Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The purpose of business is to fund a perfect life.

The purpose of business is to fund a perfect life.




Let's remember WHY you go to work every day...to provide for the life you choose for yourself and your family. And would you CHOOSE to live a life of ordinary? Certainly not! So work with purpose and intention! Work with the knowledge that something great and grand, as you see it, is meant for you.



We all have the power to create, develop, and manifest our perfect life...and it involves more than just going through the motions to survive and "make a living." Your mind may not acknowledge it yet, but the heart of each person knows that life is boundless, limitless.





So, if you haven't already done so; undo that mindset of limitation and work toward your perfect life...it's out there! Go get it!Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by...

Sea Fever




I MUST go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,

And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,

And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,

And a gray mist on the sea's face, and a gray dawn breaking.



I must down go to the seas again, for the call of the running tide

Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;

And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,

And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.



I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,

To the gull's way and the whale's way, where the wind's like a whetted knife;

And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,

And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.



John Masefield

Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Home owners spend more money on kitchen remodeling than on any other home improvement project


Home owners spend more money on kitchen remodeling than on any other home improvement project, according to the Home Improvement Research Institute. And with good reason. Kitchens are the hub of home life, and a source of pride.



A significant portion of kitchen remodeling costs may be recovered by the value the project brings to your home. Kitchen remodels in the $50,000 to $60,000 range recoup about 66% of the initial project cost at the home’s resale, according to recent data from Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report.



A minor kitchen remodel of about $20,000 does even better, returning more than 72% of your investment.



To make sure you maximize your return, follow these seven smart kitchen remodeling strategies.



1. Establish priorities



The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) recommends spending at least six months planning your kitchen remodeling project. That way, you won’t be tempted to change your mind during construction, create change orders, and inflate construction costs. Here are planning points to cover:



Cooking traffic patterns: A walkway through the kitchen should be at least 36 inches wide. Work aisles should be a minimum of 42 inches wide and at least 48 inches wide for households with multiple cooks.

Child safety: Avoid sharp, square corners on countertops, and make sure microwave ovens are installed at the proper height—3 inches below the shoulder of the primary user but not more than 54 inches from the floor.

Outside access: If you want easy access to entertaining areas, such as a deck or patio, factor a new exterior door into your plans.

A professional designer can simplify your kitchen remodel. Pros help make style decisions, foresee potential problems, and schedule contractors. Expect fees around $50 to $150 per hour, or 5% to 15% of the total cost of the project.



Next: 2. Keep the same footprint

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EmailTwitterFacebookDiggLinkedin.. John Riha

John Riha has written seven books on home improvement and hundreds of articles on home-related topics. He’s been a residential builder, the editorial director of the Black & Decker Home Improvement Library, and the executive editor of Better Homes and Gardens magazine. His 1972 suburban house has been an ongoing source of maintenance and renovation experience.



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..Comments(3) .

I have a lot to remodle, I'm put'n tile in for the backsplash in the kitchen. I am taking care of my Dad, (he's bedfast) when it comes time to give him a shower, (took out my garden tub added a shower floor) I put him in a wheel chair and push him into the shower. I want my Mom home but she can't move at all. She still knows everthing, just can't move. trying to figure out how I could take care of her without lifting her. I have a small feed store and my son Jack is runing it for me, and I would like to be able to go to work and still be able to let my Dad I'm right here for him. once the money starts coming in I want to build a hallway from the house to the back of the store and a room where I can keep Dad there so he want feel left out. Lots of work I have to do.

Posted by Frances on August 30, 2011 . This article has helped in our planning ideas. Some of the suggestions will save me time and money

Posted by Steve on July 14, 2011 . You forgot to suggest the stratagy of creating accessibility when remodeling . Incorporating universal design ideas in your project wether it be a kitchen ,bath ,laundry etc.can add value to your home and also open up your home to new aditional markets when it does become time to sell.

Posted by Charles Braun on January 21, 2011 .

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Print Checklist

Get what you want out of your kitchen remodel:



. Evaluate your kitchen remodel priorities. Establish a kitchen remodel budget. Research product warranties. Obtain at least three competitive kitchen remodeling bids.Please select a To-Do

Check All NewsletterFacebookTwitterOwn smarter—get tips and insights to enhance the value of your home.





Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/kitchens/tips-for-kitchen-remodeling/#ixzz1h76Nz8huLisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Happy Holidays From Your Hometown Realtor!

"Wisdom is the best guide and faith is the best companion."


