Tuesday, February 28, 2006

A Leap of Faith

Sometimes you have to take the leap, and build your wings on the way down. ~ Kobi Yamada


Sunday, February 26, 2006

Parent-to-Parent Advice

As a single mom of a pre-soon-to-be-teen I most certainly agree with the following advice!

Parent-to-Parent Advice
from Hannah Storm, co-host of The Early Show on CBS

1. You may be busy, but take the time to stop what you are doing and listen to your child.
2. Try not to get into power struggles with your children. You can even physically remove yourself from the situation.
3. Ask your children questions and have them come up with their own answers and solutions.
4. Find comfortable situations for conversation, perhaps in the car.
5. Teenagers can have a tough time walking the line between childhood and adulthood. Try to keep that in mind.


Thursday, February 23, 2006

Great Quote!

When you get into a tight place, and everything goes against you till it seems as if you couldn't hold on a minute longer, never give up then, for that's just the place and time that the tide'll turn. ~ Harriet Beecher Stowe


Friday, February 17, 2006

Owning my own house

Next week I become a homeowner. Which means the closest vacation to a tropical paradise I will get is to our local water park.

Here are just some of the financial/tax advantages of home ownership:
  • Owning versus renting is an investment in your family's future
  • Seeing the break-even point on an adjustable rate mortgage
  • Deduction of qualified interest & property taxes from the income on a first or second home
  • Avoiding the payment of capital gains tax if selling your home (must have lived 2 out of the last 5 years in your home to qualify)
  • Investing in real estate is still one of the best proven growth investments


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day!

Turn up the romance with a plate of these juicy strawberries dipped and swirled in two kinds of chocolate.

Marbleized Strawberries
Makes about 28 strawberries
Prep: 45 minutes

11 ounces white chocolate squares, melted
5 ounces semisweet chocolate squares, melted
1 quart large fresh strawberries (about 28), wiped with a damp paper towel

1. Line a large cookie sheet with waxed paper. Pour white chocolate into a 9-inch glass pie plate. Pour semisweet chocolate into a bowl.

2. Dip a spoon into the semisweet chocolate, then drizzle parallel lines of about 3/4 inch apart onto white chocolate in pie plate. Set aside remaining semisweet chocolate.

3. Make sure strawberries are completely dry. Holding one strawberry by its hull, dip strawberry into both chocolates, pressing opposite sides of strawberry across dark and white lines to form 2 marbleized flower petals. Lift strawberry and jiggle gently to drain off excess chocolate. Place strawberry on prepared cookie sheet. Repeat process with remaining strawberries and chocolates and arrange 1-inch apart on prepared cookie sheet. Periodically drizzle more lines of semisweet chocolate across white chocolate. (If white chocolate starts to harden, microwave on Medium for 30 seconds or just until softened; do not stir.)

4. Refrigerate strawberries until chocolate is firm, about 5 minutes. Makes about 28 strawberries.

Make-Ahead Tip: Strawberries can be made ahead. Loosely cover coated strawberries and let stand at room temperature up to 2 hours.


Monday, February 13, 2006

Life is like...

Life is like mathematics in which you add your friends, subtract your enemies, divide your sorrows and multiply your joys.


Thursday, February 09, 2006

Everything that is worthwhile in life is scary. Choosing a school, choosing a career, getting married, having kids--all those things are scary. If it is not fearful, it is not worthwhile. ~ Paul Tornier

I’m buying a house. Have a mentioned that before? Probably not and only because I didn’t want to jinx the deal. Now I’m just waiting for the loan to go through. You can only imagine how nervous I am right now.

It’s a small house. Brick exterior, eat in kitchen, dining room, two bedrooms, finished basement, attached garage, three season porch, screened in porch and very high privacy fencing. It has it’s moans and groans being an older home but it suits Amanda and I.

Our close date is March 3 and we will be moving on March 11. This will give me a little time to move over as many boxes as I possibly can so that all we have to move would be the furniture along with my washer and dryer.

I hate moving. There’s always the fear that I won’t have enough people to help me with the move. My friend Megan said that she would help move the boxes over (her fiancé has a nice size pick-up truck). Axel said he would help along with my friend Dave, his son and Allen (a friend from work) with the actual move. It would be nice to have at least one or two more people to help with the move.

It will be nice to have a place of my own. Last summer my landlords were always at the duplex working in the garden or doing yard work. While it’s nice that they take such great care of the place it was a little awkward having them always around. They would be out back working on the lawn when I’d come home from work, making me feel as if were in the way while I was out there trying to make dinner on the grill.

Like I said, it will be nice having a place of my own.


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

An Old Irish Blessing

May you have warm words on a cold evening,
A full moon on a dark night,
And the road downhill all the way to your door.


Sunday, February 05, 2006

One Sunday morning, the pastor noticed little Alex standing in the foyer of the church staring up at a large plaque. It was covered with names with small American flags mounted on either side of it.

The seven year old had been staring at the plaque for some time, so The pastor walked up, stood beside the little boy, and said quietly, "Good morning Alex." "Good morning Pastor," he replied, still focused on the plaque.

"Pastor, what is this?" he asked the pastor. The pastor said," Well, son, it's a memorial to all the young men and women who died in the service."

Soberly, they just stood together, staring at the large plaque. Finally, little Alex's voice, barely audible and trembling with fear, asked, "Which service, the 9:45 or the 11:15?"

If I were given the opportunity to present a gift to the next generation, it would be the ability for each individual to learn to laugh at himself. ~ Charles Shultz


Friday, February 03, 2006

Well Said!

Amen to this! 98 years later. What a visionary, that Teddy R. Theodore Roosevelt's ideas on Immigrants and being an AMERICAN in 1907.

"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people." ~ Theodore Roosevelt 1907


Thursday, February 02, 2006

Isn't it ironic?

This year, both Groundhog Day and the State of the Union Address fall during the same week. As Air America Radio pointed out...

"It is an ironic juxtaposition: One involves a meaningless ritual in which we look to a creature of little intelligence for prognostication...and the other involves a groundhog."

Happy Groundhog Day!