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HOMEWORK

It seems more and more companies are allowing or even encouraging employees to work from home. If your personality leans towards being with others to excel, this may not be for you, but if you benefit from a quiet, undisturbed space to get your work done, this is a God-send!

Ok, you may work from home, now what? You probably already know what you require for your office. A desk, chair, PC or laptop, printer and storage areas. However, first and foremost, you need an office (or office space). Newer homes often include this highly demanded space with some home buyers claiming if there is none, it is a deal breaker. But, alas, many older homes and apartments do not come equipped with an office. It is now that creative thinking comes into play.

Do you have a spare bedroom? How often do you use it, really? If you have frequent visitors, maybe this is not an option but if family only visits on holidays and the rest of the year the room gathers dust, opt for this space. Possibly a daybed lined with comfy pillows can accommodate the guests when in town and give you a place to relax to do some required reading without being stuck in your chair all day. Sounds lovely, but what if you don’t happen to have a spare room available? You will have to improvise.

Do you currently have a little one in a nursery? Assuming they are cared for elsewhere while you work, how about putting a small desk and chair in there and paint them to match the nursery colors? You will have space until they require larger furniture and accumulate all their stuff!

Do you have an unused corner in a larger room that could accommodate a desk and chair? If so, try to make it blend in with the rest of your room so it doesn’t scream. “Hey, I work here!” If your space is out in the open like that, it is essential that you keep the area clean. Nobody wants a sloppy work zone in the bedroom, living room or dining room to spoil the decor!

If you still can’t find space for your office why not try using a closet? It doesn’t have to be big and if you can configure it so the doors can close at night, all the better. Unless you are handy yourself, you may have to hire a handyman for this small project. Build your desk by nailing cleats on both side walls and have a pre-measured top installed. This could be a simple wooden top or you could have it customized with stainless steel, formica or even granite or marble if you want to get fancy. It is such a small area you may find a remnant that is a perfect fit. For a larger closet from which you are just stealing some space, find a small desk and tuck it in there.

In the area above the desk you can add floating shelves for all your supplies. You may need to hire an electrician to install a power source if none is close by. Certainly a closet will need task lighting and there are lamps designed specifically for desks.

If this space is to be shared by both male and female, make the wall colors gender neutral. Remember, bright colors will stimulate while neutral hues will have a calming effect. You may want to jazz up the area a little by wallpapering the wall directly in front of you with some interesting design. You could also consider painting that area with chalkboard paint to jot down quick thoughts. Corkboard will serve the same purpose.

Find a comfortable chair with good back support, after all you will be in it most of the day. It doesn’t have to be on wheels but it is a plus if your office is in a closet and you move it daily to close the door on your work day.
A home office can be a federal tax deduction which is based on the square footage of the work zone and that % is calculated against your home owner’s insurance and your yearly electric bill. If you provide the equipment and supplies that is likely a deduction as well. Ask your tax provider if this applies in your case.

I hope this gave you a few ideas to find space to carve out just for you. And if you are lucky enough to work from home, you are lucky enough!

LET’S EAT OUT!

Every Sunday I awake with anticipation and thoughts of the Kailua Farmers Market. I grab two shopping bags and head to the Kailua Elementary School. I first go to pick up savory tomatoes that the owners hold for me weekly. Then I go to get either mango or ginger kombucha and pick out a seat for breakfast. This morning I ordered a delicious omelette with bacon, mushrooms and mozzarella cheese. I sat down to enjoy live music by Paul Izak from his album, Everlasting Light. (Later during the week, I blast his songs in the car to and from work!) I then shop for cucumbers, avocados and papayas. Every Monday I bring huge watermelon papayas to work for the nurses to enjoy. I am partial to this farmers market compared to Kapiolani Community College Market where busloads of tourists crowd out the locals. At Kailua there are locally sourced meats, fresh fish and smoked marlin dip from Jessica at the Forage stand. Even if it is a distance for you to travel, I still recommend this market since you will not be disappointed. Hours are 8:30 to noon on Sundays.

WHAT HAPPENING THIS MONTH ON OAHU?

SHOPPING AND CRAFT FAIRS

Nov. 4th HICKAM AFB CRAFT FAIR Hickam AFB
Nov. 4th AIEA H.S. CRAFT FAIR Aiea High School
Nov. 4th HANALANI SCHOOL FAIR Hanalani School, Mililani
Nov. 5th HOLIDAY CRAFT FAIR Ben Franklin in Mapunapuna
Nov. 17th DIAMOND HEAD ARTS & CRAFTS FAIR KCC
Nov. 17th CHRISTMAS CRAFT FAIR Dole Cannery, Honolulu
Nov. 18th BEN PARKER CRAFT FAIR Parker UMC Kaneohe
Nov. 18th KAILUA CRAFT FAIR Aikahi Park Shopping Center
Nov. 19th COLLECTIBLES SHOW Blaisdell Center, Honolulu
Nov. 24-26 CHRISTMAS EXPO Blaisdell Center, Honolulu
Nov. 25 HOLIDAY CRAFT FAIR Mission Houses, Honolulu

SPORTING EVENTS

Nov. 4th PARKINSON WALK Magic Island, Honolulu
Nov. 12-23 HAWAIIAN PRO SURFING Alii Beach, Haleiwa
Nov. 19th KA IWI COAST RUN/WALK by Hui Nalu Canoe Club
Dec. 6th VANS TRIPLE CROWN OF SURFING Haleiwa Beach

ENTERTAINMENT

Nov. 1-5 HAWAII FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL 12 venues on Oahu
Nov. 2-12 INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL Dole Cannery Theaters
Nov. 11th VETERAN’S DAY PARADE Wahiawa District Park (10am)
Nov. 24th HOLIDAY PARADE Fort Debussy to Kapiolani Park

Kind regards,
Cathy, Mary and Jeff