~ Dalai Lama

.Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Friday, December 16, 2011

The truth, what is the truth?

How much of this is a lie? This is the question I am asked by a co-worker. How much of this story is something you tell yourself because you don’t want to face the truth? For that matter, how much of what you say is the truth? The truth, what is the truth?


The word means an actual state of matter, a verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principal or actual existence. My life is actual, my thoughts are real and my wishes are true. My perception of interactions, situations and the daily hum of life are true to me and that’s all that matters. To me, “I am what I say I am” and likewise with you ~ “I am whatever you say I am” My reality, my role in life is fluid. Please don’t allow your limiting beliefs about the world to box me in.

What’s the real truth my friend? Let’s start with the holiday season. A perpetual circus of planning, preparing and recovering from a never ending cyclone of consumerism. Christmas for non-Christians appears to be no different than a bustling food market in New Delhi India. People moving, people grabbing, people freaking out and freaking in! People on a quest for the perfect _____fill_____in_____the_____blank_____.

The buzz, the implied importance and the ritualistic necessity. Is any of it true? Is any of it real? Each and every 12 months we decide to spend more than we should on things we pretty much don’t need hoping to win the affection of people that already love us…and some (unfortunately) that most certainly don’t and most likely never will. The self-imposed hope and anticipation that we create are just huge distractions are they not? Let’s be honest here. We are living breathing mammals who dread the winter just as much as our warm blooded friends (all animals except house pets) who have to prepare themselves for the harsh reality of less food, less warmth, less mating, less water ~ let’s face it, less joy.

Being the mammals with the largest brains gives us the ability to manufacture false abundance by calling it an important event. The hoarding, the over eating, the excessive consumption of alcohol and sweets (and portion sizes that make us look in the mirror with disgust at what we have created) are all vain attempts at making ourselves feel better until the sun comes back into our lives. The truth is that suicides are at a yearly high during the holidays because some people just can’t ‘buy’ into the delusion, the fairytale that better things are always around the corner if we just play the game according to the rule book.

The truth is that most people are born with the personality that they will carry with them all of their lives and that the passing years will not somehow bless them with a sense of humor or some other trait they have envied in others. Your teeth don’t get whiter, your hair won’t get thicker, and your intellect (most likely) will not get sharper…and most people will live out their lives in the income class they were born into.

This is the truth and most can’t handle the truth so they immerse themselves in the small things that deliver the most distractions like cookie baking, decorating, knick knack shopping and holiday card writing. Me, well I’m O.K. with people living in this delusion as long as they leave me out of the insanity. Please, I just ask for a little respect ~ so don’t assume I believe the same things as you believe (I would never be so arrogant as to do this to you) and when I say I’m just not that into it, don’t try to spell out all of the reasons why I should be and try to find ways that will pull me in because it simply won’t.

That’s as real and truthful as I can be. Accept me and I might allow you into my life ~ reject me and I will be happy that you didn’t waste my time with more petty distractions. Either way, I thank you. XOXO Lisa



Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

On New Year's Eve...

On New Year's Eve, Vice-President of the Times Square Alliance Claire Morgan (Hilary Swank) is making the final arrangements for the ball drop with the help of her friend Brandon (Chris "Ludacris" Bridges). Meanwhile, after being nearly run over by a car and denied a vacation, Ahren Records secretary Ingrid (Michelle Pfeiffer) quits her job and offers the deliveryman Paul (Zac Efron) tickets for the Ahren Records Masquerade Ball if Paul helps her complete a series of New Year's resolutions before midnight, which he accepts.




Paul's sister, Kim (Sarah Jessica Parker), is having trouble with her teenage daughter Hailey (Abigail Breslin), who wants to spend New Year's Eve with her friends and her boyfriend Seth (Jake T. Austin) in Times Square. Paul's roommate, comic book illustrator Randy (Ashton Kutcher), who hates New Year's Eve after his girlfriend left him on a date, gets stuck in an elevator with Elise (Lea Michele), an aspiring singer who will be providing back-up for musician Jensen (Jon Bon Jovi) in his show at the Ahren Records ball, where he rekindles his feelings for his ex-girlfriend, Laura (Katherine Heigl).



