Real Estate Update
- Buyers & Seller's Corner
- Home Improvement
- Trivia Challenge
- Health & Fitness
- Upcoming Movie Releases
- Recipe of the Month
- Forward to a Friend
3 -- National
9 -- Daylight Savings Time Begins
17 -- St. Patrick's Day
21 -- Full Moon Day
21 -- Good Friday
23 -- Easter
May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow and may
trouble avoid you wherever you go.
-- Popular Irish Blessing
Prices Show Increases in Many Markets
to a mid-February report from the National Association of Realtors®,
approximately half of metropolitan areas continued to show rising
home prices in the fourth quarter of 2007.
73 out of 150 metropolitan statistical areas showed increases in
median existing single-family home prices from a year earlier, including
11 areas with double-digit annual gains and another 12 metros showing
increases of 6 percent or more; 77 had price declines including
16 with double-digit drops.
Richard Gaylord said he is encouraged with plans to increase conventional
loan limits. “Higher limits for FHA loans, which go into effect
March 14, will be a big help to first-time buyers in high-cost markets.
Higher limits for conventional loans purchased by Freddie Mac and
Fannie Mae will take a bit longer – when they become available,
high-income, creditworthy borrowers in high-cost areas will have
access to affordable and safer financing, and that will help unleash
pent-up demand,” he said.
annual decline in the fourth quarter median home price, the typical
seller who purchased their home six years ago still saw a very healthy
gain. The median increase in value for sellers who purchased that
home in the fourth quarter of 2001 is 31.2 percent, and the median
home equity accumulation is $49,000, the report said.
Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate on a 30-year conventional
fixed-rate mortgage fell to 6.23 percent in the fourth quarter from
6.55 percent in the third quarter. In recent weeks, Freddie Mac
has been reporting the 30-year fixed rate to be under 5.7 percent.
When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not
know whether to answer "Present" or "Not guilty."
-- Theodore Roosevelt
Does Your Home Have Curb Appeal?
To make a good
first impression, your home should be visually appealing and in
good condition. The following checklist will help you attract more
potential buyers and yield a quicker and higher sales price.
- Your lawn,
flowers and shrubs should be well maintained. Remember, a green
lawn yields more green dollars.
- Any cracks
on the driveway or sidewalk should be repaired.
- Oil and rust
stains should be removed from the driveway and garage. If it's
really bad, you should consider resurfacing it.
- The garage
door should be closed.
- The gutters,
chimney and walls should be in good repair. A power wash can do
- The window
casings, shutters, siding and doors should look good. Touch up
any areas that are dirty, chipping or fading.
- The garbage
can should be out of sight (and smell), as well as the lawn mower,
garden hose, bikes and toys.
- There should
be no sign of pets, of any kind, anywhere. Take down the "beware
of dog" sign and be sure your yard doesn't have any evidence
- Remove any
newspapers or mail from the front entry.
- Replace your
mailbox if it's worn, put up new house numbers, and lay down a
new welcome mat at the front door.
When someone tells you something defies description, you can
be pretty sure he's going to have a go at it anyway.
Clyde B. Aster
Tips for Electrical Home Improvement Projects
When it comes
to home improvement projects, working with electricity ranks right
up there with roofing, using a chainsaw and hooking up gas appliances
as far as risk goes. Here are five tips to keep in mind to ensure
a safe repair or installation.
- Make sure
you have permission. Check with your homeowner association and
local electrical authority. The laws regarding permits vary from
state to state, so be sure to check whether you are required to
have a permit.
- Turn off
electrical power at the source, through a circuit breaker. Even
if you flip a wall switch, the related appliance or socket will
still be live. Keep in mind the diagram on the distribution panel
may not be accurate, so the smart move is to turn off all power
if possible. Check, and recheck, for yourself that the circuit
is dead by using a voltage tester.
- Make sure
your work area is completely dry. Put down a rubber mat to stand
on if the area is damp or wet.
- Use tools
with rubber- or plastic-coated handles and wear rubber-soled shoes.
- After you
have finished your work, turn the circuit breaker back on to restore
power. Most lighting, receptacles and appliances use 120 volts
of electricity. Air conditioners, electric ovens, water heaters,
dishwashers and many larger appliances require 240 volts. Most
doorbells and telephones use a transformer that converts standard
power to a lower voltage (6-12 volts) for safety.
Keep your eye
open for an electrical workshop at your local home improvement center.
You can learn a lot by asking the instructor about your upcoming
project. Remember, if you have any doubt about your ability or the
safety of the situation, call in a professional.
If two men agree on everything, you may be sure that one of
them is doing the thinking.
