Monday, June 30, 2008

Ask Me About Real Estate......


I came across this photo as I was just bouncing around cyber space and could not resist posting it after all Real Estate is my profession and doggies my passion.

Do you have a question about Real Estate?

Why not ask me!!!!!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Loss of a beloved pet

I do not mean to make anyone sad with this posting, it is written with wonderful memories of all the incredible pets that have had a place in my life and heart....and I loved them all.

This past week the beloved pet of a very close friend and neighbor crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. This is always a very sad time as we can't understand and don't know why our wonderful friends are taken from us......sometimes so quickly and at a young age.

Mia....this posting is a tribute for you.......good bye my friend. Although you were not my pet, you took a place in my were loved and will not be forgotten!
November 1998-July 27, 2008.

I have had many pets in my lifetime, each very individual and loved! I know I have been very lucky to have had all these special dogs in my life and I know there is a Dog Heaven. In fact with the passing of my Standard Poodle, Samantha or "Sam" as we called her, I was given a very special book, called Dog Heaven, written and illustrated by Cynthia Rylant. I have shared this book with several friends as they grieve the loss of a pet. I personally have read it over and over and over, each time completing the book with a happier feeling in my heart. This book was actually written for children to understand the loss of a pet, and perhaps we are all children in our hearts.

As I reread this book last evening, I came across a Hallmark Card that was tucked inside. I do not know the author but would like to post these beautiful words here, as they are so touching and so true.

They will not go quietly,
the dogs who've shared our lives.
In subtle ways they let us know
their spirit still survives.
Old habits still make us think
we hear a barking at the door.
Or step back when we drop
a tasty morsel on the floor.
Our feet still go around the place
the food dish used to be,
And, sometimes, coming home at night
we miss them terribly.
And although time may bring new friends.......
and a new food dish to fill,
That one place in our hearts always
belong to them..............
and always will.

Thinking of this recent loss ...... I want to share what has gotten me through my sorrows, as needed. The following link will forward you to all kinds of helpful information on grieving the loss of a pet. I urge everyone to take from it what will help mend your hearts and never forget. If you have been lucky enough to have a special dog in your life, then you know there is a place called Dog Heaven. Perhaps you can find some comfort in these pages. .

A Pet's Prayer
Treat me kindly, my beloved master, for no heart in all the world is more grateful for kindness than the loving heart of me.

Do not break my spirit with a stick for though I should lick your hand between the blows, your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me the things you would have me do.
Speak to me often, for your voice is the world's sweetest music, as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail when your footstep falls upon my waiting ear.

When it is cold and wet, please take me inside, for I am now a domesticated animal, no longer used to bitter elements. And I ask no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth. Though had you no home, I would rather follow you through ice and snow than rest upon the softest pillow in the warmest home in all the land, for you are my god and I am your devoted worshiper.

Keep my pan filled with fresh water, for although I should not reproach you were it dry, I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst. Feed me clean food, that I may stay well, to romp and play and do your bidding, to walk by your side, and stand ready, willing and able to protect you with my life should your life be in danger.

And, beloved master, should the great Master see fit to deprive me of my health or sight, do not turn me away from you. Rather, hold me gently in your arms as skilled hands grant me the merciful boon of eternal rest and I will leave you knowing the last breath I drew, my fate was ever safest in your hands.
Written by Beth Norman Harris

My Favorite Kitchen Gadget

Several days ago, I read a blog posted about favorite kitchen gadgets. As I am a kitchen gadget fanatic, I could not decide at that time my favorite gadget to post a response. Needless to say, when I thought about it, I was not able to find that blog to post my response......So I will post it here.

I am old enough to remember when the microwave oven came out and thinking that this is not necessary, why would I not just use my oven, after all it has done the job for decades. Thinking back, I think that maybe my thoughts were just a "cover" for the fact that I could not afford to purchase one. Well we all know how far the microwave oven has come.....there is nearly a kitchen without one.

My kitchen is full of gadgets and stuff to make the food prep a little easier. I don't know which I would give up if I had to. So I will just mention my favorites here that you will be familiar with. The George Forman Grill most definitely needs to be on this list. I just love my food saver, vacuum packaging system, for storage of food, cooked and uncooked. My Slow cooker comes out at least once per week and I am constantly searching for new recipes to make in it. ( My favorite I found in the Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook, written by Dawn J Ranck and Phyllis Pellman Good, on page146 called Michele's Barbecued Ribs. The ribs come out with a unique touch of cinnamon taste and the best thing, this recipe only calls for 1 1/2 cups of barbecue sauce for 3-4 lbs. of ribs. Better yet, I have found that 1/2 - 3/4 cup is adequate, yummy and healthier then having those ribs swimming in the sauce.)

