnias.Who sleepwalks?Sleepwalking or “somnambulism” is common and most occurs predominantly in childhood. Up to 15% of children age 5-12 will sleepwalk at some point. Generally, the episodes become less common in adolescence, with the majority resolving before adulthood. That said, up to 10% sleepwalkers start in adolescence and 2-3% of adults will occasionally sleepwalk. What is the pattern?Sleepwalking occurs in deep non-REM sleep, a stage that occurs in the first third of the night. Eyes are often open and sleepwalkers will appear awake, albeit clumsy and generally purposeless in their movements. If they talk, their speech will often be slow, as will their responses to stimulation. Sleepwalkers generally have no memory of their escapades. These excursions are generally short and harmless, but occasionally have involved more complex and potentially dangerous behaviors like cooking or leaving the house.What predisposes to sleepwalking?Sleepwalking runs in families and there may be genetic factors. There also may be predisposing factors for sleepwalking, especially in teens and adults. These include use of alcohol or sedatives, emotional stress, anxiety, sleep deprivation, obstructive sleep apnea, infection, fever, and occasionally environmental stimuli. Contrary to older teachings, it is now known that there is no association between childhood sleepwalking and psychiatric disorders.What should be done?Be assured of the benign nature of sleepwalking. Be reassured that your child is not ill or disordered. Make the environment as safe as possible by removing obstructions in bedrooms, locking or alarming doors to the outside, etc. Generally, since sleepwalking occurs early in the sleep, parents are often awake when their children sleepwalk and can therefore help them back to bed. If sleepwalking occurs predictably and frequently, awakening your child 20-30 minutes prior to the expected event every night for a several months may extinguish the behavior. This should be discussed with your doctor. Medications are not recommended for sleepwalking. They are sometimes suggested, but the evidence for this is poor and generally comes with more risk than benefit.What should not be done?Don’t try to awaken the sleepwalker! It is rarely successful and can result in the child becoming confused, agitated, or even violent. Waking the child is difficult, counterproductive and unnecessary. The best approach is to let the episode subside and then direct the sleepwalker gently back to bed and to sleep. There is no point in telling children about their sleepwalking episodes: in some children this can cause unnecessary anxiety.What about sleepwalking adults?Sleepwalking in adults, as mentioned, is much less common. If onset is in adulthood, sleepwalking also has a higher incidence of being associated with an underlying neurologic disorder. A physician should be consulted about adult-onset sleepwalking to assure its benign nature. Sleepwalking that occurs later in the night may not be true non-REM somnambulism, but rather a “REM sleep behavior disorder”. This is more of an “acting out of dreams” disorder and is due the patient not having the usual semi-paralysis of muscles that normally accompanies REM sleep and dreaming. This can be dangerous to the patient and his/her sleep partner and needs to be investigated. It is particularly important to not try to arouse an adult from this type of disorder that occurs later in the night’s sleep.Conclusions?Sleepwalking in children and adolescents can be frightening, but does not mean your child is ill or disordered. They will virtually always “grow out of it.” Avoid medications and complex work-ups for this benign condition. Be calm, establish regular sleep routines, make the environment safe, and gently guide your child back to sleep.
