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.

Perspective On Our Changing World

Age, general health and social makeup of each of us make tremendous differences in how we approach and cope with today’s fast-changing world.

For those of us at the upper end of the spectrum there are calls from a certain segment of society that we must be willing to “die for the Dow.” Literally, there are howls from certain media outlets and groups that make this our destiny, that encourage the medical field to just write us off so that supplies and medicine can be directed to the young and so the rest of the world can get back to worrying about the economy rather than the pandemic.

This is a huge turn from our nation’s wars when the young were called to save our democracy – not our dollars.

For the youngsters among us, the current dual crises of the pandemic and the economic collapse is utterly devastating. They can’t understand the need to self-isolate, or stay at home when they are at an age for parties and fun. They can’t understand why jobs must disappear for now. Unemployment is rocketing upward even as the Dow makes a hesitating recovery. But we are far from a stable economy and a healthy populace. The youngsters need to understand that the older generation has much to share, much to give and a much greater perspective. When the youngsters ignore the social restrictions now being imposed or yet to come they directly endanger the oldsters. Their parent and grandparents. The parents and grandparents of others. The political leadership of the nation – many of whom are old.

But the intense feelings against social isolation are not restricted to the young. Many of the older folks chafe at the restrictions. Extroverts find it very, very depressing and discouraging to be cut off from their normal social outlets – golf, bridge, shopping, parties, dinners and more. It is very difficult to accept that the world’s longest border, the 5,525 mile line between the U.S. and Canada, is not fully open today due to restrictions imposed by each nation. It is hard to contemplate that Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, is suffering from the Corona virus.

Our society has seen a lot of this before. The Great Depression – 1929-1941 – disrupted the lives of millions. World War II did so as well, putting millions of women to work for the first time. Before all that in the U.S prohibition sent women to the speakeasies alongside their men because Americans, like Canadians, simply don’t like to be told what to do. The Spanish flu of 1918-1919 killed tens of thousands in a manner much like the Corona virus of today. There were no individual funerals. Obituaries – those last words of kindness about a departed one – consisted of a list of names of those who had died. Burials were often en masse.

The aftermath of 9/11 devastated many lives, disrupting trade and the economy. The financial collapse of 2007-2008 engendered great distrust in a U.S. government that gave away billions intended to help the economy, but resulting mainly in further enriching the rich. The $2+ trillion stimulus working its way through the U.S. Congress this week is likely to do much the same, though it is spreading some crumbs for the working class, or at least for those who pay income taxes.

If there were magical solutions, we all would be wildly waving our wands. But, alas, there are no magical solutions. We simply must have patience as our nations work through it. There will be better days ahead for those who survive, as most of us will.

May God Bless America.
May God Save the Queen.
And don’t forget to wash your hands – thoroughly and often.

Micro Investing May Bring New Investors

Real estate investing may still feel out of reach to many consumers, but a new trend growing from startups is fostering “micro-investing” to help a new wave of investors jump in – sometimes for as little as $5. It sounds a bit like penny stocks, but property, not stocks, is involved.

“The best portfolios are diversified, and real estate performs very uniquely, in a way that is uncorrelated to the stock market and bonds…. We want to offer the same asset at a lower price point,” Janine Yorio, founder and CEO of Compound, a real estate micro-investment startup offering an app that allows micro-investors to purchase shares of properties the company hopes to sell at a profit for investors.

Following a model similar to real estate investment trusts, micro-investing companies offer investors the chance to become part owners of a property. “REITs are just like owning stock, subject to stock market volatility and other unrelated factors to the actual performance of a property,” Darren Powderly, co-founder of CrowdStreet Inc., a micro-investment company that allows investors to buy shares of commercial real estate nationwide. “So in addition to REITs, savvy individual investors add private real estate to their portfolios for greater diversification and returns.”

The startup Compound says it intends to raise $10 billion a year to purchase properties and make them available as micro-investments. To date, the company has raised $2 million. Compound currently allows people to invest in a share of a luxury apartment in Miami Beach’s “Billionaire Bunker” island for $260. After three to five years, Compound will sell the properties and then distribute the profits to the investors.

“We’re looking to give people access to properties they would want to own for themselves and are proud to say they own a part of—but that also makes a great long-term investment,” Yorio told Yahoo Finance.

Storage Solutions for Home & Business

Storage Solutions for Home & Business

Need to declutter to sell a property? Have too much stuff on hand at your home, office or business? Need someplace to hold the stuff in this era of stocking up?

There’s a Dino’s near you where you can keep your stuff safe & secure! Dino’s Storage offers indoor storage, climate controlled or not, outdoor storage, parking.and even free use of a moving truck. We even have specialized contractor bays at some locations. We have packing materials, mattress covers and boxes available, too.

Access hours and office hours vary. Please check on our website for details on the location you prefer: Or you can call us at 402-916-4015.