-- Lyndon B. Johnson
1.) A leprechaun is really an Irish what?
d.) Shop owner
2.) A popular Irish dish made of shredded cabbage, minced
onions, mashed potatoes and butter is known as?
a.) Shepherd's pie
c.) Irish Stew
d.) Poorman's porridge
3.) A whiskey made from potatoes is called what?
d.) Potato ale
4.) Kissing the Blarney Stone is supposed to give you what?
a.) The gift of being able to fabricate stories
b.) Longer life and more laughter
c.) Removes shyness and gives the gift of gab
d.) The ability to detect a lie
5.) Harland and Wolf are famous in Ireland for what?
c.) Folk singing
most I can do for my friend is simply be his friend.
-- Henry David Thoreau
Tips to Control Psychological Food Cravings
With so many
good things to eat -- and so many of them bad for you -- it's sometimes
difficult to eat healthy. One of the keys to staying fit is to know
when your cravings are psychological, and not physiological. Following
are some tips to help you beat those cravings.
Every Three Hours -- Eat something every few hours to
keep your blood sugar levels steady.
Water Frequently -- Avoid dehydration and cravings by
drinking a small glass of water every hour. This will keep you
full and hydrated.
Patient -- If you've been eating enough and drinking
water, put off the decision to snack for 15 to 20 minutes. Then
determine if you're really hungry.
a Distraction -- Change whatever it was you were doing
to something else. It's easy to mistake boredom for hunger.
Some Exercise -- If your cravings are real, you won't
be able to exercise; go get something healthy to eat. If it was
a false alarm, you'll lose the cravings and enjoy the workout.
Healthy Snacks Around -- Have some fruit, vegetables,
beef jerky or nuts. If you're still having cravings, it's totally
Your Routine -- If you usually have chips and a soda
while watching TV at night, try popcorn and tea. If you had a
healthy dinner but feel cravings before bedtime, try reading as
the Craving -- Sometimes you have to give in, but do
it within reason. Think portion control. Instead of a bowl of
ice cream, try just a scoop. Rather than having a bag of popcorn,
try just a cup or two. Instead of eating a chocolate bar, have
a small piece or two. It's OK to enjoy life, just don't give in
to those psychological cravings to easily.
I don't take the movies seriously, and anyone who does is in
for a headache.
-- Bette Davis
- The Bank
- Dr. Seuss'
Horton Hears a Who
Perry's Meet the Browns
Fat Boy, Run
releases only. Opening dates subject to change.
wreck a sublime chocolate experience by feeling guilty.
-- Lora Brody
Whiskey Glazed Ham
Day often brings to mind traditional meals like corned beef and
cabbage or Dublin coddle. Not a fan? Then try this other traditional
Irish recipe the whole family will enjoy. Serve with a favorite
- 4 lbs. ham
- 1 large onion
-- cut in half
- 2 carrots
-- washed and scraped
- 2 small bay
- 3-4 cloves
- 4 peppercorns
- 1 tbs. brown
- 1/2 wine
glass cider vinegar
- Whiskey glaze
- 5 tbs. Irish
- 6 level tbs.
- 2 1/2 level
tbs. colmans mustard
- Place the
ham, skin-side down, in a large saucepan and cover completely
with cold water. Bring very slowly to a boil, discard the water
and cover once again with fresh water.
- Add the onion,
carrots, bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns, sugar and vinegar. Bring
back slowly to a boil and as soon as boiling point is reached,
reduce to simmering. Cover and simmer until the ham is cooked.
- Remove ham
from water and let cool. Strip the rind and score the fat in diamonds.
Place a clove in each diamond and place the ham on a rack in a
small roasting tin. Brush the ham all over with whiskey. Mix the
sugar, mustard and remaining whiskey together and spread on scored
- Bake at 400
degrees in a pre-heated oven for 20-30 minutes, basting two or
three times, until the glaze is golden brown. Let cool for 10
minutes before carving.
Parent Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2005
not worth doing is worth not doing well. Think about it.
-- Elias Schwartz
Cell Number Blocking
be a number of reasons why you would want to block your cell phone
number -- either permanently -- or just for the one call. Here's
how you do it.
Blocking -- To block your cell phone number to everyone,
permanently, just call your carrier's customer service and request
a "line block." Dial 611 from your cell phone to connect
with them. If for some reason you want your number to show up,
you'll need to dial *82 before dialing the number you are calling.
By using this feature the number will show up just once for that
Blocking -- If, for some reason you want to block your
cell phone number for just the one call, simply dial *67 before
dialing the number (example: *67 (800) 123-4567).
Now you have
more control over who sees your number. Be sure to check with your
carrier, as some companies charge fees for this feature.
b.) Shoemaker; #2. b.)
Colcannon; #3 a.)
Poteen; #4. c.)
Removes shyness and gives the gift of gab; #5. a.)
Shipbuilders (they built the Titanic)
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