Libertyinspectiongroup.com 610.717.3082 FEBRUARY 2019
CHALLENGING OURSELVES TOGETHER Taking On a New Fitness Hobby With My Wife
As avid readers of this newsletter may be able to tell, health and fitness
each obstacle. The obstacle that sticks out the most to me is one that's almost like twisting monkey bars. As you swing across them, the bars rotate while you dangle over a mud pit. It’s ridiculously long — at least, it feels that way when you’re in the middle of it. Participants have left the races with broken bones and bloody limbs as they put their whole body to the test. It’s supposed to be a painful, gritty experience, and completing any of these races is a tremendous feat. Additionally, the whole race ends with each participant jumping over fire in a last-ditch, high-adrenaline release of any remaining energy. It’s an exhilarating way to finish such a challenging and consuming race. I’m proud to say that I’ve completed the sprint, and my ever-dedicated wife completed the Spartan trifecta this year, finishing each kind of race. Karen has been really passionate about every race, and she even has a friend that joins her when I’m too chicken to do so. We’ve even been talking about getting our daughters involved in the races, and the Spartan Race has made this easier by creating the Spartan Kids. We know they can finish a race like this, and we’re excited to continue this hobby with them. Plus, this gives us a reason to travel and tour the country together. Karen recently completed a Spartan Super Race in West Virginia, and we’re looking forward to future races across the U.S. We’ve done mud and road races together in the past, but nothing compares to the feeling of finishing the Spartan Race. I collapsed at the end, trying to ignore every painful part of my body and feeling invigorated by the task I just completed.
are large parts of my family’s lifestyle. My
wife, Karen, and I want to instill good habits in our three daughters, so we’ve always encouraged them to be active. It’s one thing to tell your children to be active; it’s an entirely different undertaking to show them how.
Karen and I have no problem taking our own advice when it comes to staying fit. I’m a former competitive runner and I thoroughly enjoy a run that challenges both my legs and lungs, pushing me beyond the limit I set last time. The opposite can be said for my wife. She hates running! Instead, Karen focuses on fostering strong muscles and strength through her daily workouts and the classes she teaches at Main Line Health. I like to think I have a strong upper body, but I know her stamina could beat mine any day. The most recent fitness phenomenon we’ve found ourselves involved with tests both of our limits and passions. About two years ago, Karen started running Spartan Races, and somehow, she roped me into this ultimate test of endurance and strength. These races combine running and extreme obstacle courses into one powerful and challenging race. It features three levels: the Sprint, the Beast, and the Super. Each one varies in distance, number of obstacles, and difficulty of
The post-race beer helped, too.
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George Orwell’s Dystopian Universes
Chris Earley’s Book of the Month
Everyone can remember having to read a piece of George Orwell’s writing when they were in high school. These readings involved deciphering his coded stances on life and tyranny, and each held a message for bettering society. A few months ago, I decided to dive back into the writing of Orwell, and after finishing “1984,” I was glad I did. “1984” was actually published in 1949, and as it aged, it has become hauntingly pertinent to each time period that passes. Orwell’s main character ventures to become an individual in a world that is completely totalitarian and bureaucratic. Everyone wears the same thing, works at the same job, and does the same tasks day after day after day. Everything is controlled by Big Brother. (Fun fact: This is where the phrase “Big Brother” as a reference to government originated.) Orwell’s ideas about total control and lack of individuality have been applied repeatedly in discussions of society, politics, and technology over the past 70 years, and “1984” continues to be a mainstay of school reading lists. Goodreads also classifies it as one of “the most terrifying novels ever written.”
would follow. Orwell was a major critic of mid-20th-century America, and his poignant writing style resonates with each generation. So, why did I put myself through this terror? Sometimes perspective can go a long way
in helping us to gain some understanding of the world around us. “1984” helped me see my problems in a different light, and it was a break from my traditional self-development books. This was a reality check for me, and it offered me a perspective I don’t usually get from the books I read. But it is a perspective we all need to experience. I would highly recommend moving outside of your regular reading list and picking up “1984.” It’s a quick read, but it’s one every person should have reverberating in their mind.
Dystopia was a common theme for Orwell, whose other classic novels also offer statements on the society they were written for and the fate of societies that
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“Chris was great for our final inspection for our new construction home. He was prompt, courteous, and politely pointed out remaining items to the project manager. The report was completed the same day as well. Highly recommend." -Barry A. “My husband and I used Liberty Inspection Group to inspect two homes we were planning on purchasing. We were very pleased with the professionalism and excellence of our home inspector. We felt he was very thorough and detail-oriented, and he educated us throughout the inspections. We would highly recommend James Domanico and Liberty Inspection Group!” –Donna P. OUR CUSTOMERS SAY IT BEST
Clients rely on you to market their home as the best option or to “wow” them with what’s available, but in today’s fast-paced digital world, your message may be falling flat. A monthly custom print newsletter can help you increase retention rates and referrals by building lasting relationships with clients who trust you with one of life’s biggest decisions. It’s the easiest and most effective way to stand out! You can acquire this powerful tool and show potential clients why your skills are essential for them to stand out on today’s market. Visit Newslettermarketing.co to learn more.
