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Frozen PipesThere has been a plumbing repair truck every day for the last two weeks somewhere in The Cloister. I see more Hiller Plumbing trucks than any other, most likely Cloister residents are calling Hiller Plumbing because of the good word-of-mouth passed down through the very effective Cloister homeowners network.  Our home did not have a problem with frozen or burst water pipes for two important reasons.

  1. We added a substantial amount of additional insulation in our attic preventing any likelihood of freezing air dropping down the interior walls and freezing the water pipes.
  2. Our water heater is located in a completely enclosed closet in the garage area. The water heater itself loses enough heat to the closet interior to keep the water pipes and valves in the closet from freezing.

Some Cloister residents do not have a closet for their water heater and the water pipes are exposed to freezing temperatures and can freeze up or even burst. An energy saving suggestion I did not follow was that I did not insulate the water heater. This allowed the heater to keep the closet warm enough to prevent the pipes freezing. Without a closet the water heater and water pipes would have to be heavily insulated. Even the downtown Sheraton Hotel suffered burst pipes in the rooftop penthouse and leaking water down through 27 floors of hotel rooms!

Lawson1During this extreme cold snap I noticed a hesitation when I tried to start my mini-van. I simply blamed it on the cold weather. Wrong! My battery was slowly dying. Thursday morning it was completely dead. How could this be? My van had only 12,700 miles on the odometer. The problem is that the original battery on a new car is not the best and my van is loaded with electronic features that put a big load on a battery. My battery had reached the end of it’s useful life.

Lawson’s once again came to the rescue. I called PK Kelly at 352-4230 …….

“No problem, I can either send someone to jump-start your car and bring it in, or if you call AAA to start the car and if you drive here I will have a new battery in your car in 10 minutes.”; he tells me.

jumper-cablesWe waited nearly two hours for the jump-start guy to arrive and start the van. We drove it to Lawson’s and within 10 minutes we were driving home with a brand new high quality, high capacity  battery with a 75 month warranty.

Lawson’s is a big supporter of The Cloister and contributes a gift certificate regularly as a drawing prize at the monthly Cloister Covered Dish Supper. I am a big supporter of Lawson’s and use them when I have car problems.

Cloister Unit Sales During the Year 2013


Cloister sales for 2013

Includes only those properties where a sold price was posted with the Registrar of Deeds. Properties sold for average of 9% above appraised value…

CloisterSales2013
Most homes sold above appraised value. Two major reasons for lower selling price were:

  • Property was not owned on a Fee Simple basis
  • Interior had not been upgraded and remodeled

Link


In 1997 Dave Ramsey wrote a book “Financial Peace”. He is very active, he publishes books, conducts seminars, broadcasted on radio, was even featured on some major TV news and talk shows. I read his book and was impressed by his simple plan that completely changed the way we ran our financial lives. Ramsey made a number of suggestions, among them were…

  • Live below your means (spend less than you earn)
  • Get completely out of debt
    • Pay minimum on all debt except the smallest loan or credit card
    • Dedicate everything you can to pay off the smallest
    • Then pay off the next smallest like rolling a snowball
  • Pay cash for every purchase
  • Never, ever “invest” with someone who earns commissions when they sell you an “investment”
  • Never, ever “invest” in something you don’t understand completely.

We follow these, and other suggestions in the Ramsey book even today, living debt free changed our lives. Since the late 1990’s he has published other books and various products related to money management. I still follow most of his suggestions with some exceptions:

  1. I don’t use debit cards I use a credit card and pay the balance to zero every month
  2. I make monthly payments on my new car because Toyota gave a zero interest car loan as part of their new car deal.
  3. I no longer trust the Banking and Wall Street thieves

Top 10 “Cloister Living” Posts


Top 10 Cloister Living Posts of all time……

Christmas Holidays at The Cloister   – 2011
Lawson’s…….About Low Tire Pressure and   Check Engine Warning Lights
A Good Night’s Sleep Needs The   Right Equipment
Plants, trees and shrubs at   The Cloister
Two Cat Packs Stalk   The Cloister
Blood Pressure and what the   Readings Mean?
Should I Change to a Medicare   Advantage Program? Pros and Cons…..
Are There Options to   Life Alert?
The Story of the “Black Eye   Pea” Tradition
Cloister Ownership “Fee Simple” and   Confused Old Ladies

College Level Courses Free or Low Cost for Cloister Seniors


TSU & MTSU

Fee Discounts and Waivers

Senior Adult Discount
Rules & Procedures

Senior Adult Fee Discount/Waiver rules and forms are available at the university or college Admissions Office. Senior Adult students should register and submit these forms to the Bursar’s Office as outlined below.

T.C.A. 49-7-113. Disabled and Elderly Persons–Auditing or Enrollment.