I need to mention for convenience and fun preparation I would recommend my Cook's Essential (QVC brand) Turbo Chopper, a similar gadget to the Magic Bullet, but maybe made a bit better. In thinking about my favorite gadget, I cannot say which it would be, there are so many but I need to recommend the Toss & Chop by Silvermark. I originally purchased it about 4 years ago from QVC, but it is now readily available in stores like Target at $19.99. What is the Toss & Chop? It looks like a really funny, fat scissor and allows you to quickly chop vegetables, sandwich fillings, pasta, meats, fruits, and a wide variety of foods directly in the bowl. It is very convenient to use with minimal clean-up.

What are your favorite kitchen gadgets? I should hold a contest for the first person who comes up with one I don't already have. Happy Cooking....................

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


I have been asked by Homes & Land Magazine, Orlando/Central Florida edition, to write an editorial to be published in their up coming edition. Since we have seen such a tremendous transition in the last few years in Real Estate across the country, I have decided to write a short general description of the different types of Real Estate Markets. This is my article as it will appear.......perhaps it will help you.


Buyers and Seller’s continually have to adapt to changing market conditions and determine the type of real estate market that exists. Although there are many variations and twists that affect the current market, basically real estate markets fall into three categories. Whether you are a buyer or seller you should always consult a Realtor® to help you understand where the current market falls and develop the best strategies to achieve your goals.

Neutral Market
Neutral markets are balanced. Typically, interest rates are affordable and the number of buyers and sellers in the marketplace are equal. Good buys exist in neutral markets, but no particular conditions exist that favor buyers or sellers.

Buyer’s Market
A buyer’s market exists when there is a surplus of inventory…….more houses for sale, than buyers. Buyers have many homes to choose from, and not each home for sale will sell. Smaller numbers of buyers will result in fewer sales which can alter prices. In this type of market buyers have more negotiating power, prices tend to fall and homes take longer to sell.

Seller’s Market
A seller’s market exists when there are more buyers than available inventory. In this type of market there are fewer homes available then buyers. Generally home prices rise higher than they normally would and homes sell quickly.

Homes are taking longer to sell. Homeowners facing a financial hardship do have options prior to selling or losing their home that they could explore. For owners behind on their mortgages, the first option is to try to find a way to catch up their payments. Borrowing from relatives or asking the lender to refinance the mortgage is among the options. Many lenders may be willing to extend the term of the mortgage, add any delinquent payments to the loan principal or adjust the interest rate to make current payments easier to maintain. In a stagnant real estate market with declining sales and inventory growth sellers must find a way to stand out from the competition, many looking to Short Sales or Auctions.

Short Sale
A short sale could be when the net proceeds are not enough to cover the mortgage obligations and closing costs, such as property taxes, transfer taxes and the broker’s commission and/or find themselves in pre-foreclosure stages. We are currently experiencing a rising trend throughout Florida… and the number of sellers facing financial difficulties being clearly on the rise in all price brackets. At the same time, a decline in sales prices over the past two years has left some sellers with little or no equity in their homes—sometimes called an “upside-down” sales situation. However just because sellers are behind on their mortgage or are having financial difficulties doesn’t automatically make the short sale an option. A short sale involves the seller’s negotiating this option with their lender and this type of transaction is a lot more work to successfully complete, it should always be handled by a professional Realtor®

There are two types of real estate auctions: Reserve Auctions and Absolute Auctions. In an Absolute Auction the property is sold to the highest qualified bidder with no limiting conditions on the purchase price. A Reserve Auction is one in which sellers establish an undisclosed Reserve bid or minimum price at which they will sell the property. They are not obligated to execute a sale unless the bid reaches this Reserve. The Auction Company, very often working with the listing Realtor, will market the home and hold Open Houses prior to the actual auction, creating more exposure for the home and hopefully resulting with a qualified buyer.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Magic Mineral Broth

Is it soup................

No, It's Magic Mineral Broth! I won't go into too much detail here as to how to make this delicious and healthy broth, because you can find all that on the following blogs: and I cannot take "ownership" of the authors of these blogs, because no one can own another person. I can and will however proudly take "momership" of the blog authors. Yup, I just made up that word.

As the broth cooked all day, I would say that the dominant smell was my home-made Allspice which is a combination of equal parts of Cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and black pepper.

To quote Cook Eat and Be Crafty: "Well I must say that it was very good broth, but honestly all I could think about was how I would really love to have some of my Mom's delicious Matzo Balls floating in there! This broth is full of vitamins and minerals and would definitely be a great thing to make when your whole house is suffering from a cold."

Well, all I can say.....Carrie this bowl's for you. You put the thought in my head and I implemented it from across the country, (New York to Florida).

The experience shopping for the ingredients was also interesting, I eventually located Kombu but not until after I purchased another form of dried seaweed from my farm stand.

I only prepared half the recipe and like you, I will have this around for a long time. I agree next time I make it I will use a bit more salt and more garlic.


When I first started this blog it was with the intent to talk Real Estate, after all that is what I do.

I quickly discovered that the blog offers me the opportunity to talk to myself about anything.......and maybe even somebody out there will listen. I like that!

I do not usually endorse products unless I am really "sold" on them and I really am thrilled with my accidental find while browsing in Joanne's fabric store a couple of days ago.