At a nearby hospital, Stan Harris (Robert DeNiro), a man in the final stages of cancer who refuses chemotherapy and who only wishes to see the ball drop one last time, is kept company by Nurse Aimee (Halle Berry) and Nurse Mindy (Alyssa Milano) after his doctor (Cary Elwes) reveals he will not last much longer. In the same hospital, a young couple, Griffin (Seth Meyers) and Tess (Jessica Biel), about to have their first child, competes with another couple, James (Til Schweiger) and Sarah (Sarah Paulson), for a bonus offered for the family of the first child born in the new year. Elsewhere, Sam (Josh Duhamel), a businessman from Ahren Records, attempts to arrive at the Ball where he is to deliver an important speech, after his car malfunctions on the other side of New York, all while wondering if he should attend a meeting with a mysterious woman he met and fell in love with on the previous New Year's Eve.



As midnight approaches, one of the billboard lights of the Times Square panel malfunctions, jamming the ball and forcing Claire to call Kominsky (Hector Elizondo), a eletrician she had fired a few weeks prior. Kominsky repairs the ball seconds before midnight, and, in gratitude, Claire leaves him in charge of the operation, quits her stressful job and rushes to see the ball drop with her father, Stan. Meanwhile, Nurse Aimee has a videoconference with her husband (Common), a soldier serving in Afghanistan.



Paul helps Ingrid complete all the items on her list, and she gives him the tickets. Meanwhile, Randy and Elise bond, and, as they are about to kiss, the elevator is repaired and Elise rushes to Jensen's show. Randy notices she forgot her rubber band and rushes to give it to her. At the Ball, Jensen leaves midway during the show and apologizes to Laura, who accepts him back and leaves with the approval of her boss, Sous Chef Ava (Sofia Vergara). With Jensen gone, Elise is called to replace him and attracts the attention of the crowd. She kisses Randy, and they start a romantic relationship.



Griffin and Tess have their baby and, although it is born first, they allow James and Sarah to have the bonus after discovering they actually have three children. Meanwhile, after being forbidden from attending the celebration, Hailey runs away to Times Square, where she sees Seth being kissed by another girl. Heartbroken, she meets and is comforted by her mother. Seth finds them and apologizes, claiming the girl stole a kiss from him. Hailey forgives him and is allowed by her mother to go to an after-party. Kim then goes to a restaurant to meet Sam, who had succeeded in delivering his speech. She is the mysterious woman he met one year prior, and they finally discover each other's names.



Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My Christmas gift to you: Insight ~ Top Five Regrets of the Dying

Top Five Regrets of the Dying


By Bronnie Ware



For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives.

People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. I learned never to underestimate someone’s capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them.

When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:



1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me

This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people have had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.



It is very important to try and honor at least some of your dreams along the way.



From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.



2. I wish I didn’t work so hard

This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship.



Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.

By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.



3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings

Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.



As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming.



We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.



4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends

Often they would not truly realize the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.



It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.



5. I wish that I had let myself be happier

This is a surprisingly common one.



Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice.



They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.

When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.



Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.



Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

December 2011 Housing Market Update

December 2011 Market Update


One of the key drivers of homes sales, the employment rate, is beginning to show promising signs of a turnaround. The four-week average for jobless claims, as of November 19, was 394,250, a drop of 3,250 from the previous four weeks, and at the lowest levels since April. Consumer confidence also rose 15 points in the last month, and is now at its highest point since July of this year. Eric Green, Chief Market Economist at TD Securities Inc. said, "The trend remains very constructive. Jobless claims are back below 400,000, which seems to be the pivot point in terms of a strengthening labor market as opposed to a weakening one."



In addition to improving employment conditions, home affordability also improved as interest rates fell further, opening the door for more first-time home buyers who accounted for 34% of the sales in October, an increase from 32% last month and over last year. The western United States saw the greatest increase in home sales, which were up 4.4% month to month and up over 15% from last year.



A strengthening job market, along with encouraging signs from the housing sector, including a 10% jump in pending sales for October, are strong economic forces. While mortgage lending still remains a challenge, these forces may send a signal to banks to relax lending regulations and allow for a more rapid recovery.

This Month's Video Interest Rates

Mortgage rates continue to push lower, dropping to 3.98% from 4.23% in October of 2010, offering historic affordability to today's home buyers. While mortgage lending conditions continue to be a challenge, more and more people are seeing the advantage of buying a home sooner rather than later. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said, "Home sales have been plodding along at a sub-par level while interest rates are hovering at record lows and there is a pent-up demand from buyers who normally would have entered the market in recent years. We hope this indicates more buyers are taking advantage of the excellent

affordability conditions."



