The brown pre-winter season

fall color
Tree by the river

The color is mostly gone from the trees and there isn’t any snow on the ground. The winter cold is here. There should be a name for this season.

The inventory of homes on the market in St. Paul has dropped by about a 100 in the last two weeks. We have about 575 homes on the market and more than 100 of them have offers on them.

Often people want to wait until after the holidays or after the first of the year to sell. Generally, the fewest homes are on the market in December.

People who are interested in buying a home should be ready to pounce during this 5th season when a suitable home comes on the market.

Don’t forget to vote today


Your city needs you! Polls are open from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM. If you don’t know where to go to vote, click here 

Pro tip: with ranked choice voting you can vote for more than one candidate but you don’t have to.  Am I going to explain ranked choice voting? No. MINNPOST has an excellent guide.

Did you know that Saint Paul has had 53 mayors and they have all been men?

We are all middle class right?

I have been reading about proposed tax cuts for the middle class. I see many definitions and income levels for the middle class.

Middle class seems like kind of a myth but if politicians say they are going to do something to “help” the middle class we all think we are going to benefit because of our middle classness.

Here is a chart that shows wealth distribution in the U.S. It is clear that most of us are not rich, but the middle looks kind of poor, as compared with the wealthy.

1% possess 40% of the nation’s wealth; the bottom 80% own 7%;

chart of wealth distribution
Distribution of wealth in the U.S.

Sure the upper 1% works hard and they earned it. Doesn’t a CEO deserve to make 185% more than a worker?

Some have even suggested that the system is rigged. How can that be?

It should be interesting to see how “tax reform” will impact the middle class.

Time to prepare for winter


This tip is  mostly for new homeowners or for people who are new to Minnesota.

It is almost time to turn off the water to the outdoor faucets and disconnect any hoses and put them away. It will be in the 60’s today and the weekend should be nice too but let’s face it we are on borrowed time and soon night time temperatures will be below freezing and then the white stuff will start falling.

If you do not know how to turn off the water to outdoor faucets you still have time to figure it out.

Here is what you need to do:

1.  Turn off the water from the inside of the house.

2.  open the spigot on the outside and let the water drain out.

I usually leave the spigots open but once the water has been drained out I don’t think it matters.

What happens if you don’t turn the water off?  Pipes can freeze and faucets can be destroyed by ice.  . . and it isn’t pretty.  Frozen pipes can burst and ice can damage faucets resulting in the need for expensive repairs. 

International Overdose Awareness Day

Until 2015 I was unaware of International Overdose Awareness day, which is today August 31.

“International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) is a global event held on August 31st each year and aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have met with death or permanent injury as a result of drug overdose”.

My nephew died of an overdose of heroine mixed with fentanyl and other chemicals in October of 2015, less than two months before his 21st birthday. During the weekend of my nephews overdose there were a record breaking 74 overdoses in the area that were reported. Authorities said that heroin laced with fentanyl was the reason. We believe that my nephew’s overdose was an accident. Fentanyl, which is a drug that is used as an anesthesia was found in his system along with heroin.

My nephew lived in an Illinois suburb about 30 minutes from downtown Chicago. The heroin epidemic, and it is an epidemic, has hit suburbs and small towns from coast to coast. Prior to my nephews death I did not know that there is a Heroin epidemic and it often starts with addiction to prescription opioid pain killers. There is an antidote for opioid poisoning called Narcan. 

I used to think of Heroin as a drug that people used in the 1970’s and had no idea that it has made a huge comeback. We tend to punish heroin addicts rather than treating them like we would treat any other person with an illness.

Never  did I ever imagine that a family member would die of a heroin overdose. I can not even describe the grief that he left behind. A family has been forever changed and his parents will grieve for him for the rest of their lives.  We will always wonder about what might have been and if we could have somehow saved him.  #OverdoseAware2017

Take a few moments today to learn more about heroin overdoses in your community. There were 402 opioid related deaths in Minnesota last year and that number will be higher in 2017.