THE LEGAL NAVIGATOR OCTOBER 2021
FROM THE DESK OF Mike Bryan
Hello everyone and Happy Halloween! This month, I’d like to feature a key member of the Estate, Healthcare and Wealth Preservation Team, my case manager, Courtney Haug! She is often referred to as “my right hand” and has been working with me since I
began practicing law in 2001. Courtney has a wealth of experience with Estate, Medicaid and Veterans Benefits Planning. Not only does she understand these areas of law, but she also has a wonderful personality and is a kind person. Feel free to watch my interview with her by visiting swbwlawfirm.com/meet-your-estate- healthcare-and-wealth-preservation-team. I know that our office appreciates her hard work and dedication. I also know that clients love working with her as well. Thanks, Courtney, for everything you do. You make managing a busy practice possible. If you have
Halloween is fast approaching, and as you prepare your candy bowl, get the costumes ready, and catch up on your favorite horror movies, don’t forget one of the greatest Halloween traditions of all time: carving pumpkins! I recently learned that this tradition dates back to an old piece of folklore. Apparently, people used to fear a con man named Stingy Jack, who continually made deals with the devil to keep his soul out of hell after tricking the devil into a trap. When Jack died, God thought better of permitting him into heaven, so instead, he walked the Earth in a state of purgatory. In order to scare Jack from their homes, Europeans would carve turnips and place burning coal inside to warn Jack away. 3 Tips the Family Will Love Carve a Cooler Pumpkin
time this month, please drop her a note to say thanks for everything she does.
See you next month!
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Throw a Party
When immigrants came to America, they eventually turned this tradition into the jack-o’-lantern we know today! Luckily, we’ve upgraded from turnips to pumpkins and can make our creations more fun. Check out some of these great alternatives to a traditional pumpkin carving! Get Artistic More families are opting to put down the knives in favor of paint. This is the perfect option for creative little kids, but not just any paint will do! Acrylic is the best paint for pumpkins because it dries quickly and is very easy for any user. And because the surface of a pumpkin is rougher than your average canvas, acrylic will be the easiest to use. However, don’t shy away from fun paint options. You can get creative with spray paints or dabble in 3D with puffy paint! Be Handy This will require safety glasses and a trip to the workbench. Start by carving out your pumpkin like you would for any standard jack-o’- lantern. But rather than carve your favorite design with a kitchen or carving knife, grab the drill! Using different sized drill-bits, create shapes and patterns. These will be more precise than any old knife can do, and you can create fun patterns that go beyond creepy or goofy faces! (This will also work with a fruit coring tool, but it will require more manual labor.)
Halloween is one of the best holidays for party food! Between mummy fingers (pigs in a blanket), spider bites (cucumbers with olives strategically placed on top), and fruit ghosts (bananas with chocolate chip eyes and mouths), there are plenty of options to up the spook and yummy factor. However, you can add another Halloween food to your party list: pumpkin brains! This is one of my favorite new party hacks! Start by once again carving your pumpkin, and then carve a jack-o’-lantern face into it. Make it silly or scary — it’s up to you! Then, place a small tea light in the center of your pumpkin. Next, fill a shallow bowl or cake pan with red- or orange-colored dip, like taco or chipotle, inside the pumpkin. Spread chips around the base for the finishing touch! Don’t forget to watch as your guests
realize they are eating braaaains!
As you up your jack-o’-lantern game this season, remember that you don’t need to create the perfect pumpkin. Get a little creative, think outside the pumpkin, and have fun!
Fresh Tips From the Laundry Room The Easiest Way to Clean Your Washing Machine
Despite being designed to clean, your washing machine can be anything but. As water settles in the machine’s basin and detergent and grime cling to the edges, it can become a budding environment for mildew and gnarly smells. But with a few simple steps, your machine will smell and function like new. Why You Need to Clean Your Washing Machine The most common washing machines are top- and front-loading, and some do a better job of cleaning than others. However, the washing machine isn’t where germs and bacteria go to die. In fact, according to Reader’s Digest, many home washing machines don’t sanitize clothes, and numerous studies have found that these devices can transfer certain germs from one material to the next. However, by cleaning your washing machine, you can remove bacterial buildup, residue, and mildew build-up. (No more gross smell!) Furthermore, regular cleaning protects it from damage due to grime accumulation. How to Clean It Whether you have a front- or top-loading washing machine is a matter of preference, but it also matters when it comes to maintenance. For example, front-loading machines have a rubber lip just inside the door
where dirt and hair accumulate. Top-loading machines can collect the same amount of dirt in the softener dispenser.
Regardless of the machine’s style, baking soda, vinegar, a rag, and hot water are the go-to tools for cleaning your washing
machine. Start by running your machine on its hottest cycle for a few minutes, then pause the cycle. (With top-loading devices, you want a pool of water in the bottom of the machine after it’s paused.) Then, YouTube cleaning tutorialist Andrea Jean Cleaning recommends pouring 1/2 cup of baking soda and about 2–3 cups of white vinegar into the machine. (Bleach will work, too!) While the solution sits, scrub the door, detergent trays, and any lips where grime can hide. Then, simply close the lid, finish the cycle, and watch your machine clean itself!
Get more washing machine cleaning tips from your device’s manufacturer.