(a)(1) Disabled persons suffering from a permanent total disability which totally incapacitates such person from working at an occupation which brings him an income, and persons who have retired from state service with thirty (30) or more years of service, regardless of age, or persons who will become sixty (60) years of age or older during the academic quarter or semester, whichever is applicable, in which such persons begin classes and, who are domiciled in Tennessee, may audit courses at any state-supported college or university without paying tuition charges, maintenance fees, student activity fees or registration fees; however, this privilege may be limited or denied by the college or university on an individual classroom basis according to space availability.
(a)(2) The provisions of this section shall not apply at medical schools, dental or pharmacy schools, and no institution of higher education shall be required to make physical alterations of its buildings or other facilities to comply with this section.
(a)(3) Prior to admittance, the university or college involved may require an affidavit or certificate from a physician or an agency charged with compensating the disabled person or adjudicating the permanent total disability of the person who is requesting admittance to classes, that such person is permanently totally disabled as set forth herein.
(a)(4)A student who is receiving services under federal or state vocational rehabilitation programs is not eligible for a waiver of tuition and fee benefits under this section. (b) Subject to the same terms and conditions as provided in subsection (a), disabled persons, as defined in subsection (a), and persons who will become sixty-five (65) years of age or older during the academic quarter or semester, whichever is applicable, in which such persons begin classes and, who are domiciled in Tennessee, may be enrolled in courses, for credit at state-supported colleges and universities without payment of tuition charges, maintenance fees, student activity fees or registration fees, except that the board of trustees of the University of Tennessee and the board of regents of the state university and community college system may provide for a service fee which may be charged by the institutions under their respective jurisdictions, the fee to be for the purpose of helping to defray the cost of keeping the records of such students and not to exceed seventy dollars ($70) a semester.

About OLLI at Vanderbilt…..

Who can participate?

Membership is open to anyone over the age of 50. We have no restrictions based on educational background.

How much do courses cost?

$80 for three courses in a specific term with $10 for each additional course.

How much do “special class offerings” cost?

Special classes vary depending on the number of sessions and number of students accepted in the class. Basically, we determine how much each session cost OLLI and charge accordingly.

How do I register for courses and special events?

We have created a tutorial with instructions to help navigate the registration process.

How do I retrieve my user name and password to register online once I create an account if I’ve forgotten that information?

Please view the attached instructions on retrieving your account username and password information.

Is there homework or exams?

For regular classes, there is no homework or exams. Occasionally, there will be recommended reading which is optional. The exception to this would be our writing seminar which does have assignments but no exams.

How much do Lunch and Learn sessions cost?

Our “Lunch and Learn” sessions provide a lecture on a specific topic and are free to all members. An optional lunch is provided prior to the lecture for a $10 fee. Reservations are required for both the lecture and the box lunch.

                   Who teaches OLLI at Vanderbilt courses?

Our courses are taught by a wide variety of qualified personnel. The majority are current or retired Vanderbilt professors, but there are also many who come from other educational institutions, government and business. Our curriculum committee reviews each proposed course and confirms that the instructor’s background is appropriate.

                                      Where do I park for the OLLI classes?

When classes are held at area churches, complimentary parking is provided at the church. When classes are held on campus, complimentary parking is provided at the Centennial Sportsplex as well as a shuttle to pick you up and take you to campus. The shuttles run the entire morning during class time in case you come late or need to leave early.

Do you hold class in inclement weather?

It is rare that we cancel class, but if a class (or event) is cancelled due to inclement weather, it will be posted on the OLLI at Vanderbilt website by 8:00a.m. the morning of the event.

About Lifelong Learning at Lipscomb…..

Session I – January 28 – March 7

Mondays—
Wilder and Wilder: A Film Sampler from Billy Wilder
February 3, 10, 17, 24 (Please note the longer class time and 4 weeks only) 3:00-5:15 p.m. Ezell Center, Room 136 Cost $60 Instructor: Dr. Matthew Hearn, Lipscomb University Professor, Department of English

As the “dark genius” of American comedy, Billy Wilder wrote and/or directed a remarkably diverse series of Oscar-winning films in Hollywood after emigrating to the U.S. to escape the rise of Nazism in his native Austria.  Join us as we sample and discuss some of his classics: Ball of Fire (with Barbara Stanwyck and Gary Cooper, 1941), The Lost Weekend (with Ray Milland and Jane Wyman, 1945), Stalag 17 (with William Holden, 1953), and The Apartment (with Jack Lemmon and Shirley McClaine, 1960).

