Merlino & Gonzalez April 2018

April 2018

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WE KEEP YOU ON THE RIGHT PATH

IN A MANOR OF SPEAKING

A VERY SPECIAL EASTER Celebrating With My Father

Joanne and I are in charge of hiding the eggs for the adults. Given that Easter is also April Fools’ Day this year, the pressure will be on to come up with the cleverest hiding spots yet. If you have any ideas, don’t be afraid to let me know. I may not be able to use them this year, but I’ll remember them for later. Mostly, though, I cherish Easter as a time to get everyone together and celebrate. The family gatherings always seem to grow fewer and farther between, so I make sure to enjoy the ones we have. I hope you’re able to spend this Easter with your loved ones, eating some delicious food and maybe going on an egg hunt of your own. It means a lot to me to be able to spend this Easter with my father. When I speak with clients about estate planning, I always bring up the emotional as well as the legal considerations. Not every family may have obvious options to handle legal and medical responsibilities — we’re very lucky in that regard. That said, taking the time to have a plan in place will give you the peace of mind that your loved one’s wishes will be respected. As I’ve learned from personal experience, having a plan in place makes things a whole lot easier.

take a look at my dad and discover two aneurysms. Since the surgery, Dad’s been recovering at a rate that has surprised his family and doctors alike. He’s still sore, but he’s sharp as ever, which gives us plenty to be thankful for this Easter. Not that our family needs much of an excuse to go all out.

The marquee events of the Gonzalez family Easter are the egg hunts. We actually have two: one for the kids and one for the adults. The kid’s version is pretty standard in terms of what you’ll find in the eggs. Some of them have candy; others have a few bucks. The adult hunt,

Happy Easter!

on the other hand, has a unique twist. Inside a few of the eggs are wine corks. If you find a cork, you win a bottle of wine to take home or to enjoy with everyone. I prefer when people choose the latter.

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THE 3 BEST WAYS

To Play Hooky With Your Child

most everyone else will be at work or school, you and your child will have free rein of the ballpark. Just be sure to root for the home team!

THE ZOO

The zoo is a great place to educate your child outside of school. They can play hooky and still learn something. Many exhibits will provide information about the animals, their habitats, and conservation efforts. At the very least, your child might encounter an animal they’ve never heard of before.

FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT CENTER

When Gary Chapman’s book “The Five Love Languages” came out, many people focused on building better relationships with their spouses. But just as words of affirmation, acts of service, touch, gifts, and quality time can help your marriage, these concepts can also help your relationship with your children. One way to show our children how much we love them is to spend quality time with them. And what better way to do that than to break them out of school to play some hooky?

While classics like Skee-Ball and Pop-A-Shot may be harder to find, there are still plenty of exciting activities for you and your child to participate in. Hit up the arcade, peel out in the go-karts, or test out your putt- putt game over 18 holes. There’s an activity for all ages at these fun zones, so you and your child will always have something to choose from. Families often get so wrapped up in the activities of daily life and the chaos that accompanies it that fun is forgotten. What if kids were able to detach from the expectations of accomplishment placed on them in school and extracurricular activities and just focus on having a blast one day with Mom and Dad? Who knows — maybe by playing some hooky with your child, you’ll find the kid in you!

BASEBALL

Sharing your love of sports can be a fun way to bond with your child. While day games might not be as common as they used to be, most teams will have at least a few of them each month. These tickets are usually cheaper and often come with promotions to help draw in fans. While

3 APRIL FOOLS’ PRANKS From Earlier, More Trusting Times

April Fools’ Day isn’t what it used to be. Sure, it’s still a fun distraction, with Google announcing “scratch and sniff” digital technology and Amazon declaring new features enabling Alexa to understand your pets. But it’s pretty hard for anyone to genuinely pull your leg in the internet age. Back when you couldn’t debunk a hoax with a simple Snopes search, things were a little more interesting. Here are a few of the most hilarious — yet somehow convincing — April Fools’ pranks in history. NIXON FOR PRESIDENT, 1992 When NPR’s popular “Talk of the Nation” program announced in 1992 that former President Richard Nixon had announced his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination, listeners were shocked. Never mind that he’d been the center of the largest presidential scam in history, but his campaign slogan, “I never did anything wrong, and I won’t do it again,” left something to be desired. NPR even brought political experts on the show to discuss the ramifications of such a move, and listeners flooded the station with outraged calls — until host John Hockenberry revealed that the on-air Nixon was actually comedian Rich Little.

SWISS SPAGHETTI GROWERS ENJOY RECORD HARVEST Ah, to be as naive as we were during the early days of television. In 1957, a BBC news show called “Panorama” conducted a special report on a massive spaghetti harvest in Ticino, Switzerland, following a remarkably mild winter. The black and white images showed farmers pulling huge strands of noodles off tall trees and prompted hundreds of viewers to call into the station and ask how they might procure their own spaghetti tree.