Home Sales

Existing homes sales improved 1.4% in October, or to an annual pace of 4.97 million, a 13.5% increase from October of last year. Even more dramatic, was the jump in pending home sales, which surged in October by 10.4% from September, and were up 9.2% from October 2010. This jump in pending sales could lead to a strong fourth quarter as signs continue to point to a pent-up demand brought on by current lending conditions of mortgage providers.



Home Prices

The national median home price in the U.S. saw a small decline in October to $162,500, from $165,800 in September. This number can be affected by the sale of distressed properties, which typically sell at discounted prices. Distressed properties accounted for 28% of homes sales in October. Yet despite a drop in the median price from last September, the Federal Housing Finance Authority reported that seasonally adjusted prices rose 0.2% in the third quarter from the second quarter in 2011, which could be an early sign of appreciating home prices.



Inventory

By the end of October, the total number of homes on the market had fallen 2.2% to 3.33 million homes, which represents 8 months of inventory at the current sales pace. Since a record high of 4.58 million homes in July 2008, the inventory of homes for sale has been steadily declining. When homes sell faster than they come on the market, the market comes from its current favor toward buyers into balance or in favor of sellers. This can trigger an appreciation in home prices and lead the way to a stronger recovery.



Deciding to Buy

When first-time home buyers decide they are ready to buy, it is important for them to begin the process by carefully assessing their values, wants, and needs—both for the short and long term. This is a critical step since consultation sessions normally start with the buyers' values. Afterward, buyers can explore their wants and needs and, once defined, determine actual criteria.



A recent study shows how important the following home-buying factors were to buyers:



• List Price: 72%

• Location: 69%

• Neighborhood: 55%

• Floor Plan: 37%

• Square Footage: 28%

• Schools: 22%



By having the home-buying criteria in mind before walking into a consultation, buyers are off to a better start when meeting with their real estate agent. The consultation allows buyers to fill in any missing gaps within their values, wants, and needs. Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Friday, December 9, 2011

If you like a neutral bedroom with layers of patterns and one of a kind accents than...

You are a Collector


One way to create an ideal bedroom is to include pieces that feel like they’ve been collected over the years. Heirloom and antiques mixed with patterns and upholstery allow you to create a personal space that is comfortable and layered. When layering, bring in colors from other parts of the room in your fabrics and accents. Shelving with meaningful books and personal photos are also a good idea, just make sure the room doesn’t become too busy.

and an
Escapist



You like to get away from it all, and your bedroom should feel like a daily escape. One way to do that is to create a calming effect with natural elements, such as rattan chairs and linen fabrics. If you have a favorite color, accessorize with that in accent pieces (e.g. bowls, picture frames), but overall maintain a tranquil feel with earth tones. Avoiding clutter and using open shelving, will also help. Go for high impact with fewer pieces.
Thanks Nate Berkus!
Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Myths about Life and Home

Hello,










Myths about Life and Home



Does talking to your plants actually help them grow?

Well, yes it does. This is because while you are talking to them you are breathing carbon dioxide on them. Plants use carbon dioxide for food through photosynthesis.



Do I need to wait 2 hours after I eat to go swimming?

No. A half hour is long enough. 30 minutes is plenty of time to prevent the cramps that swimming can cause.



Does sitting too close to the television ruin your eyesight?

It can cause eye fatigue; similar to sitting in front of a computer screen or reading for hours. So it’s not really a factor in diminishing eyesight.



Does lightning ever strike twice?

Yes. The taller something is and the closer it is to the sky, the more likely it is to attract a bolt of lightning. The odds are pretty slim that this would actually happen, but there is nothing that would prevent lightning from hitting the same spot twice.



If you make a funny face for too long, will it stay that way?

Nope. The muscles on your face are connected muscle to muscle, not like the muscles on say your thigh, which attach to bones. This means you cannot put enough resistance on them to make them cramp.



Will looking at light make you sneeze?

For 10 percent of the population, the answer is yes. It’s called photic sneeze reflex (PSR). The theory is that sometimes impulses on the optic nerves triggered by the light source jump to the cranial nerves that control sneezing.



So now you know some of the most common proverbs and sayings and the truths(or non-truths) behind them.









Sincerely,
Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Peach Cream Recipe ~ Yum!

Tastes like a creamsicle;-)

1 oz peach schnapps
1 oz fresh orange juice
2 oz vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup crushed ice

For each drink put all of the above ingredients in a blender and blend for 30 seconds ~ serve!
Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Monday, December 5, 2011

S & P warning ~ theres a 50% chance Europes credit score will be downgraded.

