Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Hunt for the Perfect Valentine.......

Valentines Day is just around the corner......

While some of us are still hunting for a Valentine........

Others are stressed over what to give to their Valentine.........

I can remember when Valentine's Day was exciting and simple, many moons ago, back in the days of Elementary School. A shoe box would be decorated with pretty paper doilies and we would either make our own Valentine notes or if we were fortunate purchase a "punch out" book or box of Valentines to distribute to our friends. Those were exciting days.....wouldn't it be nice if we could get excited over little things like this again?

The truth is we can, it is a choice isn't it. Why do we feel stressed and/or obligated to find the perfect Valentine gift to express our feelings towards someone? Should it be big, small, how expensive, etc.? We have brought this onto ourselves, is the answer. We have allowed everything to become so commercialized.

Valentine's Day is just around the corner. Do you really know what Valentine's Day is all about? I think that Valentine's day is the best day to tell the person you love that you love them. Love the person you are with, appreciate them for their differences and take the time to really let them know how much they add to your life and how much they mean to you. But if we have this special person in our lives, shouldn't we be doing this on a regular basis?

Since the economy is as it is, would it be bad to get back to basics. Let's not judge on what things are valued at. Think about your special person and what they are passionate about, what do they like and what would you like to do for them. It can be simple, it can be elaborate, for sure it does not need to cost a lot of money.

Think about these ideas or others of your own:
1. Recreate your first date together. If the date goes well, you might even get another.

2. On a rainy day, pack a romantic picnic to eat i an unusual place indoors. It could be a walk-in-closet, the attic, the basement, or on the floor of the bedroom. Have fun, and be a bit bizarre together.

3. Get out early in the morning and graffiti a message in chalk where your special person will see it. It could be on the driveway, the sidewalk, or outside where they work.

4. Plant a tree and dedicate it to your special person. Pack a picnic and head to the tree to reveal your gift. It symbolizes a growing relationship.

5. Make a relationship album, jot down all the things you enjoy together. It could be an occasion, movies, books, restaurants, places you want to visit together, events of your relationship or anything else.

6. Send your Valentine a Thank You Note for something that meant a lot to you, or for just being in your life. Make them feel appreciated.

7. Have dinner at home...make your sweetheart's favorite meal, from cooking to cleaning up. If the food and service is good you might even get a good tip.

8. Invite your hone out for an evening of old-fashioned romantic cliches. Bring flowers to begin to the final walk up to the doorstop, play the romantic roles.

9. A romantic message in any unlikely place will surely make your sweetheart smile.

10. Hide a photograph or something that will evoke an intimate memory in your Love's lunch box, briefcase, personal calendar, etc. the discovery will be amusing and a surprise.

11. If you don't already know, do a little detective work and find out your honey's favorite children's book. Track it down and present it. It is a particular timely gift for a special occasion or a special non-occasion when they may be weary from the pressure of being adult.

12. Make up a Sweets Box. Buy a few pieces of candy and put them in the box with other things of your choosing. You could include a photograph, a flower, some seashells from your last beach trip, movie tickets, a poem you write, or anything else you think of.

The bottom line is, actions speak louder then other things. If you have someone special in your life let them know, not just on Valentines day, but every day.

Why not, make everyday........Valentines day!

Some Old Fashioned Valentine Traditions........

Some people used to believe that if a woman saw a robin flying overhead on Valentine's Day, it meant she would marry a sailor. If she saw a sparrow, she would marry a poor man and be very happy. If she saw a goldfinch, she would marry a millionaire.

Think of five or six names of boys or girls you might marry, As you twist the stem of an apple, recite the names until the stem comes off. You will marry the person whose name you were saying when the stem fell off.

Pick a dandelion that has gone to seed. Take a deep breath and blow the seeds into the wind. Count the seeds that remain on the stem. That is the number of children you will have.

If you cut an apple in half and count how many seeds are inside, you will also know how many children you will have.