Saving for retirement is important. It may seem boring but it’s important. Maybe you don’t have a plan. If that’s true I’d really like you start one this year. There are many kinds of plans for all different situations. And I can’t say for sure which one is right for you because I don’t know your exact needs, but here is a general idea of what’s available and how it would work.Retirement plans boil down to two general types: plans for the work place and plans for individuals. The tax code determines narrows down the choices of the plan that is right for your needs. Plans for the work placeThe most common work place plans are 401(k)’s, 403(B)’s and SIMPLE IRA’s. Tax-exempt organizations, such as schools, hospitals and towns probably use 403(B)’s. Business generally use 401(k)’s. Smaller businesses may use SIMPLE IRA’s. They may have less administrative costs and can be used with businesses with less than 100 employees.Plans for individualsFor individuals there are Individual retirement plans, the IRA. There are all kinds of IRA’s which may be why it may feel a bit confusing when you think about them: ROTH IRA’s, Traditional IRA’s, SEP IRA’s. Your needs and particular situation determine what plan is right for you.This can be confusing because the tax code is the controlling regulation for the variations. Talk with a financial advisor, an attorney or your tax preparer for more info. But DO start a retirement plan today! Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com
It’s a business that’s been around for 150 years. W.A. Bean in Bangor sells all kinds of meat products, from sausage to steak.In this edition of Take This Job and Love It, Sharon Pelletier decided to try making one of their most famous, the red hot dog.There used to be quite a few hot dog makers in Maine, but now W.A. Bean is the last in the state.Sharon went to their factory in Bangor to find out what keeps them going, and what exactly they put in hot dogs?”When people have sterotypes about what goes into hot dogs, those are not true. Well not for our hot dogs, we make a more expensive hot dog, a higher end hot dog.”And when buying a hot dog, it’s wise to choose the Cadillac version. That is probably one of the reasons W.A. Bean has been around for a century and a half. They offer quality products.”I started in 1947″Albert Bean has seen a lot of changes in this family business over that time, but at least one constant, their red hots. Today, I’ll get to make some. “Oh this is a good look isn’t it.”Unfortunately that means I have to wear a hair net, but then it’s off to the kitchen.”This is lean pork trim, 80% lean pork”First step in the process mix the ingredients, which are, ground pork, ground beef, and some spices.”How long does it take, just a few minutes”It turns into what they call a batter. It amazingly looks like one too.Then we meet Gladys, who’s worked here for more than 11 years.”What you’re gonna do is you have a little piece hanging out.”She operates the machine that makes the hot dogs. She shows me how it’s done, then lets me try.”This is natural casing, which is basically sheep intestines.”Best not to think of that too much.”This is kind of a messy job huh. It sure is”First attempt goes badly, meat batter everywhere.”I’m sorry. The casings broke, it’s not my fault.”This time I did it. Well maybe not, so I move on to the next job.”What they call stripping and tying is what it’s called.”I need to check the dogs, make sure they’re up to standard, and tie off any loose ends.”It’s hard to tie a knot in this, it’s all slimy.””I think I ruined this one, I keep breaking them.I sure was slowing down production.”Hey not bad, now you need a knife.”I think he was just being kind, because later the truth came out.”So my hot dogs are going to be free. Maybe, ha ha.”Time to let the experts do the work. Have you noticed these red hots, aren’t looking very red. That comes a little later. After the dogs have cooked for a while, they’re put into another oven.”Then what we do is we add the color”They get a shower and a few minutes later they have their famous coloring.It’s a product that the employees really do take pride in.”Our hot dogs are very good. It’s all whole meat.”They must be, 400,000 pounds of them were sold last year.Now it’s time to find out if company President, David Bean, thought my effort today was up to par with his product.I think you did a great job. Another 6 months and you’d be trained.”They sell their hot dogs under two labels, W.A. Bean and Rice’s Hot dogs. You can find them in grocery stores and at their retail shop at their Bangor factory.
By- Dr. Joan Marie PellegriniMost of us know that if we need surgery, we need to choose a qualified surgeon. We then assume that the surgeon and their hospital will do everything they can to prevent any post-operative complications. Unfortunately, the medical community has known for decades that surgical quality is heterogeneous across the country and sometimes even within a state or city. It is not news that some hospitals have lower complication rates than others. There has been quite a bit of research into what these high performing hospitals are doing that may be leading to better results. Fortunately for the consumer, there are now several national quality partnerships aimed at improving processes within the operating room and recovery room to actively reduce post-operative complications.These quality measures are attempting to “hard wire” certain processes. “Hard wiring” means that something will happen based on protocol rather than on individuals having to remember to ask for it to happen. Many industries have proven that protocols lead to better results compared to letting individual practitioners deciding what to do. Getting a patient ready for surgery and then recovering the patient is a very complex process and it is quite easy to forget seemingly unimportant details. We have good surgical results in this country but the goal of these quality initiatives is to have excellent results and to decrease our complications from surgery by at least 25%. Most of these initiatives started several years ago and there has been excellent progress.The quality measures differ somewhat depending on the type of surgery. However, it is now mandatory to do a “time out” prior to making an incision to make sure that everything that needs to be done has been done. Some of the things this” time out” verifies is that the team agrees they have the right patient and the correct procedure according to the consent form, the right antibiotic has been given if indicated and at the right time, that certain medications have been given if indicated, and that the necessary equipment is available and functional. Other measures that are addressed are the patient’s temperature and glucose level. Special warming devices are used to prevent hypothermia during surgery. Also, if the patient’s blood glucose level is elevated, they will be given insulin even if they are not diabetic in order to prevent certain post-operative complications. Extra oxygen is given to all patients after some types of surgery because it has been shown to reduce wound infections. These above measures are why some patients wake up in the recovery room with oxygen and insulin drips even though they do not have lung disease or diabetes.The good news is that there are many national quality measures that are being put into practice and are working to reduce complications as a result of surgery. Because these are national measures, you can be confidant that you will be given the same care no matter which hospital you go to as long as that hospital is participating in these programs. In the future, there will be even more quality programs nationally in an attempt to standardize care across the nation.If you would like more information you may search for SCIP (Surgical Care Improvement Project) or ACS NSQIP (American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program).