Europe is heading back into recession: S&P Report


Reuters Dec 1, 2011, 03.47pm ISTTags:Standard & Poor's
Recession

High frequency indicators in the past month continue to depict Europe's darkening economic landscape, said Standard & Poor's in its report "European Economic Outlook: Back In Recession," published Nov. 30, 2011.



Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Pancakes from Scratch!

Pancakes from Scratch


(Or Mom’s Helper Pancakes)





You’ll Need:

~ Bowl (preferably with spout) ~ 1 Egg

~ Metal or plastic turner ~ 1 Cup Flour

~ Frying pan (preferably large) ~ 2 Teaspoons Baking Soda

~ Measuring Cup ~ 2 Teaspoons Sugar

~ Measuring Spoon ~ ¼ Teaspoons Salt

~ Serves 4 ~ 1 Cup Milk

~ Double or triple recipe as needed ~ 3 Tablespoons margarine

Difficulty Rating 2



How to Make:

1.) Break egg into bowl and beat with either a whisk or a fork for one minute.

2.) Mix all dry ingredients in a large spouted bowl.

3.) Pour egg into dry ingredients and blend together.

4.) Add milk and 2 tablespoons margarine and beat until batter is smooth (batter should be thin enough to pour easily ~ if batter is too thick add a little milk ~ if batter is too thin add a little flour)

5.) Lightly grease frying pan with 1 tablespoon of margarine.

6.) Heat pan over low heat to the slow count of 20.

7.) When pan is hot, pour a little (like a half of a cup) of the batter into it.

8.) It will spread to form a round flat cake.

9.) When the top of the cake is covered with approximately 12 bubbles (and the edges look slightly dry) use a pan cake turner to turn the pan cake and brown the other side.

10.) Repeat!



*Note: ~ Browning the second side goes a little more quickly than the first side

~ You can make variations of this recipe by adding chocolate chips or applesauce to the batter, or add cheese or jam after they are cooked!





Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

My first thought was, "someone has shot my truck!"

CAR DOOR - do not delete, important info


Wednesday, I approached my truck from the passenger side to place my computer bag (aka my man purse) in the Front passenger seat.



As I reached to open the door, I noticed there was a hole right under my door handle. My first thought was, "someone has shot my truck!" I began to think about it and inspect it a little closer and the "light" slowly began to come on. I phoned my friend who owns a body shop and asked if he had any vehicles with damage to the doors that looked like a bullet hole.



'Yes, I see it all the time. Thieves have a punch and place it right under the door handle, knock a hole through, reach in and unlock it, just as if they have a key. No alarms, broken glass or anything.' I then placed a call to my insurance agent and explained it to him! I was puzzled that they left my GPS and all other belongings. Here is where it gets scary!



"Oh no,' he said, 'they want the break-in to be so subtle that you don't even realize it. They look at your GPS to see where "home" is. Now they know what you drive, go to your home, and if your vehicle isn't there, they assume you aren't and break into your home."



He says they will even leave a purse or wallet and only take one or two credit cards. By the time you realize there has been a theft, they may have already had a couple days or more to use them. I didn't realize my situation for two full days! They even give you the courtesy of re-locking Your doors for you.



Periodically walk around your car; daily if you are in a shopping center or other parking area. Report thefts immediately...Your bank w/missing check numbers, your credit card agencies, police and insurance companies, etc.




Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Floral Bloom Onion Peels

Floral Bloom Onion Peels


& Creamy Horseradish Dipping Sauce

(Or as I like to call it You Rock Dip!)

You’ll Need:

Difficulty Rating 5

For the sauce:

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon prepared horseradish

2 teaspoons white distilled vinegar

1 teaspoon water

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon ketchup

1/4 teaspoon medium grind black pepper

1/8 teaspoon dried oregano

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

Dash garlic powder

Dash onion powder

For the batter (Hint: You can also use regular boxed pancake mix to create a yummy batter ~ just mix as directed and add ½ Tsp. Salt & ½ Tsp. Pepper)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup Progresso plain bread crumbs

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 1/2 cups milk

FOR THE ONION:

1 large white onion

4 to 6 cups shortening (as required by fryer)

To make the dipping sauce:

Make horseradish dipping sauce by combining ingredients in a medium bowl with a whisk. Mix until creamy then cover and chill the sauce.

To make the batter:

Combine all dry ingredients for the batter in a medium bowl. Whisk in milk until batter is smooth then let the batter sit for 5 minutes. It should thicken. Whisk batter again.

