Monday, November 21, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

As you are surrounded by family and friends, and as you think about those who may be separated by distance or circumstance on Thanksgiving Day, may you find peace and joy in the beauty and blessings of your life. 

 From my family to yours, best wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Fondest regards,
Pook Bellini

Thanksgiving Day Foods That Can Kill Your Dog

Thanks to The Dogington Post for this important list of foods that can make your dog severely ill or, even worse, potentially kill your dog.

  • Turkey skin
  • Cooked bones
  • Onions and garlic
  • Alcohol
  • Nuts
  • Nutmeg
  • Sage
  • Chocolate, dough, and batter

Visit for the details.

Friday, November 11, 2016

How You Can Honor and Support Our Veterans

There are many worthwhile charities out there and it's often hard to know where our donations are most needed.  
There are many things to consider, so you may want to visit a site that will explain How to Pick a Military or Veteran Association.

If supporting our military is on your list, here are some great organizations to consider.  


USO operates more than 180 state-of-the-art locations around the world, where thousands of service members can feel closer to family and friends back home. The demands on our centers are increasing every day. Your help is urgently needed to provide our brave men and women in uniform with the essential services they need to keep going!


 K9s For Warriors

K9s For Warriors is dedicated to providing service canines to our Warriors suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disability, traumatic brain injury and/or military sexual trauma as a result of military service post-9/11.
Our goal is to empower them to return to civilian life with dignity and independence.


 Semper Fi Fund
Donate now and The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation, with support from GoDaddy, will “Double Down for Veterans” by matching every donation until December 31st, up to $10 Million. The Semper Fi Fund is delighted to announce Double Down for Veterans – a matching campaign with the potential to raise $20 million for wounded, critically ill and injured veterans. The challenge, issued by The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation, with support from GoDaddy, is one of the largest matching campaigns in the history of veteran nonprofits. Beginning November 1st through December 31, 2016, donations to the Semper Fi Fund will be matched, dollar-for-dollar.


Disabled American Vets

Serving Veterans Since 1920

We are dedicated to a single purpose: Empowering veterans to lead high-quality lives with respect and dignity.


Wounded Warrior Project
  • To foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation's history.
  • To raise awareness and enlist the public's aid for the needs of injured service members.
  • To help injured service members aid and assist each other.
  • To provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members.


This is not a complete list, so if you know of another great organization, please contact me so we can add it to this list.

Veterans Day Message

It is with grateful appreciation that we give heartfelt thanks to the men and women who have served in our armed forces, protecting our nation, and preserving the freedoms we cherish.

When I was a child, we celebrated "Armistice Day" to recognize the signing of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I and to honor those who bravely served and those who made the ultimate sacrifice on foreign soil.  The main hostilities of WWI were properly finished at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, with Germany signing the Armistice.   Red poppies were distributed by members of the American Legion Auxillary, as a remembrance of the sacrifices of those who served during the war.  

The symbolism of the red poppy began with the poem IN FLANDERS FIELDS,  penned by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918) of the Canadian Army, after presiding over the funeral of a friend and fellow soldier and being moved by the poppy flowers that grew in the Flanders battlefields on the southeast edge of the town of Waregem, Belgium.  The imagery created by that poem remains an important symbol of the sacrifices of war today.  On June 1,1954, Armistice Day was changed to Veterans Day to honor all U.S. veterans.  

The following explanation of the poppy story comes from the American Legion  Auxillary website.

The Poppy Story

From the battlefields of World War I, weary soldiers brought home the memory of a barren landscape transformed by wild poppies, red as the blood that had soaked the soil. By that miracle of nature, the spirit of their lost comrades lived on. The poppy became a symbol of the sacrifice of lives in war and represented the hope that none had died in vain. The American Legion Auxiliary poppy has continued to bloom for the casualties of four wars, its petals of paper bound together for veterans by veterans, reminding America each year that the men and women who have served and died for their country deserve to be remembered. The poppy, as a memorial flower to the war dead, can be traced to a single individual, Moina Michael. She was so moved by Lt. Col. McCrae's poem, "In Flanders Fields," that she wrote a response:

. . . the blood of heroes never dies
But lends a luster to the red
Of the flower that blooms above the dead
In Flanders' Fields.

