Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Dramatic interest rate change for mortgage money.....

Mortgage Interest Rate Comment for 11/25/08:

Mortgage interest rates have improved as much as a half percent, overnight. The Fed has announced that it will spend $500 billion to buy mortgage-backed securities, $100 billion to purchase agency (Fannie and Freddie) debt and $200 billion for consumer and small business loans. This news has rocked the bond market and created tremendous movement. Currently, buyer/borrowers can obtain thirty-year fixed rate mortgages with no points or origination fees in a range from 5.5% to 6.25%. Earlier today, we saw rate quotes as low as 5.25% for 30 yr. fixed rate mortgages. Buyer/borrowers having strong creditworthiness and seeking larger loans (up to $417,000) can obtain the better rates.

CAUTION: Bonds are volatile, so these rates can change quickly.

Happy Thanksgiving. Be thankful for the lower rates. Let us hope they last!!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Atlanta Girls Do Orlando......

Loraine K. and Hani of Atlanta, Ga.

Loraine K. of Atlanta, Ga. & Maxine T. (me) formally of Atlanta, Ga.

This afternoon a friend of mine had a stop over in Orlando before going on a cruise out of Cape Canaveral tomorrow. Loraine and myself have been friends for a very long time. We met several + decades ago in what seems like another lifetime. I lived in Atlanta, Ga. at the time and we both worked in the Media Dept. of J. Walter Thompson, an advertising agency. We were called "spot broadcast negotiators", a fancy-schmancy name for media buyers.

Needless to say we discovered we were both from New York originally, were single parents etc. and developed a great friendship. As all things do change, I moved to Orlando. Although we stayed in contact with each other with phone calls, emails and such, the time between contacts got longer and longer. We do somehow get to see each other every several years and it is something, how we can sit and chat for hours like we did not miss a beat. Maybe that is the true mesure of friendship. Some things are always the same and we can go back. Thank you my girlfriends for being part of me!

The rest of my story....I met the girls at the hotel they stayed at on International Drive, right in the center of Orlando's Tourist spots. A part of Orlando that us residents avoid as much as possible. I live in the oppossite side of Orlando and am not familiar with that other end of the city. I remember that I ocaisionally went to a restaurant in that area, where there were always lines to get in at all times, any day of the week.....and it was worth the wait. I suggested we go there. Well I am sorry to say, Bill Wong's International Buffet has really changed. It was not at all what it used to be, too bad. Some things we should never try to go back to. Sorry Bill Wong, you are one of those things, no raving revue here. I will hang on to my memory of you back in your better days.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Who said vegtables have to be boring?

I love to cook, to me it is a creative outlet....also I love to eat healthy, good food. I recently hosted a dinner party for 16 at my home. My choice for my menu was a Greek meal and while searching recipes online and in cook books, I discovered that Greek cooking is for everyone. In selecting my menu, I discovered the wonderful aromas of many delicious foods that I surely will prepare again.

The following is my menu that I selected:

1. Shrimp, artichoke and spinach dip served with pita triangles

2. Hummus made from dried beans and very garlicky

3. Cheese-zucchini squares

4. Horiatike Salata/Greek Salad

5. Moussaka *

6. Baked Green Beans with Feta Cheese ....I will share recipe below

7. Assorted Greek Pastries **

8. Boston Creme Pie, I know this did not go with the theme, but everyone does
not care for the "extreme sweetness" of the Greek pastries.

* The Moussaka recipe was a huge hit and came from the cookbook, Greek Cooking for everyone, by Theoni Pappas & Elvira Monroe.

**I cheated here and purchased the Greek Pastry platter from my very good friend Costco. I am not really a baker, as I much prefer cooking the "meat & potatoes.

Don't let green beans get boring; serve this Greek-style side dish that's packed with flavour.

1 lb fresh green beans, trimmed
1 small white onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves
garlic, minced
2 tablespoons
olive oil
1/2 teaspoon
freshly ground
black pepper
2 medium
tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup crumbled
feta cheese
1 tablespoon chopped
fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped
fresh oregano
1. Preheat oven to 400F degrees.
2.. In a medium bowl, combine beans, onion, garlic, oil, salt and pepper.
3. Place mixture in an ungreased 13x9-inch baking pan and top with tomatoes, feta cheese, basil and oregano.
4. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until tender.

Do it now! Don't wait until January 1st...

Weight Gain season starts now and runs straight through New Year's.

Did I catch you saving the left over Hallowen candy? What will you do with this treasure? The smart answer is to dump it or give it to someone who doesn't care about their body.

The holidays are approaching... now's the time to get your strategy for maintaing your weight and fitness routine in place, not January 1st!!!

The holiday season is officially upon us. The Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations are all around us every where we go. Does this holiday season have to mean we we forget our health and fitness and indulge, thinking we will make up for our actions in January??????

I want to enjoy the coming festivities without dealing with added pounds. ....after all I know it is all in my hands. The key is my mindset. Most people approach the holidays with the mindset that says "I deserve to indulge and I shouldn't have to exercise since it's the holidays".

Nobody enjoys good food more then me, which may be the reason that I choose to exercise as I do. But I have commited that I will continue my work outs and eat healthy through all the temptations of the season, so that if I do choose to indulge I will not be entering 2009 a few pounds heavier, a little less healthy, and with lower energy than before.

The economy being as it is, so many of us are not in the holiday spirit. Why not focus on the gift of good health.......a gift we can all afford. There is nothing more valuable. Invite a friend or family member to exercise with you, share healthy recipes etc. I am determined to stay commited to my fitness program, and enter 2009 in better shape than I am today, healthier than I have been in a long time, and with more energy that I thought possible.

Who is willing to commit to join me??????