To cut and cook the onion:

Slice the stem end and the root end off onion, then, with the onion resting on a flat side, cut down

through the onion, slicing it in half. Slice each half 4 to 5 more times in a spoke fashion to create wedges

of onion. Separate the onion pieces. Heat the shortening to 350 degrees in a deep fryer. When shortening is hot, dip each onion piece in the batter, let some of the batter drip off then drop the coated onion piece carefully into the hot oil. Repeat, frying 8 to 12 at a time for 1 to 2 minutes or until light brown. Drain on a rack or paper towels. Repeat until the onion is used up, stacking the newer batches. When they're all done, serve the fried onion slices on a plate or in a paper-lined basket with horseradish dipping sauce on the side.





Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Monday, November 28, 2011

300 Second Fudge

300 Second Fudge


You’ll Need:



Difficulty Rating 2

One 12 ounce package of semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup butterscotch chips

One 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk (save the can)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

I Large package of chopped walnuts

1/2 cup raisins or dates

Dash* of salt

Enough softened butter or margarine to grease an 8” round cake pan

*A dash refers to the action of one quick sprinkle of salt to the recipe

Grease an 8-inch round cake pan with softened butter or margarine.



1.) Pour the chocolate and butterscotch chips, condensed milk and vanilla into a medium saucepan. Put the pan on the stove and turn the heat to low.

2.) Cover the empty condensed milk can with plastic wrap and put it in the center of the round cake pan.

3.) Stir the chips and milk until they melt together, about 3 minutes. Stir in nuts and raisins. Scoop the fudge into the cake pan all around the plastic-covered can in the center to form a wreath or ring shape. It’s O.K. if it is bumpy on top ~ keep pushing the can back to the center if the fudge moves it. Garnish with walnuts

4.) Put the fudge in the fridge and chill for about an hour. Remove the can from the center & loosen the sides and bottom of the fudge with a spatula.

5.) Cut the fudge into thin slices to serve.



Photograph by Lisa Ekanger



Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

There is no burning bush ~ How to go after your dreams...


There is No Burning Bush (or How to Go After Your Dreams)

By Lisa Thielen-Ekanger on Monday, September 19, 2011 at 8:46am.There is No Burning Bush (or How to Go After Your Dreams)



Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Catherine Caine.



I’m not religious, but I got suckered by those tales of prophets and holy men nonetheless.



In all of those stories – and the other myths and fables of my childhood – people get a clear and unmistakable message from Someone Important that it’s time to build the boat or look after the poor or do some other life-defining work.



There is zero ambiguity about the angel of God descending with a fiery sword to tell you that This Is What You Must Do.



And there was a voice in my heart that believed those stories and told me to wait: wait for the burning bush and the clap of thunder and the rising chorus.



That Voice Kept Me from Doing Anything Great for Nearly a Decade.



I dabbled with ideas of “Wouldn’t it be nice to work for myself? Wouldn’t it be great to have a job that meant something?” I thought wistfully about it as I ate my lunch in a series of pleasant but uninspiring jobs.



Over and over I said, “This time. This time I’ll go for it. As soon as it feels right.”



But it never did feel right. (Translation: no twinkly lights, no sword in a stone, no Voice From Above.) There was just me, looking at spreadsheets and thinking, “There has to be more to my life than this.”



There was a day that I wish I could describe. I wish with all my heart I could wrap up the essence of that day, that moment, to share with others and to help them along… but all I can say is that one day I stopped waiting for the gods to choose me and I chose myself.







I started working. I kept on working. And not very many months later I had my own full-time business.



In all of those months, there was no day of divine certainty. I had no idea if this was the right idea, or if it would flourish, or if it was doomed to fail. I simply decided that I was going to work, and see what happened.



This Isn’t the End of the Story.



Less than a year later, I was sitting by a pool in Las Vegas, contemplating the business that had grown enough to fling me halfway across the world into the loving arms of friends and fellow entrepreneurs.



I had money coming in and I loved the people I got to work with. I wallowed in freedom, flexibility and fun.



So why did I think there was something missing?



I spent that time by the pool daydreaming: was this all I could do? Was my business as heart-stoppingly kick-ass as it could be?



No, it wasn’t. I was still proud of it, for sure – I’d built a business of my very own, with no experience – but I knew that my current business wasn’t a reflection of my absolute best work.



Something was still missing. And by now I knew that friendly river spirits wouldn’t tell me what it was, so I went figuring it out for myself.



The Missing Piece



I’d gone through all the sleepless nights and uncertainty and argh-ness because I wanted more.