Here’s the list of our locations:
Bellevue – 1001 Cornhusker Rd. – 402-293-4667
Elkhorn – 20800 West Dodge Rd. – 402-289-0923
Lincoln – 1945 N. 84th St. – 402-486-3466
Omaha Midtown Crossing –2724 Douglas St. – 402-553-0828
Omaha Downtown – 2757 Harney St. – 402-345-3466
Omaha Aksarben- 5328 Center St. 402-504-4600
Omaha Millard – 14301 Josephine St. – 402-896-6500
Omaha West Maple – 14650 W. Maple Rd. – 402-916-4441
Omaha Benson – 7201 Maple St. – 402-614-7356
Omaha Blackstone – 4412 Dodge St. – 402-502-4948
Omaha Little Italy – 1220 S. 13th St. – 402-502-0553
Omaha Stockyards – 4520 S. 36th St. – 402-800-3770
Papillion – 921 Cedardale Rd. – 402-331-1555
South Omaha – 2816 B St. – 402-502-3540
West Omaha – 4876 S. 192nd St.
Bondurant – 411 Brick St. SE – 515-967-9346
Des Moines – 5327 SE 14th St. – 515-953-3466
Urbandale – 4880 NW Urbandale Dr. – 515-251-5967
Winnipeg – 1569 Orange St. – 204-772-0526

Dino’s has been providing excellence, safety and security in storage since 1998.

Health Care Comes to Patients

It has become easier for consumers to finding a health professional nearby and on short notice – even in the evening or on weekends. Check-ups, minor illnesses and vaccinations can now be handled at supermarkets, pharmacies and other retail outlets, while stand-alone urgent care and outpatient surgery centers are cropping up in neighborhoods where people live and shop. In a nod to the trend, gargantuan hospital systems are opening compact outposts closer to their patients.

“Health care is coming to the patient, rather than the patient traveling to the health care provider. It’s all about ensuring a convenient location and positive experience,” says Paul Wexler, founder of Wexler Healthcare Properties at the Corcoran Group in New York. A 2018 CBRE report found the number of outpatient clinics had increased 51% between 2005 and 2016 to 26,863.

There are many reasons behind the proliferation of medical facilities. Demographics, technology and the Affordable Care Act have created “seismic change,” says Wexler. The two largest demographic groups, the boomers and the millennials, both covet convenience, though their health care needs are vastly different. As a result, he says, hospitals are shifting their focus from building more hospitals to providing care outside their main complex.

Wexler’s group recently leased 68,000 square feet to Manhattan’s Hospital for Special Surgery to build a state-of-the-art ambulatory surgery center and diagnostic center on the opposite side of the city from the hospital’s main site. “This is a great benefit for consumers who do not want to commute to different facilities for health care services,” said Wexler, a real estate professional with 34 years’ experience in the health care real estate sphere.

In the past, a typical doctor’s office was 1,000 to 2,000 square feet; today a standard health care space ranges from 3,000 square feet to more than 8,000 square feet, Wexler notes. These spaces may accommodate primary care, pharmacy, ambulatory surgery and subspecialties in a one-stop experience.

More compact medical equipment, the emergence of virtual care and ACA mandates requiring cost-effective care are further accelerating the migration of services away from hospitals. Consequently, Wexler notes, traditional health care systems and groups are reevaluating their space, either consolidating, selling off or repurposing new properties – a trend that should continue regardless of what happens with the affordable care law.

Blues, Greens Hot Choices for Office

The color of an office could affect productivity and even mood, a growing body of color psychology research says. Workplaces are becoming more mindful of the influence wall colors have on their employees, Lasse Karvinen, head of product at Framery, a Finnish company that designs silent work “pods” for offices, told

Beige and light grays continue to be popular colors in designing modern workplaces, but more offices are also incorporating blues and greens – and for a strategic reason too. Greens, in particular, have become a popular color in workplaces, Karvinen says. “Green is said to create a level of alertness and is often incorporated into health care spaces for this reason,” he notes. “So it’s interesting to see that being tied into today’s workplace. I also feel many are turning to green as it continues to gain strength from its association with a shift toward eco-consciousness.”

More workplaces also are adding in blues. Blue is usually associated as a more relaxing hue, but researchers say it won’t make your employees sleepy. “While blue might be perceived as a more relaxing color, blue light – specifically around the 17,000k color temperature – is actually better at making people feel more energized, or at least less sleepy,” Ben Hamley, future of work lead at JLL Asia Pacific, told “This is because it suppresses the body’s natural production of melatonin, a hormone that helps to regulate our circadian rhythm, the pattern that determines when we naturally sleep and wake. You may have noticed newer phone updates will give you the option to ‘shift’ the color of the LEDs in the screen to be more reddish at night so you won’t be kept awake at night by your TikTok feed.”

Make Valentine’s Day Extra Special

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Skip the ordinary,
Do something YOU!

Your Valentine means more to you than a box of chocolates or a bouquet of flowers. It’s time to step up your game this Valentine’s Day. Being thoughtful is the key. Here are some easy ways you can make Valentine’s Day amazing this year.

