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.

Don’t Toss Them, Reuse Them

Every day we go through any number of simple things and toss them in the trash. But often there are good uses they can be put to. Many household items can be used in ways they weren’t originally made for, helping you save money, spruce up the house and more.

Take the lowly egg carton, for example. You can use it to start your own miniature garden. You can also use the sections to separate and freeze cookie dough, meatballs and other comfort foods that are perfect to make ahead and eat the next day.

Old socks can have a useful life. If the washer ate a mate, or a hole popped up for your big toe, here are a couple of new uses. Turn your old sock into a brand new toy that your pet might actually play with. Put a tennis ball inside the sock to create a toy for your dog or sew it closed with some catnip for your cat.

Old T-shirts can be cut to make great dsting or cleaning rags.

Shoe boxes have creative uses. Use them to keep important papers and documents organized, or as extra storage for your childhood and family photos. They can easily be labeled.

Jars are very versatile. Use jars as glassware or for food canning. You can also use one to organize your desk by placing pens or makeup brushes in it. If you need a holder for your toothbrush or toothpaste in the bathroom, use a jar.

The empty tissue box can be used to hold and organize plastic bags or trash bags. You can easily tuck it away under the sink or beside the trash can to make it easier to quickly switch out a full bag.

Wine bottles can hold some beautiful fragrant flowers to brighten the room at the center of your dinner table, windowsill or kitchen counter.

Cereal boxes can be cut at an angle to make great holders for keeping important documents and papers. Instead of just throwing your mail anywhere, you can stay organized by placing it in Cap’n Crunch’s former home.

Old dresser drawers can be used under the bed for towels and other things even after you replace the dresser. If you’re really crafty, you can turn it into shelving on your wall to hold plants or make it into a brand new bookshelf.

Mugs tend to accumulate over the years and pick up stains from coffee and other drinks. You can use the old mug with your college mascot on it to finally organize your messy office and place your pens and pencils inside. Or organize all of your makeup brushes with the souvenir mug you bought to commemorate surviving that family trip. You can also use it to plant your favorite flower and place it right next to your window to get plenty of sunshine.

Sandwich bags aren’t just for school lunches. You can use the household staple as a piping bag for decorating delicious delights. Decorate cupcakes, cakes and other sweets just like the best dessert shops in the country.

Paper towel rolls can be used to organize your cell phone cords or TV wires. Are you tired of seeing your cords tied together in a bunch? Just put them through the roll to keep them untangled.

Old newspapers and magazines can be crinkled up and used them inside a package box before shipping it. The paper will make a great cushion for fragile items. If you’re in the process of moving, save money on supplies by using the papers to wrap your fragile glassware.

Plastic or paper shopping bags can be used as trash bags for your smaller bins throughout the house. You can also separate your recyclables with them.

If you’re eating apples or other fruits that are in season, they most likely will have seeds that would make a perfect personal project for any rookie gardener. Take your old jar or egg carton, fill it with some dirt and plant your seeds.

Old dryer sheets can make excellent dust rags to pick up dust mites under your table or pet hair all over your couch.

You should change out your toothbrush often, but there are ways to reuse that old one, too. Toothbrushes are great to help clean difficult, hard-to-reach places in your bathroom such as underneath the fixtures on faucets and more of the dirtiest places in your home.

An old pillowcase might help keep your closet full of sheets and other pillowcases organized. If you have matching sets, you can stuff your folded bedsheets, linen or other pillowcases inside. You can also use it as a homemade Halloween bag to collect some of the most popular Halloween candies.

A lazy susan can be a great way to organize your kitchen cabinets after you ditch it for a fancy new spice rack. Don’t struggle with searching for a sponge or a spray bottle that disappeared in the back of the cabinet. Place the lazy susan underneath the sink cabinet and all of the important supplies on top of it. Spin it around and find anything you need.

If you have an old bar cart that you barely use anymore why not find a new purpose for it? You can make it into a new bedside table or even turn it into a bookcase.

Bread tags can help organize the cords behind your TV. They can be written on to add labels, too.

So you redid your kitchen and the old paper-towel holder just doesn’t have a home anymore. Well, it turns out it can hold more than paper towels. Move it into the closet to stack and organize bracelets or necklaces, or keep it in the kitchen and put a trash bag roll on it for easy trash swaps.

Does your cereal quickly go stale a few days after opening it? Use an old clothespin to keep the package closed and fresh every time you open it to eat it. An old clothespin can make a great clip to close a chip bag or any of your favorite snack foods when you’re done with them.

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.”