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Being important, statistically speaking

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You’ve noticed, of course, that marketers are looking for that sweet demographic in everything.

And that demographic starts at the age of the grandkids and ends about 15 years shy of where you are.

Older people don’t spend much money.

Except, as it turns out, in restaurants.

Market research company, the NPD Group, found that during the last five years, restaurant visits by Baby Boomers and older Americans have grown 6 percent, while those by millennials (people under 30) have declined by that much.

See, millennials are supposed to be the ones spending all their money, but it turns out Boomers have more money, they spend it less often, but they like to eat out.

This has caused the restaurant industry to take note.

Some proposed changes may be music to your ears. First, no banging music in your ears. Good first step. Readable menus. Commendable. Comfortable furniture. Obvious.

And professional service, not electronic notepads. Thank you.

Now, where should we eat tonight?

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Campsite kitchen essentials

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Are you going camping? With a bit of preparation, you can eat as well as you do at home. In addition to food, here’s what you’ll need.

• Matches, lighters or firelighters
• Plates and bowls
• Cups and mugs

• Cutlery
• Cooking utensils (spatula, tongs, etc.)
• Pots and pans
• Knives
• A cutting board
• A can opener
• A dishpan, biodegradable soap, a sponge and towels
• Containers, bags and food wrap for storing leftovers
• Aluminum foil
• Paper towels
• Garbage bags
• Potable water
• A cooler and ice bags
• A coffee maker
• A camp stove and fuel
• A telescoping fork
• A grill (for cooking on the fire)
• Scissors

For added convenience, use foldable or nestable tableware, multi-purpose cutlery, and cookware with detachable handles. This way you can reduce your load but still have a hearty spread.

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On the road – family life in an RV

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Step aside, tiny homes. Now it’s all about tiny homes on wheels. (Or are they ginormous trucks instead?)

RV living is all the rage, and more and more families are setting out on adventures in their motor homes. It’s a great way for kids to learn history and geography first-hand, to bring the family pet and the stuffed animals along, and to have never-ending campfires.

Family life in an RV is also no joke. Consider one bathroom, limited storage space, and rainy days. But with some advanced planning, family RV life can prove rewarding.

Two recommended items: blackout curtains and a white noise machine. The curtains help you potentially avoid a 5:30 a.m. wakeup call, while a white noise machine helps the younger ones sleep, gives the adults a little privacy, and can help with rowdy neighbors.

Other suggestions:

* Downsize, downsize, downsize. Ain’t no shame in wearing the same tee-shirt over and over; in fact, it’s a necessity.

* Consider Roadschooling. Roadschooling is a form of homeschooling in which zoos, museums, and science centers participate in reciprocal programs.

* Planning: get on it. You might consider yourself nomads, but a little planning goes a long way while still allowing you to explore. It’s important to know where you’re headed and what amenities they have (industrial-sized washers and dryers, anyone?).

* Bring some familiar items. Adventure is fun but it can also be disorienting. Let kids bring some familiar items for when homesickness sets in.

* Get online. A multitude of Facebook groups and online communities exist to help with ideas and support.

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A guide to cycling etiquette and safety

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When you ride a bike, it’s important to be courteous and respect the rules of the road. Here’s how to stay safe and be considerate toward motorists, pedestrians, and other cyclists.

Signal your intentions
Make sure to always let other road users know where you want to go, using your left arm to indicate that you’re about to turn. To signal you want to go left, extend your arm straight to the side. To indicate you want to turn right, bend your arm up¬ward at the elbow.

You should also warn pedestrians and cyclists if you intend to pass them by calling out or using your bell. Before coming to a complete stop, pull over to the side so you don’t cause an accident.

Ride single file
If you cycle with others, don’t ride side by side. This can obstruct oncoming cyclists and prevent others from safely passing you. Additionally, zigzagging between pedestrians and other cyclists and deviating into empty parking spaces can be dangerous.

