In This Issue


"A Sweet Way to Serve"
My name is Cheryl Bayle. I work for the Department of Commerce as a program manager in the Office of Homeless Youth. To begin, I invite you to imagine a warm pie just recently pulled from the oven; the heady smell of fruit and spice, a crust golden brown and flakey, a thick wedge of tantalizing goodness nestled alongside a large scoop of cold vanilla ice cream. What, you might ask, does pie have to do with community involvement and service?
I am a member of a small group of people who call ourselves the Olympia Pie Bakers Guild. We love pie and love making pie. Our mission is to serve our community through pie. We donate a pie-a-month to the Garden Raised Bounty (GRUB) annual fundraiser auction and provide pie baking workshops. But the centerpiece of our activity is Pie Fest, a community celebration of all things pie to raise funds for the Thurston County Food Bank and Senior Nutrition program.
While most of us have more than enough to eat, there are many people in our community who often face food insecurity. Last year the food bank saw an increase of 21% in the number of individuals served; 50% of these were children. 2900 low-income seniors were served over 110,000 meals. So in our own "sweet" way, the Olympia Pie Bakers Guild works to provide assistance to those in need. We have raised over $25,000 in cash and food through this event since 2009.
Pie Fest is held the 4th Saturday of February every year. The highlight of the celebration is a pie baking contest for three age categories - children, teens, and adults. We also have pie (lots of pie) to buy by the slice, live music, and raffle baskets loaded with items donated by Olympia businesses. And, of course, all proceeds benefit the Thurston County Food Bank and Senior Nutrition Program.
There are a number of ways to get involved -
  • Become a sponsor.
  • Enter the pie baking contest. Contest rules are posted on our website.
  • Donate a pie. We need pies to sell by the slice. You can even use a store-bought crust. Pies that do not require refrigeration are accepted (rules are the same as for contest pies).
  • Join our Pie Fest party! For pictures from 2015 and more information visit our website.
Pie Fest
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Q1 2016

John Lennon once wrote, "Life is what happens when we are busy making other plans". He was a talented songwriter with a good dose of wise philosopher.   Life is always in motion, time does not stop for anyone to regroup, plot or reflect. It just does not. Yet, taking the time to reflect, to organize and prioritize along with setting up a means to an end, differentiates a successful career, event, and life from one of struggles, frustration and, too often, missed opportunities.
Making those other plans, taking that time out of reacting, to being strategic and proactive can make all the difference. Like water, an element, too often people take the path of least resistance. People are not an element, we are not inanimate. Completing the hard tasks, physically or mentally, gives us the resolve and the resilience to proceed. Some individuals, rare ones, seem to have all the luck. They succeed in a manner that appears effortless. Most succeed, as Oprah shared many years ago, when she stated that the harder she worked, the luckier she was.
Opportunity and chance is rewarded to those who are prepared to take strong action.   It is typically those with the education, experience, and know-how to maximize the opportunity when presented to them. I promote planning every chance I get, not because I think it is the only answer, but because I feel it is a major element in succeeding in life. There is synergy that happens when preparation meets opportunity. I cannot, nor can any other single person or group, assure success. Life is not perfect or fair. The attainment of goals is not guaranteed because you have trained, learned and sacrificed.   Being prepared, gathering the assets, both tangible and intangible, contacts and earned acknowledgements position you for a higher probability of the realization of your goals.   As Lez Brown said, it is better to be prepared and opportunity never comes then unprepared and opportunity knocks.
I'm a planner, and I work hard. A degree of success has come, but not always on my timeline or exactly as I envisioned. I'm quite confident that the success I'm enjoying is because of the efforts and struggles I've embraced over the years. I've surrounded myself with good people, and folks who challenge themselves to be and do more. I encourage you to do the same.
Reducing Tax Burden Ex Post Facto -Courtesy of Matthew Whitlock, CPA 
Happy New Year! Congratulations on another year of success. It's finally time to set easily breakable resolutions and begin pre-emptively preparing your gingerly worded letters of disagreement to the IRS.
Since the tax year is already closed, you cannot unmake the money you earned in 2015, however there are still a few ways you might be able to reduce your tax burden for the year.
Travel Adventures
Travel; why do we travel? For adventure, to enjoy climate change, to see family and friends...Why do you travel? To explore nature, see the Grand Canyon, or a spot in the backwoods of Washington outside Republic that very few folks are aware of, to walk where Samuel Adams strolled, or to imagine the feelings and thoughts of a soldier on a battlefield.   Do you travel just to get moving, to leave your day to day existence for a time? We all have different reasons why we travel, and some travel from the comfort of their living room.
I travel for all of the above and more, and at times have traveled in my mind to places I've been while driving or sharing stories with others. Traveling is in my DNA. I have to go. My Mother is known in the family as the wanderer, and I'm her daughter in so many ways.   I need to go at least once a month. Sometimes it's a Saturday at a festival, or another day hiking near Cushman, but I cannot stay home for more than 3 weekends in a row. I go stir crazy. I have to get out of my head and be challenged to adjust my prospective and to experience a new view.
Traveling for me is part of growing and remaining grounded. I grow by experiences and learning of other ways people interact and impact our world. Traveling affects my sense of being grounded and of being real, by reminding me of my sense of self along with my insignificance in the big scheme of life. This view point is a bit Ying and Yang, and it helps me stay balanced.   The work I do is challenging, and I'm blessed to have this career.
I'm intellectually, emotionally and surprisingly physically given a work out on a daily basis. I'm fortunate to be part of a discipline that has such an impact on the clients I serve. I'm seldom bored. Weekly, to some degree or another, I am pushing my comfort zone, and often being requested and challenged to improve or prove myself. This is how it should be. I'm not serving coffee, or offering a tour of the White House, or a choice between laptop or another. I deal with people's lives and formulation of decisions that have long term impact. I travel and play to keep me healthy.
A column on travel has been a consistent part of my newsletters as an encouragement for you to travel and to explore and play. Each of our day to day lives involves demands and it is so easy to get wrapped up in our own little "world".   Traveling gives us a time out, a moment to regroup and reflect, often while playing and experiencing joy. Anticipating travel is a period of hope and excitement.   Go play, for a day, a weekend or a week. Get out of your "zone" and in the adjustment zone.  Travel does not always mean a grand European tour. It could mean a walking tour of Poulsbo or a hike at McClane Creek. Traveling is a state of mind sometimes. Go explore.   Determine your reason or reasons for traveling. What are you seeking as you explore? What are you waiting for?
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Points to Ponder

25... Percentage of current retirees who are using 401(k)s, IRAs, and other retirement savings accounts as a major source of income.*


59... Percentage of current retirees using Social Security as a major source of income.*


50... Percentage of spouses who don't work who say they are saving for retirement habitually or even occasionally.**




**Center for Retirement Studies

Exciting News!



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Mid-West Mom's Helpful Hints 

Separate stuck glassware...  What can you do when you reach for a drinking glass and get two locked together, one stuck tightly inside the other?  You don't want to risk breaking one or both by trying to pull them apart.  Stuck glasses will separate with ease if you squirt some WD-40 on them, wait a few seconds for it to work its way between the glasses, and then gently pull the glasses apart.  Remember to wash the glasses thoroughly before you use them.


Remove chewing gum from hair...  It's one of an adult's worst nightmares: chewing gum in a child's hair.  You don't have to panic or run for the scissors.  Simply spray the gummed up hair with WD-40, and the gum will comb out with ease.  Make sure you are in a well-ventilated area when you spray and take care to avoid contact with the child's eyes.


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