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SOURED STUCCO? What an Inspection Can Do for You
People spend years dreaming of their perfect home, and each person has their ideal look. Among these varying styles, stucco — a plaster coating — has become a popular choice. However, research indicates that about 90 percent of stucco applied 15–25 years ago in the northeastern United States was done incorrectly, posing financial and hazardous threats to the families that occupy those homes.
severity and depth of the damage to your stucco, and it provides an idea of the salvageability of your home’s surface.
The Findings There are three levels of damage stucco can be classified as. If a stucco test comes back with a high reading, moisture levels make up at least 29 percent of your stucco. The surface of the building may have to be completely removed. But in some cases, homeowners can maintain the life of their stucco by catching the problem early and repairing the moisture damages. Average and low readings are more ideal, but they can still come with concerns. An average reading means the stucco is still in good condition, but there is moisture present. This reading is a blessing in disguise, because while you don’t want moisture penetrating the lining of your home, you can act early and fast. If the test comes back with a low reading, your stucco is in prime condition and no action is necessary at that time. Don’t get stuck with bad stucco. See how our experts at Liberty Inspection Group can determine what your next steps should be by calling 610.717.3082. Learn more about this process on our blog at Libertyinspectiongroup.com/blog .
Don’t leave your health to chance. Learn what a stucco inspection can tell you about your home.
Level 1 During this phase, our experts use their observational skills to identify obvious problems. Inspectors look for mold, mildew, cracks, damage, moisture, and poor installation through observations along the surface, around doorways and windows, and near spouts. This is accompanied by the use of a high-quality, thermal-imaging camera to identify internal problems. Level 2 Experts identify problematic locations at a Level 1 inspection, and then they take samples from these areas during Level 2. This involves removing 1-inch samples of the stucco to test its moisture levels. This can tell an inspector about the
Inspired by foodnetwork.com
HAVE A LAUGH ON US!
• • • •
6 egg yolks
• • •
2 teaspoons dark rum 24 packaged ladyfingers
3 tablespoons sugar
1 pound mascarpone cheese 1 1/2 cups strong espresso, cooled
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate shavings, for garnish
1. In a large mixing bowl, use a whisk to beat together egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale, about 5 minutes. 2. Add mascarpone cheese and beat until smooth. 3. Fold in 1 tablespoon of espresso. 4. In a small, shallow dish, combine remaining espresso with rum. Dip each ladyfinger into mixture for 5 seconds. Place soaked ladyfingers at the bottom of a walled baking dish. 5. Spread half of the mascarpone mixture on top of the first layer of ladyfingers. Top with another layer of ladyfingers and another layer of mascarpone. 6. Cover and refrigerate 2–8 hours. 7. Remove from fridge, sprinkle with chocolate shavings, and serve.
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE: PAGE 1 A New Challenge PAGE 2 George Orwell’s “1984” Our Customers Say It Best PAGE 3 How a Stucco Inspection Works Tiramisu PAGE 4 Prepare for an Adventure in Lapland
INTO THE ARCTIC CIRCLE
A D V E N T U R E I N S W E D I S H L A P L A N D
If you’re eager for a new adventure in 2019, you’ll surely find it in Swedish Lapland. As the northernmost region of Sweden, this unique area is home to national parks, glaciers, reindeer, the beguiling midnight sun, and spectacular night skies. Though it’s cold this time of year, one benefit of traveling to the region in winter is to catch a glimpse of the night sky. In late winter, the northern lights are visible from a few remote locations like Abisko National Park, one of the first established national parks in Sweden. Traveling to Abisko is an adventure in and of itself. From Stockholm, the fastest option is to take one of only two airlines that fly into Kiruna, then travel by train to Abisko. Despite the challenge of getting there, adventure-seeking visitors from around the world arrive each winter to experience the beauty of the Arctic. Winter attractions include ice skating, snowshoeing, and the Scandinavian sauna — though this is a must-visit any time of the year. Befriend a Scandinavian and you might be treated to some pickled herring or even a Princess cake, a raspberry-filled dessert covered in marzipan.
Scandinavians cherish their public lands, and the trail systems are well taken care of. Hikers and backpackers can enjoy the stunning beauty in both late spring and summer, as well as have a chance to see the midnight sun. Because of its far-north location, Swedish Lapland receives close to 24 hours of sunlight from June through August. Diverse terrain and varied landscapes make hiking here a treat, between the boulder fields, mountains, and stunning glacial lakes. While hiking, you may spot some reindeer herds or lemmings (a small rodent similar to a hamster) racing around rocks. The Sami people have herded reindeer for thousands of years through this very land. In the summer, keep an eye out for blueberries, lingonberries, and the brightly colored cloudberries. Because of the Arctic climate, weather conditions can change quickly from sunshine to rain and heavy fog, so it’s best to dress in layers and bring wind and rain protection if you plan to venture into the backcountry. The fantastic scenery of Swedish Lapland awaits you, no matter when you decide to take your trip. What are you waiting for?
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