Interesting Fact
According to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated one billion valentine cards are sent each year, making Valentine's Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year. (An estimated 2.6 billion cards are sent for Christmas).

The History of Valentine' Day

Most of all, have a happy Valentines Day!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day 2009.....

A picture of history, a picture is worth a thousand words!Moving Day.......... White House Transition
This is indeed a historic day, as outgoing President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush say good bye to D.C. and hello to Texas. Our country, with Americans desperate for change, watch as President elect Barack Obama prepares to take his position as President of our country and move his family into the White House.

Moving day.......always filled with emotion. Letting go of the past and embracing a new and unknown future. This move of 2 families will have huge effect on all of us as Americans, while the physical move is not as most Americans experience.

"WASHINGTON - The peaceful transfer of power that will take place at the Capitol on Inauguration Day is, to many, a miracle of American democracy. But down at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, another sort of miracle will occur: Moving Day.

President Bush and his wife, Laura, will wake up at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on Tuesday morning, just as they have the last eight years. But by the time the new president, Barack Obama, returns from the inaugural parade with his family in late afternoon, there will be nary a box of theirs left to unpack. Clothes will be neatly folded in drawers, pictures will rest on dresser tops and walls, stuffed animals will lie on beds, as if the Obamas had always lived there.

The highly orchestrated quick-change operation, conducted by the 93-member White House residence staff, has no parallel in the outside world. The entire affair is over and done with in a matter of hours, without a single moving man setting foot inside the Executive Mansion.

“It’s controlled chaos,” said Ann Stock, who was social secretary in the Clinton White House. “They have about four to five hours to completely unpack, put everything away in the closets, put the family pictures up and to really make the house the Obamas’ home by the time they come in from the parade. It’s really quite an extraordinary switchover.” ( taken from an article By Sheryl Gay Stolberg, The New York Times )

For our new incoming President we must stand together and wish for him unfailing wisdom and strength. America has come a long way.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

House Hunting? What you need to know......

With interest rates lower then they have been in decades, anyone thinking of purchasing Real Estate......listen here, now is the time to take action......Just do it!

As a Realtor, I constantly get current updated information on anything that has to do with market changes and conditions. No one can predict for sure how long these current low Mortgage interest rates might last, but most are in agreement...... now is the time to take action.

With so much information available on the Internet today, it is not a bad idea to research and check the situation out yourself as a start, however if you are serious about Real Estate always contact a "Full Time-Professional Realtor", who can help you make the experience as painless and stress free as possible.

I would like to share this article with you, please pay attention as it is calling to your finances and can help you to make a decision that could conceivably save you thousands of dollars.

Home shopping alone - without the help of a professional even when online - can become a huge handicap for home buyers. Here are four reasons:

• Late information. Shoppers who limit themselves to only looking at real estate Web sites will overlook some very good properties, possibly one that is perfect for them, and they won't get up-to-the minute information.

• Fake listings. Web operators sometimes try to collect page views with fake listings to pump up their advertising returns, and that wastes the time of real home shoppers. It's also frustrating for shoppers to find an interesting home that's not available.

• Questionable information. Home value Web sites only go so far. Sites like and put prices out there that may or may not be an accurate reflection of neighborhood or housing value. Working with a professional means the buyer gets the benefit of a broader range of knowledgeable resources.

• Process help. Once a home shopper has found a property, working with a pro means they'll follow the right path to close the deal. For anyone except experienced investors, going it totally alone can be risky.

Source: US News & World Report, Matthew Badyk (01/07/09)© Copyright 2009 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

I hope you find this information helpful. If you or anybody you know is thinking of "buying or selling" Real Estate, please give them my name. I can help them and wold be happy to do so.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The African Violet.....not just your Grandmothers' plant!

