Little Things Lost

Our lives have been disrupted by the pandemic. Lock downs, financial difficulty, enormous unemployment, closed houses of worship and a whole lot more.

Who knows when something approaching normal will return? But when it does, will many of the little things be lost?

Will we ever shake hands again?
Will we ever be comfortable eating from a salad bar?
Will anyone want a slice of birthday cake after another has blown out the candles on it?
Will friends or lovers ever dip two straws into a glass or bottle of Coke to share it?
Will we welcome large groups for a family or neighborhood picnic?
Will we be comfortable in a crowded movie theater?
Will we stroll hand in hand along the boardwalk, sidewalk or beach?
Will our old jobs be there for us as society reopens?
Will those who can always work from home?

At this time, we don’t have many answers.

As Bob Dylan suggested long ago:
The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind
The answer is blowing in the wind.

Stay Safe. Stay Home. Say a Prayer.

Experiential Retail Avoids Internet Apocalypse

E-commerce has changed shopping habits, and some bricks-and-mortar retailers have been shuttered as a result. But retailers are finding a way to compete, banking on experiential retailing — turning stores into brand and product showcases that offer omnichannel shopping experiences — as a way to avoid the internet apocalypse.

The purpose of these types of stores is to generate brand excitement. Retailers also are using them to engage new customers, particularly millennials, in different ways. Retailers realize they can offer experiences that virtual stores can’t, such as listening to live music, trying on clothes and dining.

Digital-native brands are jumping in, too. Farfetch, an online fashion retailer, offers a bricks-and-mortar store in London where customers receive a sign-in screen to search their purchase histories and wish lists. They offer smart mirrors in fitting rooms to let shoppers view different sizes and products. Shoppers can even pay for their purchases from the dressing room, reports.

Commercial experts note that experiential retailing will work best in certain locations, likely near major transportation areas and high-density residential and commercial districts. “Be prepared for more department store closures, as well as the closures of many other mall staples,” reports. “They’ll be replaced by smaller stores and digital-native brands like Warby Parker, Buck Mason, Glossier and Revolve (to name a few) that are seeking to add the convenience and experiences that come with bricks-and-mortar locations.”

Take Advantage of the Pandemic

If you are stuck at home, as millions currently are, make use of your time to accomplish some long-neglected tasks. It’s a great time to do some painting, repair some things that need attention and most importantly strengthen some family ties.

Take some time to email or text family members with your hopes for the future and your fondest reminiscences of the past. Perhaps there’s a bit of family history you know that should be shared with others. Think and talk about your plans for a reunion, vacation or family picnic when the pandemic eventually ends.

Talk about the woes your ancestors faced during the Spanish flu of 1918. Remember some of the fun things that happened at prior family events and share the memories. Think back to the oddball events that shaped your life and the lives of your family members. Talk about and relive them by sharing with the whole family.

It will bring you much happiness and, hopefully, much joy for the whole family. If others respond in similar fashion everyone will learn more about who you all are and how your families live or have lived.

While we remain physically distant from one another, sharing memories, hopes and dreams will draw us closer.

And if you are still going stir crazy this is a golden opportunity to clear out the basement, garage and attic. Pack up all that stuff you don’t need right now and take it a Dino’s Storage near you. Dino’s will even lend you a truck – free – to move your stuff to the storage facility.

Is Stark Design on the Way Out?

The signature look of stark, white, impeccably clean minimalist design may face declining appeal in home decor. Instead, comfort and usability will likely guide home design going forward, design experts predict in a new article at®.

The era of sheltering in place during the COVID-19 outbreak has turned homes into security blankets, where comfort reigns, they say.

“Austere polished concrete floors, stone walls, all-white color palettes and industrial finishes can be found in homes nationwide,”® notes in its article. “Today, that vibe feels detached from the world that we’re living in, where a safe, comfortable space to hunker down is the true luxury.”

Designer Sheila Bridges says a trend toward “more is more” design likely will take root. “I believe that the trend has already begun to swung back toward maximalism; perhaps, ultimately, we land somewhere in between,” Bridges told®.

Trends like wallpaper have already been re-emerging in recent years. Designers also recommend bringing out treasures from past travels and memories to display. Plush blankets and throws – always a favorite of home stagers – likely will be spotlighted in a bigger way going forward as they’re draped over furnishings. Further, colorful pillows and geometric patterned rugs can help liven up a space.

“You can work wonders with lighting,” Susan Solliday, president of the Arizona North chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers, said. “Think about a fabulous hotel you have stayed in – or for that matter, an image of one. They are not cluttered with things, but they do have the right lighting. The amount and type of lighting directly affects your concentration, appetite and mood. Lighting also creates depth, shadow and accentuates the important.”

After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, a similar aesthetic shift became apparent, designers note. “People wanted to be at home with their loved ones, and it became more important for designers and homeowners to create homes that felt safe, secure, warm and livable,” Bridges says. “Home offices or live/work/play spaces will continue to grow in importance.” Indeed, designers predict a wave of formalized home offices to gain popularity as the transition to remote working from home continues to play out.

Jose Beltran Most Positive

Ephesians 4:29 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

Lots of negative people have worked here, but they just need lots of encouraging talk to help deal with life. Jose Beltran is from Latin America. He has a suave accent, likes good looking cars, is VERY well dressed (probably doesn’t own a t shirt), and has dark hair. Everyone loved him and he loved everyone. Jose would always give people hugs and encouraged them. He was just a very positive person.

Hal Daub’s Best You

Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”

Hal was the Mayor once and Congressman twice. He made more of an impact in Omaha than anyone else has. Some of his projects include: West Dodge Expressway, Quest Center, TDAmeritrade Center, Heartland of America Park, and Rick’s Boathouse.

Cindy Paladino’s Servant Heart

1 Peter 4:10 ” Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful service stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
Cindy Paladino really cared for others and wanted to please them. She did not care about her finances or comfort level as long as others were happy. Cindy and her husband, Kevin Paladino, founded three churches and they own the Complete music franchise in Austin.