Keep your distance
Don’t attempt to pass another cyclist if you might brush up against them or have to squeeze through a narrow space. In addition to being rude, this can lead to an accident.

Wait your turn
When you’re at a red light, don’t try to advance to the front of the line. Be patient and give priority to the people who were there first. If someone allows you to go ahead of them, be sure to wave or otherwise signal your thanks.

Finally, remember to be tolerant of inexperienced and slow cyclists. They may not know proper cycling etiquette yet and are still learning.

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Can’t get out for Memorial Day? Try this

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A treasured tradition for many is to decorate graves on Memorial Day.

How pleasant it is on a sunny day to finally find the right stone, pull a couple of weeds around it, then arrange the flowers.

But, inevitably, some things get in the way of that trip: Bad weather, no ride, or quarantine for some virus.

No matter!

You can still visit the grave at the website Find A Grave — and you can leave digital flowers too.

Find A Grave has an amazing database of gravesites around the country. Even small historical cemeteries are listed.

Thanks to the work of volunteers around the country, Find A Grave has grown to be a huge index of cemeteries.

You can search by name or cemetery to find your loved one. You can leave digital flowers and even a note. You’ll also be able to see notes others have left.

So if you can’t get to the cemetery on Memorial Day, you’ll discover Find A Grave a very satisfying option.

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What time is mocktail hour?

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In one of the latest trends that could be voted Best Oxymoron, consumers are heading to cocktail bars and buying boozy drinks with no booze.

The zero-proof drink movement is an actual thing, says PopSugar, which claims the latest trend in alcohol is – nonalcoholic.

Imagine trendy cocktail bars creating elaborate mocktails with faux spirits. There’s Getaway, an alcohol-free bar in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Vena’s Fizz House in Portland, Maine, a cocktail/mocktail bar and mixology shop.

Even those who question the point of a cocktail without a kick – kind of like decaf coffee, no? – would likely admit that the drink menus do sound delicious. Consider Vena’s drink called Blackheart, made of blackberry puree, honey, lime, and bitters; or the Kickstarter, with Fire cider, ginger beer, blood orange, and bitters.

Getaway’s menu is decidedly quirky, featuring drinks with names like “A trip to Ikea,” made with lingonberry, lemon, vanilla, elderflower tonic, cream, and cardamom. Or the Coconaut, with pineapple, coconut milk, cream of coconut, blood orange soda, and nutmeg.

At-home drinkers (non-drinkers?) have a growing number of choices, too. Two Roots Brewing Company, Fre Wines, Kin Euphorics, and Ritual boast alcohol-free versions of popular beverages.

Because no matter how hard we try, a seltzer is never as satisfying as sipping on a hearty glass of red.

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5 ways to share Memorial Day with your kids

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Memorial Day, which falls on May 25 this year, is an ideal occasion for kids to learn about the brave men and women who died serving their country. Here are five ways you can pay tribute to our national heroes with your kids on Memorial Day.

1. Visit a cemetery or memorial. While not every community has a veteran cemetery, most have a memorial to fallen soldiers. Visiting such a location with your kids is a good way to honor the fallen and open a dialogue on the topic of service.

2. Attend a parade. If your children have never seen soldiers before, attending a Memorial Day parade will provide an opportunity for them to observe men and women in uniform. If there aren’t any parades in your region, you can watch one on television or YouTube.

3. Write to active service members. Help your kids make cards, draw pictures, or write letters for soldiers deployed overseas. Active service members will appreciate the gesture and your kids will become more familiar with the importance of supporting our troops.

4. Learn about military history. Watch a documentary or read a book with your kids to teach them about the role America and its military have played in global history.

5. Share a meal. Make a Memorial Day themed meal with your kids. Little ones are sure to enjoy decorating a star-spangled cake, and if you’re planning on hosting family and friends, ask your children to help set the table, decorate the house or greet your guests.

While it’s become associated with sales and celebrations, it’s important to keep the origins of Memorial Day alive for younger generations. This holiday is an ideal time to teach your children about the sacrifices our service members have made.

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