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Crusin’ down the highway…...

Crusin’ down the highway…...
Wind in my hair….
Driving my brand new….bike
By Amy Haldorson



I like think I was a free spirit in my younger years, still am in many ways. My parents would argue that I was more of a troublemaker. It’s a matter of perspective in my opinion. In lieu of Bicycle Safety Month, I was trying to think of my best bicycle story and only one came to mind. With all the shenanigans I pulled growing up, it’s a wonder my parents survived. In high school I had few instances where my car privileges were revoked, but need not worry. I had my own way to get around; my bike. I lived a few miles from the nearest town, but that didn't stop me. Now, my parents wouldn't allow me to just bike to my friend’s whenever I wanted so I did the most logical thing. I rode my bike at night. If my daughter happens to read this, I was very very bad, don’t ever ride your bike to Harvey. So, this one night in particular, I waited till my parents went to sleep and took off on my bike. I was afraid of nothing and loved the peace and quiet of the dark. Not being an avid bike rider, it took me a couple hours to travel the few miles to town.
When I finally made it to hang out with my friends, I was exhausted. I visited with them for a while and decided it was time to head home. There was no way I was pedaling any more that night, so I got a ride home. I left my bike on the side of the rode near my friends house thinking I would get it the next day. So I made it home and went to sleep. The next day my brother of all days decides he needs to go bike riding and his has a flat. I watched as he searched every building looking for my bike. I was laughing to myself until he got my parents involved. They even made me join the search. I had to "pretend" to be very upset by the vanishing of my new bike. I called my friend and told her what was happening and we had a good laugh….until she decided to help. All of a sudden I see her driving down my driveway with my bike in her trunk. I looked around nervously hoping she wasn't doing what I thought. Yep, she pulls in and dramatically comes up to my parents with my bike and says "would you look what I found in town, someone must of stole this bike". Someone give her an Oscar. I look at my parents and they aren't buying this for a second. I could almost see the puzzle pieces click in their heads. To make matters worse, my bike was mangled. It was evident that it had been run over or hit by a car. Long story short, I was grounded and they never did find out if their suspicions were true….until now. Sorry mom and dad!
This story got me thinking about how dangerous it was, number one, riding at night, and two, riding without a helmet. I could have easily been hit by a passerby. If you find your self riding at night, you should definitely be using a front headlight. It is actually required by law. Another good tip is, if you cannot make eye contact with a oncoming driver, wave your arm. Its easier for them to see you waving then see a bike coming towards them. Slow down as much as you can, especially at night.
From an insurance standpoint, in the event you were hit by a car on your bike, there are steps you should take. No matter how mild you think it might be, call the police. This way, a report is filed and fault may be easier to determine. In addition, its important that you obtain the vehicle drivers insurance information. Don’t be afraid to take a trip to the ER if something just doesn't feel right. If the motorist is at fault, his auto liability should cover the damage to your bike. Their auto PIP coverage is primary for any injuries, the cyclists auto PIP is secondary and the cyclist's health insurance is third in line.
So, the moral to this story is, I am very lucky I wasn't injured while night riding. Now, if you will excuse me, I'm deflating the tires on my teenager’s bikes.

DON’T RISK A FIRE, CLEAN YOUR DRYER

DON’T RISK A FIRE, CLEAN YOUR DRYER
If you are like me, you haven't given your dyer vent a second thought. I figured cleaning the lint trap on the dryer was good enough until I recently saw a YouTube video and learned just how much build up there can be in your dryer vents and just how easily a fire can start. Spring time is the best time to do this, as most are doing their Spring cleaning. The dryer vent should be cleaned about once a year on average. If you dry four or five loads of clothes daily, you may need to clean it as often as every six months. If you are only drying a load or two a week, you can probably get by with about every 18 months. With as much as my daughter plays dress up, I should probably be cleaning my every three months! A telltale sign that your dryer vent needs cleaning is that clothes take longer and longer to dry. There are several options for removing lint buildup and it can easily be done yourself.
1. A flexible brush with an extendable wand will grab the lint for an easy removal.
2. An air compressor will blow it out.
3. A combination vacuum cleaner and brush will suck it out. Just make sure the hose is long enough.
There are several do it yourself videos on YouTube that give step by step instructions on how to clean them if you are unsure. Dryer lint is one of the most flammable materials. A large clog that is overheated or gets hit by a spark can up in flames in a matter of seconds. Cleaning dryer vents are very easy, you just have to be vigilant about doing it!