Ever blooming Love for the African Violet

The African violet....... Maybe, your grandmother had them all over her house. Your mother, a bit more restrained, kept one or two here and there. Both however took great pride in caring for these plants.
As I was having my haircut yesterday, I was reading through FIRST FOR WOMAN magazine. I came across an article that talked about the African Violet plant and how it is becoming "the NEW flower/plant of today".

One thing that’s evident , younger people are discovering fresh ways to display this lovable houseplant – using them in clusters as table centerpieces for special events, as pot arrangements in lieu of cut bouquets, as a refreshing splash of color in an entertaining room and given as special occasion gifts they’ll last infinitely longer than cut flowers.
Although I have many of these plants, I would definitely not consider myself a collector of them or one who would join a plant society dedicated to them. Maybe because I still remember "all the grandmothers" always having some on their dining room window sill. And I remember seeing the little old ladies selling them at the annual flower and patio shows usually dressed in African Violet print aprons. I think I have always had some fear that I might be considered 'old' if I have too many African Violets. In fact I think there must be a rule that a gardener should only have one African Violet for every decade they've been alive, or they are aging themselves before their time.

I believe this rule came from the same place that says no white shoes or belts after Labor day. It was important to stay under quota and think of yourself as I'm not old, at least if you measure age by the number of African Violets you might have.

So now, in 2009, I have learned that I can proudly display my African Violets!! “The African violet is the house pet of houseplants". It gives back the love you give. Longtime African violet devotees have been seeing a generational shift in buyers in recent years. “The younger generations are coming to appreciate the beauty and versatility of the African Violet, perhaps because maintenance is so easy. It’s like a starter plant for budding green thumbs.
My little hams ( Niko, Andy and Charlie) always show up when the camera comes out.....however, they believe this is their furniture, their patio and their backyard. I suppose these are also their African Violets also.

Who it turns out, with my love for these plants I can say, I am actually ahead of my time and fashionable.

Isn’t is funny how today’s trends always have roots in the past?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Grandchildren are your reward for not killing your children.

A picture is worth a thousand words........................

Scott and Me December 2008
David, Scott and William 2008

I couldn't resist sneaking this is my post after all! Andy, Charlie and Niko

Nikalas just lost his tooth. December 2008
Nikalas, Zachary and Ariana
Scott & David, December 2008
Scott, David and William 2007
Zach, Ariana and Nickalas 2007
Ariana, what a only grand daughter!
Six grandchildren, five boys and one girl!

Exciting and Great News....

Show me the money................................

Wow, this is terrific news for anyone who is considering purchasing a home or doing a refinance on the one they have. Mortgage rates have fallen to a record low.

WASHINGTON – Jan. 5, 2009 – Rates on 30-year mortgages fell to a record low for the third straight week and borrowers took advantage of the drop, sending new applications soaring. With the Federal Reserve on the verge of pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into the devastated U.S. housing market, mortgage rates have plunged to the lowest level since Freddie Mac started tracking the data in April 1971. Low rates are a great opportunity for borrowers with solid credit and equity in their homes. But those in danger of foreclosure are still sidelined, and defaults are expected to keep rising in the coming months.

Freddie Mac reported Wednesday that average rates on 30-year fixed mortgages dropped to 5.1 percent this week, down from the previous record of 5.14 percent set last week. It was the ninth straight weekly drop. The survey was released a day early due to the New Year’s holiday. Mortgage rates have plunged by about 1.3 percentage points since late October, Freddie Mac said.

For a borrower taking out a $200,000 loan, that means a savings of more than $170 in monthly payments. Mortgage applications last week remained at the highest level in more than five years, the Mortgage Bankers Association said.

I am really excited about this. This could be the beginning of the Real Estate market recovery. If you or someone you know is seeking a professional, full-time REALTOR , in Central Florida, I'd welcome the opportunity to earn the business! I realize that many of my readers are located elsewhere then Central Florida, my market. But I can help you find a terrific Realtor wherever you are if you don't already know one.

Do you have any questions about Real Estate? Ask me........