Tuesdays—
Presidents You Wish You Knew More About
February 4, 11, 18, 25 and March 4 3:00-4:30 p.m. Ezell Center, Room 136 Cost $60 Instructors: Libby Lacock, Hank Davis, and Dr. Tim Johnson. Libby and Hank are both members of the Lipscomb University Lifelong Learning Advisory Board and Dr. Tim Johnson is a Lipscomb University Research Professor in the Department of History

Barack Obama is the 44th President of the United States but is only the 43rd man to serve. If you come to this class you might find out why. Each week we will deal with one or two Presidents that are less familiar to most people. It is interesting that most of these men were elected Vice President and succeeded a President who died in office. This term will deal with:

  • Both Johnsons – Andrew and Lyndon succeeded Lincoln and Kennedy. There were some similarities as well as great differences.
  • Ulysses S Grant – did you know that was not his real name? He was a close friend of Lincoln’s and was devastated by his assassination.
  • Millard Fillmore and Franklin Pierce – 13th President who succeeded Taylor and the 14th President who was elected in his own right.
  • Warren G. Harding – 29th President, elected in his own right but died in office and was succeeded by Coolidge.
  • John Tyler – 10th President and the first man to succeed a President.
Wednesdays—
Ancient China, Global China: Understanding China’s History, Government, Culture and Economy
February 5, 12, 19, 26, and March 5 3:00-4:30 p.m. Swang Center, Room 108 Cost $60 Facilitator: Turney Stevens, Dean, College of Business and Professor of Management

In this study of ancient China as a global economy we will study issues that deal with the country’s history, government, culture and economy. Each week will deal with the following:

  • Week 1: From Yao to Mao: 4000 Years of Chinese History in 90 Minutes
  • Week 2: Communist or Capitalist? China’s Inscrutable Government
  • Week 3: Which Mattered Most? Western Culture or Eastern Culture?
  • Week 4: Today’s Global Economy: China as Titan
  • Week 5: China’s Masses: Warmhearted or Warriors?

Suggested Reading for Individual Purchase:

  1. Henry Kissinger: On China (New York: Penguin Books, 2011) At Amazon, Paperback $14
  2. Jung Chang: Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China (New York: Touchstone Books, 2003) At Amazon, Paperback $12.78
  3. Nien Cheng: Life and Death in Shanghai (New York; Penguin Books, 1986) At Amazon, Paperback $13.11
  4. Simon Winchester: The Man Who Loved China: The Fantastic Story of the Eccentric Scientist Who Unlocked the Mysteries of the Middle Kingdom (New York: Harper Perrenial , 2008) At Amazon, Paperback $11.73
Thursdays—
Great Decisions: An Analysis of Eight Issues of Concern to U.S. Policymakers Today
February 6, 13, 20, 27 and March 6 3:00-4:30 p.m. Ezell Center, 3rd Floor, Andrews Institute Cost $60 or more depending on course length Facilitators: Linda Peek Schacht, Lipscomb University, Executive Director of the Nelson and Sue Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership and Mary Pat Silveira, retired 30 year veteran of the United Nations

Great Decisions is America’s largest discussion program on world affairs. The name is shared by a national civic-education program, briefing book and television series administered and produced by the Foreign Policy Association.  The Great Decisions program highlights eight of the most thought-provoking foreign policy challenges facing Americans each year. Great Decisions provides background information, current data and policy options for each issue and serves as the focal text for discussion groups.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Defense Technology
  • Israel and the U.S.
  • Turkey’s challenges
  • Islamic awakening
  • Energy Independence
  • Food And Climate
  • China’s foreign policy
  • U.S. trade policy

You can order your Great Decisions 2014 Briefing Book at: www.fpa.org

Fridays—
“As the Page Turns” Book Club
February 7, 21, March 7, 28 and April 11, 25 (Note: Special Meeting Dates) 10:00-11:30 a.m. Meeting at the Avalon Home Cost $60 for both sessions Instructor: Kay Wyatt, Lipscomb University graduate, M.A.T. English from MTSU, and retired Lipscomb Academy English faculty.

Join our first ever Lifelong Learning Book Club as we read and discuss the following books of fiction and nonfiction, every other week for six meetings spanning both sessions (No class March 21st due to Spring Break):

  • (2/7) The Day the World Came to Town by Jim Defede
  • (2/21) The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
  • (3/7) Outliers: The Study of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
  • (3/28) Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson
  • (4/11) Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
  • (4/25) The End of your Life Book Club by Will Schwalb

Peas, Greens, and Cornbread


black-eyed-peas1Clearly, a lot of people closely associate good luck with monetary gain. That’s where the greens come in (in case I need to spell it out, green is the color of U.S. currency).

Any green will do, but the most common choices are collard, turnip, or mustard greens. Golden cornbread is often added to the Southern New Year’s meal, and a well-known phrase is, “Peas for pennies, greens for dollars, and cornbread for gold.” Pork is a staple of just about every Southern meal, so it’s usually cooked with the black-eyed peas. The pork seems to be there for flavor as opposed to symbolism……

Andrea Lynn is an Alabama-raised, soul food-obsessed food writer, recipe developer and personal chef. Follow her on Twitter @ALynn27.