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THE ANDY ALERT
February 2019 | Issue 2
Have you ever heard of "GAP" insurance? How about a "GAP"
year? Please do not confuse the two, although both are
important in my eyes.
Let's first discuss what "GAP" insurance is and how it is used. The
definition is as follows: it is a type of auto insurance that car
owners can buy to protect themselves against losses that can
arise when the amount of compensation received from a total
loss does not fully cover the amount the insured owes on the
vehicle's financing or lease agreement. The key to remember
with this type of insurance coverage is that it only kicks in if (a)
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"A 'GAP' year might end up being
an education on par with anything
they learn in college or beyond."
THE BENEFITS OF
A "GAP" YEAR
you have a total loss, (b) you own the car, and (c) you owe more than it is actually worth in today's marketplace. This
is something that you should consider if you fall within the three points described above.
So, what is a "GAP" year, then? Well, it is a period of time—typically an academic year—taken by a student as a break
between secondary school and higher education. You might be asking yourself, “Andy, why are you talking about this
in your newsletter?” The reason I am bringing it up is because my wife and I are in the middle of having one of our
children (Ally, a junior at the University of Miami Nursing School) go through this process.
At first, my initial reaction was, “Why in the world would I allow my child to delay school a year?” However, after
getting through fifty percent of the "GAP" year, I can say everyone should consider having their child hit the pause
button for a year. Some of the benefits of the "GAP" year include (1) discovering a hidden passion, (2) developing new
life skills, (3) improving oneself, or (4) learning to refocus on what is important.
Over the past six months, my wife and I have seen Ally grow up in front of our eyes. She became a certified yoga
instructor, has been hired at three different locations for her yoga teaching, has learned to cook, is beginning to
understand finances better, and is becoming more focused on what life is about. This would not have happened
without the "GAP" year!
As a parent, this is something I would highly recommend if you have children. It might end up being an education on
par with anything they learn in college or beyond.
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6 Easy Indoor Gardening Tips
Many of us struggle with properly caring for indoor plants,
but keeping them happy and healthy doesn’t have to be a
mystery. With the correct application of water and light,
along with selecting proper pots and soil, you can
drastically strengthen any interior garden. Follow these
quick and easy tips to bolster your green thumb.
As noted above, it is possible to
easily drown many types of indoor
plants via over-watering, so avoid dousing
them every day. In general, you will want to
keep the soil moderately moist with light
watering. Once water drips out of the
1. POT PRIORITIES
It may seem counterintuitive, but plants can
actually drown. To prevent this, select pots that
have holes in the bottom. This allows for water
2. SOIL SELECTION
While gathering soil from your backyard may be tempting,
avoid that urge and instead acquire potting soil from your
local garden center. Normal ground soil can be tainted
with insects, harmful fungi, and other nasty things that
can damage often-delicate indoor plants. Potting soil, on
the other hand, is specifically tailored for plant health and
sometimes contains built-in fertilizer.
3. LOVELY LIGHT
Some plants love sunlight while others prefer shade.
Certain versatile plants and flowers can deal with varying
light sources. Before purchasing anything, think about
your house. Where will the greenery live? Set your plants
up for success by reading about their light preferences
and selecting accordingly. Ask your garden center for
assistance if need be.
4. WHEN TO WATER
5. FREQUENT FEEDING
Over time, potted soil is robbed of its
nutrients as plants absorb some and water
washes the rest away. To rectify this, begin
a feeding regimen to ensure your plant is
receiving the very best sustenance. A wide
variety of easy-to-use fertilizers, including
6. TIMELY TRIMMING
If you want your plants to keep growing, cutting off dead
or faded flowers and leaves is essential. This sends a
message to the plant that it should produce new foliage.
In some cases, a plant with many faded portions may
even need to be drastically trimmed back to a fraction of
its existing size. In such cases, reduce the plant to about
1/3 of its current proportions. It will thank you by roaring
back in a week or two.
those that are time-released, can be acquired online or at
any garden center.
drainage and will keep roots from becoming too hydrated.
As for style, plants can grow in just about anything, but
wood and unglazed clay containers will absorb more
water than plastic or other non-porous materials,
potentially robbing the soil of valuable moisture.
holes on the bottom of the pot, the soil is fully soaked
and no more water is needed. Though tempting, refrain
from spraying flowers and leaves, as this can cause
damaging fungal diseases.
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Like Cyrano de Bergerac using the handsome Christian to give
voice to his true feelings for Roxanne,* you can use flowers to
reveal what is in your heart this Valentine’s Day. You must,
though, choose carefully. As you can see from our list below,
flowers have a language all their own, and different flowers
send very different messages.
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HYDRANGEAS: “Romance is in the air.”
These big blooms look like they came straight out of an
English country garden. They are whimsical and wistful and
traditionally romantic, in a picnic-under-a-tree kind of way.
IRISES: “You are true blue.”
These blue and purple blooms represent faith and hope.
GARDENIAS: “I am overwhelmed by you.”
Gardenias represent longstanding and deep love. A single
bloom makes a bold and dramatic statement, and will
perfume an entire room.
ORCHIDS: “You are rare and special.”
Orchids have a delicate beauty and exotic appeal.
PEONIES: “Will you marry me?”
The peony traditionally portends good fortune and a happy
marriage. This is the proposal flower.
RANUNCULUS: “You are charming and delightful.”
“Plus, it’s fun to say “ranunculus” (and “buttercup”!), and I
know you will appreciate that, and we will laugh about it all
TULIPS: “Our love is like my favorite pair of jeans – easy,
comfortable, and a perfect fit.”
Like carnations, tulips come in all colors, so you can pick
one to match your Valentine’s personality.
*Cyrano de Bergerac is a play written by Edmond Rostand in
1897. For a modern adaption (and a romantic way to spend
Valentine’s Day), watch the movie Roxanne, starring Steve
Martin and Daryl Hannah.
What Does Your Gift of Flowers Say?
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Red: “I love you.”
Known as the “lover’s rose,” the red rose represents true love
“stronger than thorns.” It is the most popular Valentine’s Day
Pink: “I’ve got a crush on you.”
Pink roses signify femininity, elegance, grace and admiration.
A deeper pink suggests stronger feelings.
Purple: “You’ve put a spell on me.”
If you believe in love at first sight, say it with purple roses,
which symbolize mysticism, enchantment and desire.
Yellow: “You are a dear friend.”
Yellow roses signify friendship, warmth and affection. Yellow
roses with a red tip say, “I’m falling in love with you, my dear
Orange: “I’m passionate about you.”
Orange roses signify an enthusiastic desire.
White: “Ah, young love.”
White roses traditionally symbolize purity, innocence and
CARNATIONS: “I’d like to get to know you better.”
Carnations are the perfect flower to give early in a
relationship. They come in a rainbow of colors, so you can
choose your Valentine’s favorite (but avoid yellow and striped
carnations, both of which are said to mean “no,” and to
DAFFODILS: “You are my sunshine, my one and only.”
Daffodils represent unparalleled love and high regard.
DAISIES: “You are a free spirit, radiant with beauty and
good cheer. You make me happy.”
The bigger the daisies, the louder they talk. If you want your
daisies to shout, go with Gerbera daisies.