Saturday, August 30, 2008

Charlie's Officially Adopted!!!!

A Letter to my family that needed to surrender me to

It is now official, my last name is not Small Paws, I have been adopted and my last name is now Thomas. I am being a really good boy although I do get into trouble some times. But I can’t help it, I am just playing. My new mom always tells me how lucky I am to have 2 moms that love me…..I think I get it.

Since I act like a Prince, they are calling me Prince Charles and Charlie for short. I like that so I have a human name like by brothers Andy and Niko. Here I am sitting up on my favorite place in the house… throne.

I am handsome aren’t I? I am having fun with Andy & Niko and love taking toys from them. Because I can eat faster then they can, I finish off their food, and have actually filled out a bit since you last saw me. My new mom said if I continue doing this I will have to go on a diet.

I had a haircut yesterday and I am not sure that I liked that, but I feel good now. When we go out for a walk the 3 of us, everyone asks if we are brothers. It is fun when we go to the nursing home, those older people just make a big fuss over us.

aka: Prince Charles, Charlie
As a volunteer with Small Paws Rescue, an international rescue group for The Bichon Frise breed, at times I foster a dog in my home incorporating them into my family until a proper and fitting forever home is found. This little guy came into my home and my I failed fostering 101 and adopted him, providing a forever home to him.
The Bichon Frise is an incredible breed if you are not familiar with them. They are do not shed and generally people with allergies can be around them. Visit for more information on becoming a volunteer, find information on how to become a foster home or just adopting one of these babies and making them a member of your family.
" A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he
loves himself." ***Josh Billings
"The greatest test of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." ***Mahatma Gandhi

Friday, August 29, 2008


What is a Zumbathon you might ask, well let me explain. My local YMCA, The J. Douglas Williams Family Center located in Central Florida (Longwood/Lake Mary), in order to catch the spirit of the Olympics, held it's own Olympic Challege Events throughout the month of August.

This evening's event was Zumbathon......a special two hour Zumba Party/cardio dance class. Can you believe there were
7 instructors, which might set a record, to dance with us and keep the party going. I could describe it as dance our butts off! It is pretty darn hard to hide your two left feet from 7 instructors, but I sure tried!

If I had someone here with me right now they could take a photo of me soaking my footsies and eating ice cream. Following this event, I am tired, hot, hungry, and my feet I earned every delicious, creamy, cold mouthful of my Chocolate Mint Chip Ice Cream, which happens to be my favorite.

Zumba: a Latin based cardio dance class which attracts people of all ages and levels. A combination of Latin dance moves with some higher intensity aerobic movements, for more advanced participants, will help burn hundreds of calories.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Something to reflect on....

The Mayonnaise Jar & 2 Glasses of Wine.........

A story to remember.

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle and 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 glasses of wine...

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous "yes."

The professor then produced two glasses of wine from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed. "Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things: your family, your children, your health, your friends, and your favorite passions; things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full."He paused, then added: "The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, and your car."He looked around the room and then said, "The sand is everything else; the small stuff.""If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.

The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.""Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18. Do one more run down the ski slope. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first; the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the wine represented.The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of glasses of wine with a friend." (source unknown)

I read this today in my email I received and thought that the message is one to share. I hope you enjoy it as I did!

These comments are taken from an email flyer received from WineStyles.received on 9/25/08 and delivered by Equilibrix, 1707 Whitehall Drive Suite 403, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33324 Powered By Equilibrix

Friday, August 22, 2008

Location, Location, Location.....

I have lived in the same neighborhood since 2002 and have thought several times that it is really centrally and conveniently located to any place that I would want to go. I can head north or south to get to major highways. I am convenient to shopping, restaurants, schools, parks, libraries and hospitals or any other thing that I would want. I can, if I want to, even walk to much of this.

But we have become a driving society…….and most of us would even choose to circle around a parking lot several times to find the closest spot to park rather then park and walk a bit. With gas at near $4 a gallon there’s never been a better time to walk. I came across a web site which when supplied an address will give you a neighborhood “Walkability Score”.

As a Realtor® it makes me wonder if I will ever be selling a home or a neighborhood based on it’s “ Walkability Score”.

Just for fun try the Walk Score to See If You Live in a Walkable Neighborhood…..where every ten year old can walk to a library, every eighty year old can walk to a park bench and every twenty-one year old can walk home from a bar.

I wonder, will the new buzzword in Real Estate be Walkability?

“Buyers want it all within walking distance. The next hot market could be homes in walkable neighborhoods.”
—National Association of Realtors

How It Works
Walk Score helps people find walkable places to live. Walk Score calculates the walkability of an address by locating nearby stores, restaurants, schools, parks, etc. Walk Score measures how easy it is to live a car-lite lifestyle—not how pretty the area is for walking.

What does my score mean?
Your Walk Score is a number between 0 and 100. Here are general guidelines for interpreting your score:
90–100 = Walkers' Paradise: Most errands can be accomplished on foot and many people get by without owning a car.
70–89 = Very Walkable: It's possible to get by without owning a car.
50–69 = Somewhat Walkable: Some stores and amenities are within walking distance, but many everyday trips still require a bike, public transportation, or car.
25–49 = Car-Dependent: Only a few destinations are within easy walking range. For most errands, driving or public transportation is a must.
0–24 = Car-Dependent (Driving Only): Virtually no neighborhood destinations within walking range. You can walk from your house to your car!