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3 Hiring Rules All Businesses Need Right Now
Ask your employees for help, too! Ask about the ideal traits they want in a coworker or arrange for second interviews as meet-and-greets to “test” the functionality of your team with your potential employee. Keep these second interviews light, as they are not so much about the skills the candidate possesses as they are about the attitude they bring to the team. Finally, train them right. This is often a forgotten part of the hiring process. Training new employees is just as important as finding the right candidate to hire. Employee churn is an expensive cost, and unless you equip your new employees with the right tools — and continue to train your team — you are going to keep incurring this cost. You’re hiring to keep employees and build a business. When you train an employee right, you get an employee for life. (Or at least long enough to hold value!) Bonus: Get feedback! When you’re the boss, it’s hard to remember what it was like on the other side of the hiring table. Ask your newest employees about your hiring and training process. What did they like? What was missing? These answers can help you refine your process!
Hiring can be a difficult prospect, but there is no sugarcoating it: Hiring is really hard right now. Remote work has widened the field of available applicants for many industries, but it’s also narrowed the availability for other industries, like restaurants and factories. Meanwhile, workers are staging a revolution of sorts, demanding certain lifestyle perks never before seen in the workforce. However, you’re not staring into an abyss without a parachute. There are tried-and-true methods — and a few new necessary ones — you can use to ensure you hire the right candidate the first time, allowing your businesses to build like never before. First, set a few non-negotiables. These are qualities, salary ranges, and skills you need every applicant in your hiring process to possess. For example, if you need someone who can run a specialty machine on your floor, you shouldn’t look to hire someone who only has office clerking skills. You can teach some things on the job — like Excel or phone etiquette — but other things have to come with certifications, previous experience, and degrees. ( Pro Tip: Always look at the salary listed! If someone is asking for compensation that’s completely above what you can offer, weed them out of your applicant group. This is an easy way to eliminate prospects. However, be open to negotiations.) Then, find the people who fit your culture — not the other way around. This can be difficult with workforces entering a more global stage, but it’s nowhere near impossible. Be honest about what your employee culture looks like and narrow down candidates from there. Remember , the most talented candidate with the worst attitude can kill your culture and spell disaster for your business.
Take a Break!
Halloween Cookie Pizza
Inspired by Pillsbury.com Photo: Pillsbury.com
This one’s for the candy corn lovers! This “pizza” is far from traditional, but once you try it, you might find yourself making it every October!
• 1 roll Pillsbury Sugar Cookie Dough • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter • 1 cup candy corn • 1/2 cup chocolate chips • 1/4 cup vanilla frosting (store-bought or homemade)
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. 2. Grease a round, 12-inch pan and line with cookie dough, ensuring the dough covers all but the outer 1/2 inch. 3. Bake for 16–20 minutes until golden brown. Cool completely. 4. Spread the peanut butter over the cooled cookie dough, then sprinkle on the candy corn and chocolate chips. 5. In a small bowl, microwave the frosting for 15 seconds or until liquified. 6. Drizzle the frosting over the “pizza,” slice, and serve!
MYSTERY ORANGE PARTY PUMPKIN SHADOWS SPOOKY
BLACK COSTUME GHOST HALLOWEEN HAUNTED MOON
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE From the Desk of Mike Bryan PAGE 1 3 Ways to Make Your Pumpkins Better PAGE 1 Wash the Washer the Easy Way! PAGE 2 Hiring Woes? Try 3 Tips From the Pros PAGE 3 Take a Break PAGE 3 Halloween Cookie Pizza PAGE 3 3 Haunted Destinations to Visit This October PAGE 4
GHOSTS ACROSS AMERICA 3 Haunted Spots Every Ghost Believer Will Love
October is one of the best months for travel in the U.S. With mild temperatures and gorgeous, colorful leaves everywhere, there’s no better time for a cross-country road trip. Add some Halloween flair to your October vacation with these three ghostly attractions. Visit the most haunted town in the U.S. —Waynesville, Ohio. Sure, New Orleans may have a spooky past, but it doesn’t compare to Waynesville. Many residents and visitors think this Ohio town is rife with ghosts. You may hear cries to “hurry up” at The Hammel House Inn, where many tunnels for the underground railroad came through, or you could see the apparition of a businessman from the 1800s who “never checked out.” Other sources report hauntings at the town’s historical society, Museum at the Friends Home, including a little girl who moves toys and sits on the porch. The society leans into the local fascination and hosts regular walking ghost tours and ghost hunting classes. Stay a while at Hotel Monte Vista in Flagstaff, Arizona. Guests at Hotel Monte Vista have often enjoyed long stays at the downtown Flagstaff, Arizona, hotel, but not everyone leaves. Constructed in 1927, the hotel is host to a number of reported ghosts. The most well- known is an elderly woman who would spend hours rocking in the chair
in her room. Today, her chair can be found moving on its own. Another popular visitor is the ghost of a bellboy who knocks on doors and announces that room service has arrived — only, no one’s there.
Is there a monster in Pine Barrens, New Jersey? This one’s for those who love mysterious creatures. Pine Barrens is a mass of forested land that spreads across seven
counties in New Jersey — and its most famous resident isn’t human. The Jersey Devil has a long, storied history and is said to be a combination of many animals: Its body is shaped
like a kangaroo with wings. It has the head of a dog but the face of a horse. The creature is believed to have had a sickly start to life in 1735 and has stayed to haunt the forest’s inhabitants and even those who visit the area today.
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