On impulse, she bought a bouquet of poppies – all that New York City's Wanamaker's Department Store had – and handed them to businessmen meeting at the New York YMCA where she worked. She asked them to wear the poppy as a tribute to the fallen. That was November 1918. World War I was over, but America's sons would rest forever "in Flanders' Fields." Later she would spearhead a campaign that would result in the adoption of the poppy as the national symbol of sacrifice.

In Flanders Fields

"In Flanders Fields" is a war poem in the form of a rondeau, written during the First World War by Canadian physician and Lt. Col. John McCrae. He was inspired to write it on May 3, 1915, after presiding over the funeral of friend and fellow soldier Alexis Helmer, who died during the Second Battle of Ypres.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

–Lt. Col. John McCrae

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Happy 241st Birthday to the United States Marine Corps

"On November 10, 1775, the Continental Congress commissioned Samuel Nicholas to raise two Battalions of Marines. That very day, Nicholas set up shop in Tun Tavern (in Philadelphia). He appointed Robert Mullan, then the proprietor of the tavern, to the job of chief Marine Recruiter -- serving, of course, from his place of business at Tun Tavern. Prospective recruits flocked to the tavern, lured by (1) cold beer and (2) the opportunity to serve in the new Corps of Marines." 

Since those earliest days when the "Continental Marines" fought for our country's independence at sea and on shore, the United States Marine Corps has responded to conflicts around the world, participating in combat operations and humanitarian relief efforts by air, land, and sea. Mandated by Congress to be our county's rapid response force, the United State Marine Corps has proudly served our country for 241 years. From the shores of Tripoli to Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima, Korea, the jungles of Vietnam, the mountains of Afghanistan, the Iraqi desert, and all the operations in-between, Marines from all walks of life have defended our nation.

Each year on November 10th, Marines around the world live up to the motto "Semper Fidelis" (Always Faithful) as they celebrate the birth of the Corps. Whether attending a formal Marine Corps Ball or a small informal gathering, or even with just a phone call or a handshake, those who share the bond of being one of "The Few. The Proud." proudly honor the values, traditions, and history of the Corps on this day.

For many years Bob Parsons, entrepreneur, philanthropist, Marine, and Founder and former CEO of GoDaddy has shared a special video honoring the United States Marine Corps.

As part of this annual birthday tribute, The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation, with support from GoDaddy, is partnering with the Semper Fi Fund ( to raise money to help critically ill and injured members of all of the United States Armed Forces and their families. This matching campaign, Double Down for Veterans, has the potential to raise $20 million for wounded, critically ill and injured veterans. It is one of the largest matching campaigns in the history of veteran nonprofits. Through December 31, 2016, up to $10 million in donations will be matched, dollar-for-dollar.

This year's video salute to "Mother Green" can be found at the following sites:

On a personal note...

Love and thanks to my husband and his Marine Corps brothers for their dedication and service, and heartfelt thanks to all who have served or are currently serving.


Today and always we remember with deep love and affection our dear friend, Bob "Heavy" Petrella, who was a USMC Captain during the Vietnam War and was a recipient of 2 Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star for Valor.


Friday, October 21, 2016

A new health care self-advocacy website called HealthShare has been created by the Nurses Interest Group at Sun City Carolina Lakes.  This wonderful site offers valuable information covering many topics under the following categories: 

  • Education
  • Emergency
  • Medical/legal
  • Oral Health
  • Prevention 
  • Terminology
  • Uncategorized

The HealthShare website/blog is in its pre-launch stage and is currently "under development," but already has wonderful information posted!

Congratulations to Jane Gregor and all who have helped to create this exceptional site! 