I didn’t want another pleasant but meaningless job. I didn’t want to look back on my life and think, “Is that all I did? Man, I wasted my life.”



And my business had tiny tastes of that urging for greatness, but there wasn’t enough of it.



Once I’d figured that out, I didn’t wait for the signs: I just went ahead.



I completely changed my business.



I came home from Vegas and:



■neglected my website

■started a new website with a new focus

■abandoned any client who wasn’t an amazing fit with my new path

■created entirely new services to rock the pants off my best audience

The core underneath every one of those changes was this simple idea:



I Want to Spend Every Hour on Magnificent Work.

I want to change the world.



And so naturally those new services and articles and everything else reflected that urge to create magnificence. I started attracting people who wanted to blaze, and finding ways to make them shine brighter than they ever had before.



I started asking my clients very practical questions about how they planned to change the world, and how improving their marketing could help them do that. And their answers sometimes brought me to tears, as they told me about the beautiful work they were now ready to create.



It’s been amazing.



Every day of work is glorious. I have more clients, more meaning, more joy and more impact with my work than I ever have before.



I’ve Become a Transformation Addict.



Helping people to identify, articulate and power up their best work has became my absolute favorite activity.



I want to spread the message and enable as many people as possible to create their most magnificent work for the audience who can’t get enough of it. I need to keep upping my own game to produce more glorious work every day.



In just over a year, I’ve gone from wage-slave to business owner to magnificence amplifier.



And there has never, ever been a fairy or an archangel to tell me that it was the right moment to make all of these sweeping changes.



The Moral of the Story



No-one ever tells you when it’s time to shine.



There’s no engraved invitation or bolt of lightning or even a subtle hint. Your friends don’t know, and neither does your mastermind group.



Your audience won’t know that it’s time. The industry certainly won’t. No-one knows when you’re ready to start creating your most amazing work. (Not even you.)



It will never feel like it’s the right time.



The right time is whatever moment you stand up and say, “You know what? I’m going to make something magnificent!”



No-one will tell you when it’s time. Because no-one does.



(Remember that.)

Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Do we give up on outcomes?

Adopting a special needs child has aged us many years. The minute by minute redirection really wears us down. After nearly 8 years of routine, our little girl still consistently forgets her homework, her lunch box, to brush her teeth at night. After 7 years of work, she still cannot do simple math and cannot tell time. At  twelve years old, she is still wearing diapers to bed. The progress we see is so painfully slow it is simply numbing in scope. So the question then becomes do we sign off on her future potential the way parents with Down Syndrome children do? Knowing that there is a cap to her potential and that it is unfair to expect more? Do we lower our expectations, to save our sanity? Do we simply stop putting in the outrageous and unbalanced effort so as to save our health and use more of our energy on our other two perfectly self sufficient children?


Do we give up on outcomes?


Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

When Im an Old Lady

When I'm an old lady, I'll live with each kid,
And bring so much happiness...just as they did.
I want to pay back all the joy they've provided,
Returning each deed. Oh they'll be so excited!

I'll write on the walls with reds, whites and blues,
And bounce on the furniture wearing my shoes.
I'll drink from the carton and then leave it out.
I'll stuff all the toilets, and oh how they'll shout!

When they're on the phone and just out of reach,
I'll get into things like sugar and bleach,
Oh, they'll snap their fingers and
then shake their head,
And when that is done I'll hide under the bed!

When they cook dinner and call me to eat,
I'll not eat my green beans or salad or meat.
I'll gag on my okra, spill milk on the table,
And when they get angry, I'll run... if I'm able!

I'll sit close to the TV through the
channels I'll click,
I'll cross both my eyes just to see if they stick.
I'll take off my socks and throw one away,
And play in the mud 'til the end of the day!

And later in bed, I'll lay back and sigh,
I'll thank God in prayer and then close my eyes.
My kids will look down with a smile slowly creeping,
And say with a groan,
"She's so sweet when shes sleeping!"
Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

So let’s get the paperwork done without drinks, or pizza or your generous offering of marijuana ~ Thanks a million!

Yesterday something crazy happened to me. Lately I have been noticing more and more that people just don’t understand boundaries anymore. Just to break it down quickly, I ran from the home of a client because he offered me a joint and when I refused, I could see that he wanted to hug me. Yuck.