Set up a romantic picnic.
Restaurants are packed on Valentine’s Day, so it can be near impossible to hear your date. If you live somewhere warm and are looking for a more private meal, pack a picnic and find a spot in the park or at the beach where nobody else is around. “This unassuming and down-to-earth activity will show that you actually put some thought into making the day special,” suggests Caleb Backe, wellness and relationship expert for Maple Holistics. If it’s too cold outside, you can always set up a picnic in your living room. Remember, it’s the thought that counts!

Play chef.
This idea really does work like a charm. Light some candles, put on some music you both love and make a meal. You can either cook for your partner or make it a team effort. This is an especially wonderful way to make your significant other feel loved if money is tight or if kids are preventing you from getting out of the house for the evening.

Write a love letter.
Before texting and direct messaging, there were handwritten love letters. While this practice might seem old-fashioned, it can actually be quite romantic. “A love letter is a straightforward and beautiful way to show the love of your life that you truly care,” says Claudia Palma, director of romance at Las Ventanas al Paraíso, a luxury resort in Los Cabos, Mexico. “To give it a more special touch, present your letter along with homemade breakfast in bed, or put the message in a nice bottle for your loved one to discover.”

Try something totally new together.
According to a 2000 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, new experiences have a bonding effect on couples. So, check out your city’s Airbnb Experiences or Groupon options and do something neither of you has ever tried before! Whether it’s indoor skydiving, a cooking class or an art workshop, the novelty of trying something new together will add a new twist to your romance.

Take a day trip.
Add a spark to your relationship by changing up the scenery and reminding yourself of all the things you enjoy about your partner’s personality in a fresh setting. Make it extra special by planning a day that encompasses both partner’s interests and passions.

Visit the place where you went on your first date.
Going back to the place where sparks first flew will definitely dazzle your partner. If you have been together for a while, this will bring back fond memories and really set the mood. If you’re married, you can even surprise your Valentine by visiting your wedding venue and rereading your vows!

Take a trip down memory lane.
There’s nothing quite like looking back on your relationship and remembering all the good times.
This Valentine’s Day, go through old photo albums, look through your Instagram and Facebook feeds, or just share your favorite memories of each other aloud. Then, toast with a great bottle of vino to what lies ahead!

Track down something from their childhood.
Did your partner have a favorite toy, movie or collector’s item as a kid that they lost over the years? Take some time to find one as a gift this Valentine’s Day. It may prove challenging, but tracking down and buying something important to your significant other will definitely make their Valentine’s Day special.

Surprise them with their favorite “thing.”
A thoughtful gesture is all it takes to make your significant other feel appreciated. You could have your partner’s favorite lunch order delivered to work or slip their favorite snack in their bag before they leave for the day on Feb. 14.

Work out together.
There is a plethora of scientific research out there showing that couples who sweat together stay together.It might not sound all that romantic to spend Valentine’s Day at the gym, but you’d be surprised how much fun you can have sweating it out with your partner, whether you schedule a workout class for the two of you to try together, book a joint personal training session, or plan a hike.

Book a spa day.
Your partner would likely never think to do this for themselves, which is what makes it such a special gesture. “People feel stressed from work and life and need a mini break, so booking a spa day for you and your partner to relax and take a load off will make them feel like you’ve been paying attention and listening to their needs,” says Rebecca Cooper Traynor, founder and CEO of Match Me Canada. Chances are, they won’t even realize how much they needed it until they’re there!

Treat them to breakfast in bed.
Even if you cook frequently, it’s unlikely that you regularly bring your partner their favorite breakfast the moment they wake up. And if you’re not into cooking, you can order in from your partner’s favorite breakfast joint and present their meal with a beautiful bouquet of flowers.

Plan a tech-free evening together.
We all spend too much time on our phones and computers, so an evening sans screens feels extra special. “Commit to turning off and staying off your electronics all evening – phones, computers and television,” suggests Rhonda Milrad, LCSW, founder of online relationship community Relationup. “Instead, just be present without any distractions. It is novel for anyone to receive the full attention of their partner for an entire evening.”

Volunteer together.
If your significant other is passionate about a specific cause – whether it’s caring for stray animals, feeding the hungry or visiting patients in hospitals – plan a day where you can volunteer for your partner’s favorite non-profit together. Not only will this show them you care about their chosen cause, but you’ll also get in some quality bonding time while making a difference together.

Plan a movie night.
This Valentine’s Day, you can carve out time to watch a film you’ve both been meaning to see for months, or pick a classic movie you watched together early on in your relationship. Want to take this idea to the next level? Book a hotel room and order room service, so you can both enjoy the movie without having to lift a finger.

Go on a group date.
If you’ve already celebrated many a romantic Valentine’s Day as a couple, consider organizing a fun group date or hosting a dinner party at home instead this year. It’s a great way to shake up your routine, and research shows that spending time with other couples can actually help reignite passion in your relationship.