For links to this and many other great websites, please click HERE or go to the LINKS page above.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Hurricane Matthew Information Links

As news of the pending arrival of Hurricane Matthew along the coast continues to come in, I'd like to share some important information links.  Please be sure to follow the directions given by local and state officials and the National Weather Service, and stay-tuned to your local news for updates from Governor Haley and her team.  Any changes in the course of the storm can make a huge difference.  
Be smart and be safe!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Bad Habits That May Ruin a Home

 Article courtesy of National Association of REALTORS®

Certain home owner habits could actually be harming the home, and can lead to major home improvement projects later on. This Old House recently featured a list of several bad home owner habits to avoid, including:

  • Slamming the front door
  • Never lifting up outdoor rugs
  • Failing to clean the gutters
  • Flushing “flushable wipes”
  • Closing vents
  • Using too much drain cleaner
For the complete article with details on how to remedy these issues click HERE.

Source: “Break These Bad Home Owner Habits,” This Old House (September 2016)     

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Forbes: 10 Cities Americans Are Moving To Right Now

Source:  Forbes
Article by Karsten Strauss
Link to complete article:  FORBES

"Whether for professional or personal reasons, people sometimes pick up and move. In the United States, folks have been migrating to urban areas in recent generations, but these days the places they wind up are not necessarily the major hubs we might expect.

Real estate information platform,, combined its internal data with U.S. Census Bureau information and discovered where Americans are moving these days. The results might surprise you."

Here is the list...
  1. Tampa, FL
  2. Jacksonville, FL
  3. Charlotte, NC
  4. San Antonio, TX
  5. Austin, TX
  6. Las Vegas, NV
  7. Orlando, FL
  8. Nashville, TN
  9. Raleigh, NC
  10. Portland, OR

Sunday, May 29, 2016


I have always found it strange to wish someone a Happy Memorial Day and I can never bring myself to say those words.  Yes, we all look forward to the first long weekend that marks the unofficial beginning of summer and the first barbecue of the season, picnic, trip to the lake... or the Indy 500.  But, while all of those things make Memorial Day weekend a fun time, we need to remember the real meaning of Memorial Day.  As we enjoy time with family and friends, let us be sure to take time to honor the memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the freedoms we cherish.  

As we remember those who died in service to our country, let us give thanks to those who are serving now and to all our Veterans for their past service to our country.

Support Our Troops's photo. 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Rental Costs Eat Up 70% of Your Income in These Locations

Source:  National Association of REALTORS®
Daily Real Estate News | Thursday, May 12, 2016  

Here are 10 popular cities ranked from highest to lowest in terms of the percentage of starting monthly income that goes towards rent:
  1. San Francisco: 79%
  2. New York City: 77%
  3. Los Angeles: 61%
  4. Boston: 56%
  5. Seattle: 51%
  6. Chicago: 47%
  7. Orlando: 44%
  8. Atlanta: 36%
  9. Austin: 36%
  10. Houston: 29%

Read the entire article HERE.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Cell Phones for Seniors

While on Facebook today I saw an ad for cell phones for seniors... curiosity got the best of me and I clicked on it.  It is a site called "Social Choice" and in this article they present a questionnaire about your cell phone usage that would lead you to the best choice for your particular needs.  Of course there were ads embedded in the article for various phones and services, but, if you overlook those and just read the article and answer the questions, you get to the information that you really want.  I was told to check out the "Jitterbug."  That won't be happening anytime soon, as I love my iPhone and am quite happy with my Verizon service.  But, for those who have less demanding needs than I do, the Jitterbug might be a good choice.  I must confess that I didn't retake the questionnaire, so I don't know what other options they suggest, but, if you're a senior with minimal cell phone needs, I'd recommend answering the questions and seeing what is suggested for you.

I would also recommend that, no matter what service your are currently using, you call your provider and see what they can recommend for you.  Their offerings change and what worked for you 6 months ago might not the best for you now.  I recently changed my Verizon plan to something called "Small Plan" which includes unlimited talk and text, 1 gig of data, and "hot spot" availability (allowing me to use my phone as wi-fi connection for my computer).  For security reasons, I try not to use public wi-fi (especially in airports and hotels), so the "hot spot" allows me to have my own personal wi-fi.  Doing so uses up phone data, but it hasn't been an issue for me.  Anyway, the plan is relatively inexpensive (under $80) and includes my husband's phone (a flip phone which he says he's never getting rid of).

