Monday, February 23, 2015

Quote of the Week

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax. - Abraham Lincoln.

Okay, who thinks this has anything to do with chopping down a tree? Maybe it's about always keeping your axes sharp?

I think it is about being prepared for the task ahead. If you have a project to complete or problem to solve and are running on a deadline, it pays to take some time to prepare so you are not working out the solution on the fly.

Bottom line... being prepared will help you accomplish your tasks more easily.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Not Just Another Day!

February 18th is:

National Drink Wine Day

National Crab-stuffed Flounder Day

National Battery Day

Ash Wednesday

But most importantly

It is Hubby's birthday!

A great big Happy Birthday to my hubby!

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Monday, February 16, 2015

Quote of the Week

Abraham Lincoln

George Washington
I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man. ― George Washington

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power. ― Abraham Lincoln

What do both these quotes have in common? Character. Lincoln said, "Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing."

What is Presidents Day?  A day off work, sales and special events? Before we rush out for 10% off this or 30% off that, let's take a look at what Presidents Day really is.  It all started with the death of George Washington, the first president of the United States, in 1799.  The following year began the celebrations of his birthday on February 22. It was signed into law as a holiday in 1879 and was the first to honor an individual American's life.

Abraham Lincoln's birthday, February 12, is celebrated in some states as a state holiday, but the rest combine the celebration of both Washington and Lincoln on Presidents Day.  

Today it is commonly accepted as a celebration of all U.S. presidents, although some lawmakers object to this. They feel that grouping Washington and Lincoln with less successful presidents minimizes their legacies. 

Some presidential trivia:

  • Washington's picture first appeared on the one dollar bill in 1869.
  • Lincoln's picture was chosen for the five dollar bill in 1914.
  • Washington was opposed to political parties, Lincoln was republican.
  • Washington was inaugurated in two cities, New York and Philadelphia.
  • Lincoln was Presbyterian, Washington was Episcopalian.
  • Lincoln's picture is on both the penny and the five dollar bill.

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Friday, February 13, 2015

14 Budget-Friendly Valentine's Ideas

Rooted in days of St. Valentine, the practice of writing romantic notes on Valentine's day began in the 1700s, and by the mid 1800s, real Valentine's cards were being manufactured in the U.S. By 1856, Valentine cards had become a topic of controversy. An editorial in the New York Times stated that many were cheap and indecent and only pleased the silly.  Some relegate Valentine's to a holiday created by Hallmark, which wasn't even founded until 1910.

History or Hallmark, it doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg to tell that special person just how happy you are to have them in your life.  Here are a few tips for a great Valentine's Day that won't break the bank.
  1. Free Time.  In our hectic lives we never have enough time for ourselves.  Give your special Valentine, a free day to pamper themselves.

  2. Make it Personal. Tap into your creativity with colored card stock, scissors, glue, glitter and some colored markers to create a personalized Valentine card.

  3. Dine Out.  Save a few dining dollars by eating in and then going out for drinks or dessert, or choose several items from the appetizer menu and share.

  4. Movie Night.  Instead of dropping big bucks for a movie and the popcorn, candy and sodas which will likely run you more than the tickets, stay in and treat yourselves to delivery and rent a favorite movie.

  5. Flowers.  Nix the expensive roses in favor of a beautiful mixed bouquet from the farmers market, or visit the grocery store's floral department.

  6. Goody Baskets. Pick up an inexpensive basket and fill it with such things as her favorite candy, lip balm, hand lotion, or scented candles. For him, a bottle of his favorite beer (not Bud), a decorative bottle opener, a pocket flash light, key chain, and yes, lip balm.  This is Valentine's, you know.

  7. Cook.  Even if you're not great in the kitchen, you can still serve a romantic meal. Get some Artisan bread, good olive oil, a nice cheese, olives and/or deli meat such as salami or prosciutto.

  8. Quality time.  Spend time together strolling through a museum, take in an art show or a local concert. Check your newspaper for a listing of free events in your area.

  9. IOU.  Present him or her with an IOU for two hours of your time and undivided attention.

  10. Do Chores.  Wash and vacuum her car, do the vacuuming, take and pick up the dry cleaning, do the grocery shopping or the laundry.

  11. Togetherness.  Take a walk or go for a drive and stop for ice cream or coffee/hot chocolate.

  12. Raise a Glass. Not all sparkling wines are expensive. Try a Spanish Cava or a Prosecco from Italy.  One ones are available for $10-15. Goes well with #7.

  13. Sweets. Yes, you can give candy. Pick up his favorite dark chocolate bar or choose some hand-selected truffles from a boutique or wine shop for her.

  14. Those three little words. I Love You! That is something that can't be said too often and is always appreciated no matter what day it is.
However you celebrate, remember it's all about the person, not the gifts, dinner, candy, etc.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

That's Our Girl

Is she looking for a little quiet time, or is she saying "Aha, the closet door is open...finally".  I wish I had a video of her approach.  You see even though the door was open there were a few obstacles in her way. 

This is just the spot for me!

While she was trying to figure out how to reach the shelf, she looked like a cat on a Pogo stick, bouncing up and down on her back feet as if trying to calculate the distance and thrust required to elevate her 12-pound self to her goal.  After a half dozen or so bounces she paused and tried to get in past the hamper. Nope, can't squeeze through the gap...more bounces. We were cracking up, trying to stifle our laughter so as not to scare her out of her mission.

She finally rethought her strategy and took the more circuitous route via a stool and a suitcase, then balancing on the hamper, stepped coolly onto the shelf.

"Well," I said "she's smarter than we thought."  Sometimes she gives the impression of being somewhat of a ditz.

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