Recipe of the Month

Recipe of the Month



Shepherd's Pie
By Amy Haldorson
Ingredients:
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. butter
1 onion, diced
2 lbs. ground beef or lamb
1.3 cup flour
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp paprika
1/8 ground cinnamon
1 tbsp. ketchup
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 cup water
1 pkg frozen peas
2 1/2 lb. potatoes, peeled and halved
1 pinch ground cayenne pepper
1/4 cream cheese
1/4 lb cheddar cheese, shredded
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp. milk
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place oil and butter in Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in onion and meat. Brown meat. Stir in flour, then mix in salt, pepper, paprika, cinnamon, ketchup and garlic. Cook about 2 min. Stir in water. Reduce heat to medium-low and bring to a simmer, cook until thick about 5-6 min. Remove meat mixture from heat and stir in peas. Spread meat mixture into the bottom of 9x13 in baking dish.
Place potatoes into a large pan of salted water. Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium and cook until tender. Drain and return potatoes to pan. Mash with butter, cayenne pepper, cream cheese and cheddar cheese. Whisk together egg yolk and milk into a small bowl and stir into the potatoes. Top the meat mixture with mashed potatoes and spread evenly to cover. Bake in a preheated oven until the top is golden brown and sauce is bubbling up, about 25-30 min.

Think twice before driving on black ice

Think twice before driving on black ice
By Amy Haldorson
It’s a monster in disguise. It can hurt you if you’re not careful. I’m talking about black ice. Black ice is one of the scariest road conditions to drive on. Mainly in part because you cannot see it. You know immediately when you drive on it though. Let me tell you a little story about my best friend when we were high school. It started out a typical day. I was always first to school and I would wait for her so we could go to class together. We made sure we had every class together. This particular morning she was a no show. I didn't worry right away because she's the not one to usually be on time. When I got to second period I asked the teacher to make a phone call. I called my friend’s mom to ask where she was. Her mom starting crying telling me she had been in an accident with a semi. I dropped the phone. No. I didn't even ask if she was ok. I was planning her eulogy in my head. I went back to class and all I could think about was how I would go on without my bestie. While I was feeling sorry for myself, my friend was having a quite different morning. She didn't have to ride the bus like me. My parents took away my driving rights when I rolled my car, that’s a story for another time. She had a little 89 Mazda, candy apple red. That car had seen us through a lot of adventures in the year she had had it. She started out for school like every morning; wet hair, no coat, and Matchbox 20 blasting on the radio. It was the dead of winter and bitter cold. She was known to have a bit of a lead foot. The moment happened so fast. One minute she was singing along to Push Me Around, the next she was sliding. It was black ice. She didn't see it and there was no way to stop. She panicked and looked up and her heart dropped. A semi was coming in the opposite lane. She was completely in his lane going straight for him. She couldn't do anything, so she closed her eyes and waited for it to be over. The semi driver saw this little car coming and sacrificed his safety by quickly taking the ditch. Upon doing that, they did have impact. Her car slid along side his semi. It broke every window in her car and smashed up the whole side. Had he not done that, she would hit him head on. Her vehicle came to a stop. She felt blood running down her head and immediately checked herself over. There seemed to be only scratches. Her blonde hair was covered in glass. There was glass everywhere, even inside her clothing, which was quite uncomfortable. She started to cry, thanking god for saving her. She thought of me, her best friend, and how lucky she was to have me….ok I added that, but it probably happened. The ambulance took her to get checked out. She was sent home that afternoon. She called me after school. When I heard her voice I screamed. "I thought you were dead!" "Nice try," she said, "you're not getting my CD collection." I rolled my eyes at Michelle, just happy she was ok.
Black ice is no joke. Insurance companies see many claims each year of vehicles totaled. If you slide on black ice and hit another car, your liability insurance coverage is what will pay for the other persons. If you vehicle is damaged, the insurance company would most likely classify this as a collision claim. Black ice accidents are not easy to avoid. Unlike regular ice, black ice is often invisible. Take extra precaution in driving as you would any winter conditions.