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Update on RedStone Development in Indian Land

Source: Charlotte Observer
Today the Charlotte Observer reported that the following businesses will be opening at the new RedStone Shopping Center (on U.S. 521 near S.C. 160, across from Lowe's and Edgewater) in the summer of 2017.
  • Portofino’s
  • Red Rocks Café
  • Sharonview Federal Credit Union
  • Lee Spa Nails
  • Moe’s Southwest Grill
Other future tenants at the center will likely be a salon and day spa, as well as coffee, sandwich and yogurt shops, said Keely Hines, the MPV leasing agent for the project.

The development will be anchored by a 14-screen movie theater. Construction on phase 1 of the project, which includes 54,900 square feet of retail space for shops and restaurants, kicked off in February. 

Read more here:
RedStone is a 310,000-square-foot development by MPV Properties.

Read more here:
For the complete article, click HERE.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Lancaster Animal Shelter Supply Drive

Sun City Residents Helping the Animals 
of Lancaster County
Lancaster County has an over population of homeless dogs. There is limited space at the Animal Shelter and very few foster homes. Our mission is to help support the Animal Shelter. We will focus on obtaining donations (see list of items below) for Lancaster County Animal Shelter; providing donations for low cost spay and neuter programs to Lancaster County Animal Shelter. 
- LASS (Lancaster Animal Shelter Supporters)

 Stuff the Rolls Royce Supply Drive
March 15, 2016
LASS (Lancaster Animal Shelter Supporters) would appreciate any donations of Purina puppy chow or cat food, Purina kitten chow,  Friskies wet cat food, cat litter, blankets, towels, Dawn-original blue, bleach, paper towels, laundry detergent, rubbing alcohol, small squeeze bottles, dog leashes, puppy pads and collars etc. Special needs include Nitenpyram(capstar) for dogs and cats of all sizes, KMR powder for kittens and cats, Nutrical for cats; Capstar and Frontline Plus. Donations may be given to Janine Gross, Diane Rashall or Sue White.  Checks can be made out to Lancaster County Animal Shelter or Lancaster Animal Shelter Supporters.

LASS President, Janine Gross
Thanks to the generosity of Sun City Carolina Lakes residents, the supply drive was a huge success!  While "Stuff the Rolls" was the theme, donations were transferred to other vehicles for transport to the animal shelter.  There were 5 full loads delivered by one pick-up truck and four SUVs!  We are truly blessed to live in such a caring community!

The need for donations continues!
If you would like to make a donation to LASS for the support of the Lancaster County Animal Shelter, please contact me

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


Free Monthly Market Report

  • Is this a good time to buy or sell?
  • What's going on in the real estate market?
  • Are home prices higher or lower than last year?
  • Are there more homes on the market now compared to this time last year?
Berkshire Hathaway's Free Monthly Market Report shows you real estate market trends in your zip code. You can view a one-time report or sign up to get a free market report emailed to you each month.  Click HERE to get your report.  


Free Neighborhood Report
Thinking of buying a Home? That's great! Now what? 
You probably have a lot of questions, like:
  • Is this a good time to buy?
  • What are home prices in the area?
  • What have other buyers paid for their homes recently?
If you know where you want to purchase your home, or have a few locations in mind, I can help.  Berkshire Hathaway's Free Neighborhood Report shows you which homes are on the market right now, photos & details about homes that have recently sold or are currently for sale, average sale prices in the area, how much other buyers paid for their homes, and more. 

Thinking of selling your home? Good for you, that's a big decision! Do you know what's going on in your neighborhood, like:

  • What price your neighbors are asking for their homes for sale?
  • How much buyers paid for homes in your neighborhood recently?
  • The average time it takes to sell a home in your area.
Berkshire Hathaway's free Neighborhood Report gives you details about the homes you'll be competing against in your neighborhood, what buyers have actually paid for homes near you, and how long, on average, it takes to sell a home in your area. 