I came across these not too pretty shoes in a not too pretty color and put them on my feet. It is like walking on a cloud. I just love them, and the best thing about it is I was able to use one of those 50% off coupons that we all get all the time. (Google: Holey Soles for more information)

Ladies, you owe your feet a favor, try them for yourself and let me know what you think.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Pet Rescues.....

Although, in my prior posts I have been talking about adopting a pet that has been rescued, as a volunteer with a dog rescue organization and Professionally as a Realtor, I am witnessing first hand the other side of this awful situation.

When times get tough and money is tight, it's not only people that suffer -- pets can bear the brunt of economic troubles. But people shouldn't give up their pets when times are tough -- there are a number of ways to save money and still be able to keep your loving little pooch.

While pet abandonment is nothing new, the SPCA says that the "drastically increasing numbers are new, and many shelters and rescue groups do not have the resources to care for this fast growing problem." The SPCA predicts that "pet abandonment will continue to increase as long as the
mortgage crisis continues." The main reason that people give up pets during tough economic times is that they don't have the money to take care of the pet.
If Worse Comes to Worse If even after using these methods, you are in a position where you can't afford to keep your pet, keep in mind these things:

Do not abandon your pets. Leaving them locked up in the house with a large pile of food is one of the worst things you can do. It can be weeks and even longer before anyone visits the house. Abandoning your pet in a park or forest also can doom pets, which usually aren't prepared to fend for themselves in the wild.

Find pet-friendly housing. If the reason you are unable to keep the pet is because you can't find housing that allows pets, contact your local rescue shelter or vet for information.
Ask a friend. Check with friends and family and see if anyone can take in the pet until you get back on your feet.

Talk with local veterinarians to see if any will offer low-cost boarding while you are looking for a new home. Veterinarians may also be able to assist in finding a new home for your pet since they often come in contact with people looking for pets.

Contact a Rescue Shelter. If it's impossible to find someone to take in the pet, contact your local animal shelter. Also check with local rescue groups. When checking with shelters and rescue groups, ask if they are able to foster the animal for a period of time while you secure a new home so you can reclaim your pet later.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Pet Rescue....Bichon Frise

I am a Volunteer with Small Paws Rescue which is most definitely one of my passions. I am so thankful that Oprah has recently done several shows featuring dog rescue groups and bringing public awareness to the "hidden side" of purchasing a puppy from a Pet Store and the "puppy mills' that breed and supply to these pet stores. As I mentioned in a previous post, if you are interested in a pet, any breed, they are out there, if you know where to look. On any given day, as an example, Small Paws Rescue, has over 130 Bichons living in Foster Homes, waiting to be adopted and move on to a forever home.

Here is my gem of the Day that I want to share: Take a look at these SPR babies , currently posted on Pet Finders; another wonderful web site, ready and available to be adopted....... As of 8 PM tonight....130+ dogs. The one just before the last looks familiar, probably because he is currently sitting right behind me on my chair. Oh baby....what big eyes you have.

This song borrowed from Clay Aiken's new CD was the perfect background for the attached link . A volunteer with Small Paws Rescue knew exactly how he needed to use it, I hope you enjoy it as I have.

Thank God for all the fantastic people willing to foster. And Thank God there's a group like this. I don't even want to think of where these 130+ dogs would be right now without Small Paws Rescue.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Dog Rescue, looking for a pet......

Pet Lovers

Dog rescue sites....

Did you know that there are rescue sites for pretty much every breed of dog? Just because you want a pure breed dog does not mean you need to go to a breeder or a puppy mill. Do you want an American Fox Terrier or Bichon Frise? Start by “Googling” “Bichon Frise” (or any breed you like) and you will find a site dedicated to placing or replacing dogs that have lost their homes-many because families have relocated or for some other reason are no longer able to care for their dogs. You can save a great deal of money and a dog’s life at the same time; give it a try!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Sex and the City, Girl friends get together .....

IT'S ALL ABOUT FRIENDSHIP...........Last evening I went with several girl friends to the movie Sex and the City. When the girls came together again, it felt like old times. And, I never tire of revisiting New York City. Although I currently live in Orlando, Florida........I will always think of myself as a New York Girl.

This movie was fabulous!!!!! I did not want it to end. It felt like I was sitting through an entire new season in one wonderful night. The fashion as always was fantastic. This is a must see, if you loved the TV series. It was so nice to spend more time with the ladies and see just how they moved on with their lives, always keeping their friendship a priority, for better or worse. I laughed, I cried, I got mad and most of all I smiled a lot. I left the theater feeling thankful for all the girlfriends in my life.

This was a perfect ending for the series. However, I wouldn't mind coming back to catch up again in several years!

Real Estate, is it a Buyer's market?.....

Everyone is talking about Real estate and the current market we are in.
It is most definitely a "buyer's market". Sellers are motivated, Buyer's have lots of choices and Interest rates are at an all time low.

But you must remember one important factor: It is only a buyer's market if you buy!