Insurance for Dummies

Insurance for Dummies
How do you cover your liability for your time in your timeshare?
If you have a timeshare, you’ve purchased a period of time in a vacation condo that you co-own with others. You can use the unit during your allotted, swap your time for another, or even rent out your unit during your time period. The condo association manages and insures the whole complex, including liability coverage, but they usually don’t cover your liability for injuries or property damage you cause arising out of your personal use of your unit. Your homeowner’s policy won’t cover your personal liability if you own, rent or occupy another location on a regular basis. Here’s how you can cover yourself:
Þ The safest thing to do is to endorse your homeowner’s policy to extend your liability coverage to this timeshare unit.
Þ If you rent your unit to others, endorse your homeowner’s policy to cover that rental.
If you swap units with someone else, your use of their unit is covered automatically by your homeowner’s liability coverage.

Love is in the Air…..

Love is in the Air…..
Engagement Day...errr..Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! Your man has no doubt been carrying around a ring for months sweating over the perfect proposal. Valentine’s Day is extra special this year, as we will be celebrating my brother’s nuptials. The minute he got the ring, he called me. Now what? I explained to him that we should add her ring to his homeowners policy. Even though she didn't have it yet, anything could happen, so it was best to have it insured. It took a few phone calls to make sure the insurance company didn't send out any paperwork in the mail. We even had them in on the secret! I think I was just as nervous as my brother. Skip a few months ahead and now we are planning a wedding. When the date was set, I, being the greatest sister ever, pulled him aside and gave him some advice. When wedding planning, the bride gets final say. Do not argue with her over tiny details. We wouldn't want bridezilla to come out like a it did for a certain someone; cough cough Michelle. I have seen the Most sweetest girls turn into a stressed out creature I do not recognize. And while I say that, I myself, wasn't exactly all sugar and spice when I planned my wedding. I told my brother in the end it really doesn't matter if you had white or ivory table cloths. I also told him to add $100 to every bill he sent our parents so he could give his bride a nice honeymoon. They recently went and purchased the grooms ring and we also got that insured right away. Those details will make for less headaches in the future. I also told him any future big jewelry purchases should be added to the policy.
In the process of wedding preparations, you may hear the words event or wedding insurance thrown around by vendors. Wedding insurance is a type of special event insurance that covers injuries and venue damages. With some of the "dancers" in my family, this could be very helpful. You can also add coverage for cancellations, cakes and dresses. The average wedding costs around $31,000, making it a significant investment.
If you or someone you know has an upcoming wedding, keep in mind, insurance can save your special day from any unexpected emergencies. As for my brother’s wedding, I’ll let u know how he likes my speech. Did I mention I was forbidden from giving one….

TOP 3 REASONS TO GET WEDDING INSURANCE:
1. Protect those dollars! You and your parents work hard for your money. Make sure its protected.
2. Stress relief! Give yourself some extra zen by eliminating pesky "what if" scenarios from your wedding.
3. Affordable! Insurance is a tiny percentage of your total wedding budget. Very doable for those even on a tight budget.