Click HERE to get your report.   


Property Search for Sun City Carolina Lakes
Click HERE for current single family home listings in SCCL.
Click HERE for current condo/townhouse listings in SCCL.

Contact me to receive automatic updates for these searches.  You will be notified any time there is a new listing, a price change, or any change in status of a listing.


Charlotte Has Partnered With Mecklenburg County To Build The Longest Biking Trail in North Carolina

Article by Scott Jensen / Founder at Global Flare
Scott is a videographer, journalist, and entrepreneur. He earned his MBA from UNCC and is now focused on telling the world how awesome Charlotte is.
Get ready to ride (walk or run)!

For details, click HERE.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

The Ultimate Guide to Homeowners Insurance for Dog Owners

                Report courtesy of
 "Dog owners often find themselves facing a particular dilemma when trying to secure homeowner's insurance. While insurance is a must for anyone wanting to own their own house, many home owners face higher premiums, inferior policies, or even blacklisting by insurance agencies -- simply because they own a dog. 

Homeowner's insurance doesn't just protect against natural disasters, theft and other mishaps. It also shields policy holders against lawsuits arising from injuries or damages, even those related to pets. However, thanks to the increasing cost of litigation -- especially those surrounding dog bites and other dog-related incidents -- many insurance companies refuse to write coverage for homeowners who also own certain breeds of dog.

If you're a homeowner and a dog lover, this guide is for you. Here, you'll find facts on the relationship between dog ownership and home insurance, which breeds create the most problems for homeowners, and how to find the cheapest and most affordable homeowner's insurance possible."

Below are the report's list of dogs considered "bad breeds" and links to several other similar articles contained in the report.  For additional information, go directly to the US Insurance Agents website.   

I personally found the article titled "14 Dog Breeds Blacklisted by Insurance Companies" (Psychology Today) to be especially interesting, because it included several surprising breeds (including the gentle giant Great Danes).

The following types of dog are most often considered "bad breeds" by many insurance companies:

  • Akita
  • Alaskan Malamute
  • Chow Chow
  • Doberman
  • German Shepherd
  • Pit Bull
  • Rottweiler
  • Siberian Husky
  • Wolf Hybrid
For more on which dog breeds are most often targeted by insurers:

Monday, February 15, 2016

5 Tricks to Keep Your Pipes from Exploding this Winter

Courtesy of HOUSELOGIC
Article by

Learn how to prevent your pipes from freezing, even if you think they may already have started to freeze.

It's best to winterize your pipes before the snow sets in.  But don't fret if you forgot — there are still ways to help keep pipes from bursting, like running your faucets and opening cabinet doors.

 Below are the main points.  Click HERE to read the entire article.
  • Turn On Your Faucets
  • Open Cabinet Doors
  • Wrap Your Pipes
  • Pull Out Your Hairdryer
  • Frozen Pipes? Shut Off The Water   

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Where Are Americans Moving?

Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/the KCM Blog

Some Highlights:

  • For the 4th year in a row the Northeast saw a concentration of High Outbound activity.
  • Oregon held on to the top stop of High Inbound states for the 3rd year in a row.
  • Much of this Outbound activity can be attributed to Boomers relocating to warmer climates after retiring.


I'd like to thank someone for this adorable photo, but I found it on Facebook and there was no credit given.
Wishing you a cute puppy kind of day!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Video About Charlotte

This incredible VIDEO OF CHARLOTTE (courtesy of will make everyone want to move here! 

Scott is a videographer, journalist, and entrepreneur. He earned his MBA from UNCC and is now focused on telling the world how awesome Charlotte is.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Cold Weather Tips

As we prepare for temps in the teens tonight, I want to share some tips for staying safe in cold weather.


Since there is a limit to how many postings appear on a page, you will need to click on "older posts"  (below right) to see more posts.  Alternatively, you can go to the BLOG ARCHIVE on the left sidebar and search for postings by date.