By- Marion SyversenMonitor spending – Make every dollar work for you by knowing where each one goes! Know what percent of your income is used for food, entertainment, savings, and the rest.Make a budget – Now you can make a budget. Find a budget type- there are many- that works for you and get a plan for this year.Pay off debt- While you are at it, pay off, or at least pay down, debt. Under most circumstances, we have enough money to pay more on our debt. It is only under life’s most dire conditions that we can’t achieve at least some progress. Use cash and pay down debt this year!Check your credit report- Free credit reports are available from each of the three agencies so either get them all at once or, a better solution may be to get one from each agency at four-month intervals. Experian in January (at Experion.com), Equifax in May (at Equifax.com) and Transunion (at Transunion.com) in September. That way you can monitor your credit score and credit activity for free.Back up your information- Does your family have an emergency plan, do you have a disaster recovery plan for your financial records? Consider options that would help you recover your pertinent data if anything happened to your records.Check insurance and beneficiaries- Is you life and property and casualty insurance up to date? If there have been changes to your family is that information reflected in you insurance and is your beneficiary information correct and current? Put your mind at ease and get your financial house in order with these tips for your best 2010!Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Norumbega Financial, Wall Street Financial Group, Inc., and all other companies listed are separate entities, independently owned and operated.
By- Dr. Amy MoviusWintertime in Maine means playing in the snow, and after our very respectable storm this holiday, many Mainers and visitors did just that. Snowmobiling is a popular way to enjoy the snow in our state, though it is not an activity to be engaged in lightly as recent tragedies remind us. Snowmobiles are large, heavy, powerful machines. 35% of accidents involving snowmobiles that result in injury or death occur in people less than 25 yrs of age: 25% in 15-24 year-olds and 10% in children less than 15yrs. Males outnumber females three to one and head injuries are the leading cause of injury or death, usually from hitting a fixed object such as a tree. Children less than 16yrs are also frequently injured from falling off snowmobiles or having them roll over onto them. Children less than 8 yrs of age who are injured or killed are usually passengers or being towed behind snowmobiles. In persons over 16yrs, drowning from falling through ice becomes a prominent cause of death as well. Factors contributing to accidents include operator error, speeding, use on inappropriate terrain, snowmobiling at night, and alcohol use. Other risks to be considered when snowmobiling include frostbite, hypothermia, hearing loss, and white finger syndrome.If you choose snowmobiling as an activity for you and your family, please do so responsibly, and with the consideration of the following guidelines.1. Don’t let anyone less than 16yrs operate a snowmobile. Though this is not a legal requirement, the American Academy of Pediatrics urges you to think of operating a snowmobile as you would driving a car, requiring the same degree of strength, skill and maturity.1 Completion of an instruction and safety course is desirable. 2. Children less than 6 years should not ride as passengers on snowmobiles because of inadequate strength and stamina.3. A “graduate license” approach is recommended for new operators. Specifically new operator use should initially be limited to daylight hours and on groomed trails. Use of a speed limiting governor to limit maximum speed possible is also recommended for new operators.24. Never use alcohol or drugs before/during snowmobiling.5. Protective clothing should be used including goggles, waterproof snowmobiling suit, gloves, rubber-bottomed boots and an approved helmet.36. Carry emergency supplies including a first aid kit, survival kit that includes flares, and a cellular phone.7. Don’t snowmobile alone.8. Avoid ice is there is any uncertainty about its condition.9. Carry a maximum of 1 passenger.10. Use headlights and taillights at all times. 11. Never tow or pull someone behind a snowmobile (ex = in saucer, tube, sled, skis) for amusement.References1. Snowmobiling Hazards. American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Injury and Poison Prevention. Pediatrics Vol. 106 No. 5 November 2000. Statement of Reaffirmation 20072. Maine Snowmobile Laws 2008-09 Footnotes1. Maine state law allows children 10yrs and older to operate snowmobiles without adult supervision and children 14yrs and older to cross public ways on snowmobiles.2. The effect of graduated licensing for teenage snowmobilers has not been determined. However, graduated licensing for teenage drivers has reduced the number of motor vehicle-related deaths in teenagers.3. Maine law currently requires persons under 18yrs to wear protective headgear on snowmobiles being used on public trails funded by the Department of Conservation, Bureau of Public Lands. This applies to both operators and passengers.