THOMAS EDISON’S AMAZING FOOD MACHINE When Edison was in his prime, Americans truly believed he could create anything — even a machine that transformed air, water, and dirt into biscuits, vegetables, meat, and wine, as reported by the New York Daily Graphic in 1878. The article was reprinted in newspapers across the country. Thousands of people bought the trick. When Buffalo’s Commercial Advertiser ran an editorial on Edison’s genius in the endeavor, the Graphic reprinted it in full, along with the headline, “They Bite!”

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A DISASTER WAITING TO HAPPEN What’s a Home Without Insurance?

There are a lot of factors to consider when buying a home. While you’re looking at properties, preparing finances, and completing inspections, don’t overlook insurance. Unless you’re paying for your home in cash, your lender will likely have you put insurance policies in place before closing. Doing this will not only strengthen your case as the right buyer, it will also give you peace of mind knowing that you’ll be covered in the event of a disaster. Homeowners insurance should be the central component of your plan. As with any major purchase, it’s important to shop around before you settle on a policy. Most homeowners insurance policies cover damage caused by wind, fire, lightning, hail, and falling trees. You won’t know for certain unless you read your policy from front to back. These documents may not qualify as a page-turner, but understanding your policy is part of being a responsible homeowner. You might have noticed two types of disasters not mentioned in the above list: flooding and earthquakes. Many people whose homes were

damaged by Hurricane Sandy were surprised to learn that they weren’t covered through their homeowners insurance. Flood insurance is an important supplement to your policy. We may not experience regular earthquakes in our neck of the woods, but it’s still worth considering. Another valuable part of insurance preparation is inventorying your possessions. In the event that you do need to file a claim, you’ll have to provide a list of damaged items. Having a master list ready at hand will make this process a lot easier. Even better, create a video inventory detailing the most valuable items in your home. Whatever route you choose, you should keep copies of your inventory somewhere safe outside of your home — like, say, your attorney’s office.

The team at Merlino & Gonzalez has years of experience dealing with every facet of the real estate process. If you need a hand figuring out insurance or any other facet of the buying process, don’t hesitate to give us a call.

PASTA WITH TURKEY AND BROCCOLI MICHELE’S RECIPE CORNER

take a break

This simple, delicious recipe only takes 20 minutes from start to finish. It’s also a great way to encourage kids to eat their broccoli. The next time you make pasta, leave the canned sauce in the pantry and make this instead!

• 3/4 pound pasta (shells or orecchiette) • 2 cups broccoli florets • 3 tablespoons olive oil INGREDIENTS

• 1 pound ground turkey • 2 cloves garlic, chopped • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper • Salt • Parmesan cheese Cook while breaking up meat with a wooden spoon for 3–5 minutes. 3. Combine turkey with pasta

DIRECTIONS

1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Add broccoli when pasta is 1 minute from done. Drain both and return to pot. 2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the turkey, garlic, crushed red pepper, and a pinch of salt.

and broccoli mixture, adding the remaining olive oil as you stir. Serve in bowls topped with Parmesan cheese.

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718-698-2200 | realestateplanninglaw.com WE KEEP YOU ON THE RIGHT PATH

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

Eggs, Wine, and Family Unique Ways to Spend Quality Time

April Fools’ Pranks From the Pre-Internet Age You Need Homeowners Insurance and More

Pasta With Turkey and Broccoli 3 Places to View Natural Wonders

organisms in the water, lend their glow to the lagoon. These tiny organisms thrive in areas where salt water and fresh water meet, making the lagoon in springtime an ideal place to see them. ECO TIP: To ensure this magical sight will remain for years to come, always go with a “pack it in, pack it out” mentality. Take all of your belongings with you when you leave and be respectful of the beautiful environment that is yours to enjoy. NORTHERN LIGHTS IN SCANDINAVIA One of the most elusive natural wonders, the aurora borealis, can only be seen on dark nights in the most northern parts of the world. That makes Sweden and its Scandinavian neighbors a great place to see the phenomenon. From December through April, you’ll have your best chance of seeing the northern lights. Sightings are dependent on solar activity, so it’s impossible to predict the exact timing and location, but they’re easier to see during the longer, darker nights of winter and early spring. ONE-OF-A-KIND Naturescapes

If you’re lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time, you might see rare magical sights — baby turtles scuttling toward water, glowing lagoons, or a shimmering sky. But when and where do you need to be to catch these natural wonders? SEA TURTLES HATCHING IN HAWAII On Oahu’s North Shore, head to Turtle Beach, which gets its name from the many turtles that nest along its shores. During late spring and summer, the waves subside, allowing turtles to crawl onto the beach to lay their eggs. Baby turtles hatch at night and make their way to the water by the light of the moon. If you do head to the beach at night to see this spectacle, don’t use white light, as it can disrupt the turtles’ progress (that means no flash photography).

ECO TIP: Look, but don’t touch! It’s illegal to touch a sea turtle in Hawaii.

BIOLUMINESCENT PLANKTON IN JAMAICA Imagine looking out at the water as the sky gets dark and seeing it turn a bright, glowing blue. That’s the sight you might be treated to at Luminous Lagoon in Jamaica, where dinoflagellates, microscopic

ECO TIP: Book your trip through a responsible travel company, such as those that practice a fair-trade policy.

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