Please sign this petition to Congress to support walking, biking, and transit in the 2009 Transportation Bill. The Transportation Bill only comes along once a decade—so now is the moment to change our transportation priorities!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Fay, Fay......please go away

We certainly lucked out here in Central Florida. The storm delivered mostly heavy rain and wind, besides several just gloomy, soggy, dreary days. Somehow as usual the storms always find the mobile homes and like clock work it did again, while other parts of Florida are unfortunately dealing with major flooding.

School began here on Monday, August 18 and was cancelled on Tuesday & Wednesday the 19th. & 2oth. Who planned that?

I can remember when I lived back in New York; I had my "Snow Day Project". I actually built a 3 story Victorian doll house to scale back then during those days. I sure wish I had it today....somehow it got left behind in my moves south.

When we went through the really bad hurricane season several years ago, I remember thinking of all the time wasted just waiting for the storms to hit, gazing out the windows and accomplishing really nothing. I had no excuses either because for some reason, my little subdivision was spared of loosing electricity as most of the city did......I almost felt guilty to tell anyone, I still had power. Lots of homes had none for weeks.

So during Fay, I decided to make good use of my time. I got online and completed the mandatory, National Association of Realtors Quadrennial Ethics Requirements. This is required to be completed by December 31, 2008. Sound boring, aha and that it is, I would rate it at minimum a double ugh! But hooray it is now behind me. Actually I will confess, I am only 56% completed but will go back to it immediately after posting this message since I have committed to it here to all of you.

And I will remember Fay......I learned a new word, "quadrennial" which means consisting of lasting 4 years...yes I checked with my old pal Webster. That would be a great "Q" word for Scrabble.

Stay safe and dry.

August 8, 2008 @ 4:15 P.M.

OFFICIAL UPDATE: 133 DAYS, 10 HOURS, 46 MINUTES, 52 SECONDS PRIOR TO DEADLINE 12/31/08............ (This certainly sets a new record for me)

Yahoo, I did it and I don't have to do it again for another "Quadrennial".

Anybody reading this, anywhere USA, who knows anyone who is thinking of buying or selling Real Estate, pass on my name please, I can help. And, I am now certifiable ethical!
P.S. I think if given a choice I may have chosen a root canal!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Real it time to buy?

There are two obvious reasons that investing in Real Estate right now is a brilliant idea. These reasons apply to both the purchase of homes and investment property.

Everyone knows the age-old investment philosophy, “buy low and sell high.” Real Estate investments are taking a beating in the media right now. No one is talking about investing in Real Estate. That means that the demand is down and prices are low. Creating an ideal “buy low” time for Real Estate investors.

Why would anyone be selling now is a really good question with an easy answer. People need more space or they need to downsize, people move for jobs, people retire, people want to cash out, people want cash in, people make bad decisions then need to sell something to pay off debt, just to name a few.

The fact is, that there is currently inventory on the market at good prices and even more inventory not on the market but available if you go looking for it.

At the same time there is growing talk of inflation. It is not just talk. Without going into all the economic factors and indicators, they all line up to reveal impending inflation. What does inflation mean? It means that the price of nearly everything is going up. It means you buy less for your money. Your paycheck buys less. The price of oil and gas is driving the price of everything higher. Your dollar used to buy a loaf of bread. Now it takes a dollar and a half. Inflation spreads to all hard goods.

Between 1981 and 1984 there was a period of rampant inflation. House prices in most of the country rose by fifty to a hundred percent. This was during a recession. Interest rates were at those record highs you always hear about, 15% to 20%. And house prices rose dramatically.
A loosening of lending restrictions that created a flurry of home buying followed that period which drove prices even higher.

Is this beginning to sound somewhat familiar? Instead of the high interest rates driving up inflation and creating the demand it is the cost of fuel, tightening of lending criteria, and concern over the liquidity of the secondary market wholesale buyers of mortgages that is creating pent up demand. That, fueled by inflation should create a significant increase in home values.

A strategy to winning in this market is to become savvy enough to understand that this is very likely a perfect time to be buying property. Real Estate investments are taking a beating in the media right now. No one is talking about investing in Real Estate. That means that the demand is down and prices are low. So the first obvious reason that investing in Real Estate now is that prices are low.

Remember this, Real Estate markets are cyclical. They always get better and they always get worse. (source of information for this post:BrokerAgentProfessional, an independent Real Estate Publiction).

It is only a Buyer's market if you buy!

Friday, August 1, 2008

It's not easy being green!!!!

It's not easy being an adult either...............

Where have the days gone, how did I become the age I am so quickly. I find myself wondering why every day seems to bring another mountain to climb and problem to solve. I thought this was supposed to be the Golden Years?

I can remember like it was yesterday, taking my little girls-their hair in pig tails to the bus stop on the first day of school, lunch box in tote. Now my little girls have children of their own....growing bigger every day. I can remember wondering if I would get invited to the prom, or thinking "will he call"? Now decades later....nothing has changed and I find myself contemplating is there really a Prince out there or have I fallen for another jerk?

Seriously, as we get older........I think we must just take the test! And then we get the lesson.

The lessons get tougher, more serious and really hard to understand why they are happening. We see our loved ones going through illness, loss, financial crises, etc. We have people come and go from our lives.......many times creating turmoil as they do. If we are lucky we read about the awful things that some people do to others and unfortunately some of us personally fall victim to these awful things that happen in a flash and change us forever. I am convinced that all we can do is accept what happens to us, stay strong and move on as we really do not have the control to fix things as we once could.

Things happen for a reason which usually we will never understand. I think that we must accept that how we deal with our "life tests" is what Life is all about. Life is a journey after all.........we do not always travel in first class! We must do our best to enjoy the ride after all there is always tomorrow.

I will conclude with one of my favorite lines, which can be interpreted several ways:

“One shoe can change your life”