Recipe of the month

Spaghetti Squash
By: Michelle Weinmann
I make this all the time and we have ended up liking this better than regular spaghetti.
First Bake the Squash:
Cut squash in half lengthwise and cut off stem. Scoop out seeds. Drizzle the inside flesh with olive oil and salt and pepper. Bake on a sheet face down at 375 for about 40 min or until you can flake the insides with a fork.
Next, fill the Squash:
While the squash is cooking, brown up some hamburger or ground turkey. You can use 1/2 Italian sausage or whatever you like. I fry it with some onions or mushrooms/zucchini, or however you usually make your spaghetti meat. I put in my sauce, Italian seasonings as needed or grate in some Romano cheese. When the squash is done you will want to use a fork and stir around the inside of the squash so they look like noodles. Then I fill each squash half with the meat sauce or meatballs (or use just sauce if you don’t like meat). Then top each "spaghetti boat" with mozzarella and I like to sprinkle a little parmesan on top. Put it back in the oven (face up) until the cheese is melted. Sprinkle with a little Italian parsley if you like. We eat it right out of the squash skins, or you can scoop it out onto a plate. This squash recipe is so versatile, yummy & healthy!

NuLine’s Employee Spotlight

NuLine’s Employee Spotlight
It’s true what they say, timing is everything! NuLine is starting out the New Year with a new face in the office. Welcome Monica Mason! Monica is actually not-so-new around the office. She came to NuLine at the perfect time, right before Labor Day, when we needed someone to help handle our day to day while Michelle was out having her baby! Who better to fill in than an experienced, licensed agent like Monica. She came to us on a temporary basis and we liked her so much we decided to keep her around permanently! Monica will be working in both our Harvey and Maddock locations, which is perfect since she lives in Fessenden. Monica graduated from Carrington High School and has a strong farming background. Not only is Monica a Licensed Insurance Agent, she is currently working on her AINS designation (Associate in General Insurance). When Monica isn’t wearing her insurance hat, she is busy doing life - being a mom of 4 + 1 fur baby is another full time job! She has 2 girls (Jadyn 14 & Fiona 5), 2 boys (Gavin 12 & Owen 9) and an idiotic, but loveable French Bulldog named Gus. After work you can find her coaching volleyball, sitting at one of her school board meetings, volunteering around the community, teaching her little ones her fabulous cooking skills or taking the kids ice fishing—even if they just end up getting skunked and spending quality time in the ice castle. We are very excited to have Monica as a part of our team and hopefully she has just as much fun being a part of our crazy bunch. Welcome Monica!

Recipe of the Month

Triple Layer Fudgy Mint Oreo Brownies
Ingredients:
One 7oz jar marshmallow fluff
1/8 teaspoon mint extract
Green food coloring
1 box brownie mix
Frosting and Topping:
1/2 cup butter or margarine
3-4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Splash of milk
3/4 white chocolate chips, melted
18 regular or mint Oreo cookies, crumbles
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9x13 inch pan with foil and spray it with cooking spray.
2. Filling-In medium bowl, stir together marshmallow flush, mint extract, about 4 drops of food coloring.
3. Stir together brownie mix and Oreos.
4. Drop about 1/2 cup green filling onto brownie batter and reserve the remainder. Gently pull a table knife through the batter in an S shape for a swirl design.
5. Bake 23-25 min. Cool completely.
6. Add melted white chocolate chips and frosting to reserved marshmallow mixture.
7. Stir in 4 drops food coloring and spread over cooled brownies
8. Sprinkle with Oreo cookies and chill

Employee Spotlight

Employee Spotlight
Collin Mertz is the newest member to the NuLine team. He came to us in August as a business coop student. Collin is a senior at Harvey High School, where he is involved in many activities including FBLA, wrestling and football. He grew up on a farm near Harvey. Collin is the son of James and Jenn Mertz and he is one of four boys in his family. In his spare time, he can be found helping on the family farm. With farming as his passion, Collin plans to attend BSC in Bismarck next fall with a major in farm and ranch management. When he's not helping his family, he spends his free time lifting weights, hanging with friends or riding dirt bike. With Collins farming experience, he has been a big asset to our company, helping with our crop insurance. He has been helpful in other areas as well, such as data input, doing supply runs, filing and any other office duties we may need completed. Collin’s presence in our office has been very positive and we look forward to helping him grow his knowledge and experience with farming. Collin is doing a great job so far and we are appreciative of all the hard work. We are excited for the fun experience having him as our coop student this year!