(Serves 4 people heartily)Ingredients1 lb large shrimp1 t hot red pepper flakes6 T extra virgin olive oil2 T coarse kosher saltC Hennessey or other cognac8 cloves minced garlict sugar28 oz diced tomatoes, drained if using canned1 C white wineC fresh minced parsley1 lb linguineProcedureToss shrimp with red pepper, salt, and 3T of the oil. Saut shrimp over high heat on one side. Flip shrimp over and remove pan from heat. Add cognac and return to heat. Ignite cognac and swirl pan until flame subsides. Rewove shrimp from pan. Return pan to heat and add remaining ingredients except for the parsley and cook until thickened, about 8 minutes. Add cooked shrimp to the pan along with the cooked linguine.
Serves 2 Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method——– ———— ——————————– 1/2 cup Oil 10 ounces Shaved Beef — roughly chopped 3 ounces Thai Chili Sauce — we like sambal olek chili garlic sauce 3 ounces lime juice 1 ounce Fish Sauce 1/4 cup Chopped Peanuts 5 each Basil leaf — Torn 1/2 each Red Onion — Sliced 1 each Carrot — Shredded 1/4 head Napa cabbage — shredded 2 cups Salad Greens — from your local grocer 1 bunch Cilantro — ChoppedIn a large bowl add the chili sauce, lime juice, fish sauce, peanuts andtorn basil. Mix together to form the dressing.In the same bowl add the onion, carrot, cabbage and salad greens.Heat a large sautÃ© pan until smoking hot and add the oil. Add the beefright away and spread out on the pan so it is in a single layer. Continue to fry the beef until it is very, very crispy. Using a pot holderdump the hot beef and oil in to the salad making sure you scrape the pan for all the little goodies (unless you use Teflon of course).Toss every thing together in the bowl really well and serve right away witha side of jasmine rice if you like. Nutritional Information: Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 663 Calories: 66g Fat (85.9% caloriesfrom fat): 6g Protein: 18g Carbohydrate: 4g Dietary Fiber: 2mg Cholesterol:20mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch): 1/2 Lean Meat: 1 1/2 Vegetable:1/2 Fruit: 12 1/2 Fat: 0 Other Carbohydrates.
By- Marion SyversenLet’s say you think opening an account for your little pumpkin would be a great idea for Christmas. Let’s look at the rules for some of the most common types. Savings account- If you open a joint account with your little sweetie, that account is typically an UGMA account. UGMA stands for Uniform Gift to Minors and allows minors to own an asset because it is owned for them or with them. But when they are 18 years old it becomes their asset. You might think, “oh, this will be the money that I give junior for college,” but in fact Junior can use it for his first car as soon as he is 18 years old. And Princess might give the money to her misunderstood boyfriend, and she would be within her legal rights to do so if you open an UGMA account for your kids or grandkids, since it becomes their money at age 18.College savings account- If you open a 529 account for your little angel the UGMA rules will only apply if you are moving money from an UGMA account. If you are opening a new 529 account that account is held for the darling and is completely in the name of the account owner but can be used for your darling. The money can be used for post secondary schools such as golf or cooking schools, 2 year colleges, trade schools, anywhere that federal funds are accepted in the US and a few schools in Canada. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Norumbega Financial and Wall Street Financial Group, Inc., are separate entities, independently owned and operated.