Seriously? How many hugs do I have to give you to congratulate you on your new home? As I was walking away (rapidly) from him towards my car (I swear he was going to try to make this a Bogie/Bergman scene) I slipped on a muddy patch of leaves and landed on my left knee. I ripped my favorite pants and was bleeding as I got into my car…he ran after me saying, “Oh my Lisa are you OK?” and I yelled, “I’m fine! Bye!” I wasn’t fine. I was bleeding and needed a tissue and a band aid. A few months ago, a client spilled his bloody Mary all over my 30 pages of bank owned purchase agreement papers. Again, seriously? Let me dispel some real estate myths for you:

Real estate is a weird profession. Some people think we are paid like pharmaceutical reps and that blowing through gas and putting wear and tear on our cars by driving all over god’s green earth is no big deal. They think we get mileage reimbursements and a regular hefty paycheck. What part of housing crisis don’t they get? We work on 100% straight commission. Just like the door to door sales man you are trying to avoid. The big difference (and one of many) is that we are licensed and insured and are expected to know almost as much as a real estate attorney. We are here to guide you in making one of the most important financial and emotional decisions of your life. We are not here to be your friend; we are not together because we are on a date ~ ditto for every time we meet thereafter. Yes you can trust me like a friend because I will take on your dreams in a very personal way, but please don’t forget I do this because I get paid to do this and because I love knowing that I negotiated the very best contract on your behalf. We can have fun during the process, but please respect that my job is a lot of hard work and my time spent with you means I cannot spend it with my family. So let’s get the paperwork done without drinks, or pizza or your generous offering of marijuana ~ Thanks a million!

Lisa;-)

Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Americans have woken up to the extreme inequality that has developed in the country in the past three decades

A new Wall Street Journal poll suggests that Americans have woken up to the extreme inequality that has developed in the country in the past three decades, in which the richest Americans have gotten much richer while everyone else has stayed in place or lost ground.




60% of the poll's respondents believe that the current structure of the economy favors a small portion of the rich over the rest of the country. They also think that the power of major banks and corporations should be curtailed. And that the government shouldn't subsidize or bail out companies.



None of that is surprising given the bailouts of recent years.



What is surprising, or at least is disheartening, is that the same Americans continue to believe that they can have it all.



For example, 53% of Americans believe the debt and deficits should be cut significantly... but the same percentage agrees that taxes should not be raised on anyone.



Similarly, 53% of Americans think that the influence of banks and corporations should be reined in... but that regulations on businesses should be pared back.



In other words, Americans want everything.



Yes, most of those who believe that debt and deficits should be cut probably think that the way to do it is simply through spending cuts, not tax increases. But it's hard to imagine how the necessary deficit reduction could be achieved just through spending cuts, without hammering the economy or cutting into services that Americans want. Non-partisan economists generally think that deficits should be reduced through a combination of spending cuts and tax increases.



It's very hard to imagine that we will find a way out of our economic predicament that doesn't involve significant pain of one sort or another. But it does not appear that most Americans have woken up to that.



Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Will you make 6 figures?

Will you make 6 figures? It may depend on your birth order

What your sibling status says about you and your career

By Debra Auerbach, CareerBuilder Writer


The influence of birth order on personality, intelligence and achievements has long been debated. Austrian psychiatrist Alfred Adler, born in 1870, is said to have been one of the first to link birth order to one's personality and direction in life. His research spurred a plethora of other studies, some with overlapping conclusions and others that contradict.
Bing: Calculate your earnings potential
My experience as the youngest in a family of three girls matches up with what much of the research says about last-born children. My parents were a lot more lenient with me. I tended to get my way, often to the chagrin of my older sisters. I suppose some of that could have been attributed to my knack for whining incessantly until my parents would just give up, but I digress.
According to several studies, I was actually at a disadvantage as the youngest, and my oldest sister pretty much had it made. If you're the firstborn, you generally have an advantage and are often more educated and successful than your latter-born siblings. A study by a group of Norwegian researchers concluded that the IQ of firstborn children is, on average, three points higher than that of non-firstborns.
Birth order can also affect what career path you take and how successful, at least monetarily, you'll be. A new CareerBuilder study examined how workers compare in terms of chosen profession, title and salary based on birth order and sibling status. According to the survey, my youngest-in-the-family status means I tend to prefer creative roles and gravitate toward editing/writing jobs.
Curious to know more? Here is a breakdown of common personality traits and career paths based on birth order:
Firstborn
Personality: Firstborn children have the advantage of being the only child for a certain period of time; thus, they get their parents' full attention. They tend to be reliable and conscientious and strive to achieve. Katherine Crowley, a Harvard trained psychotherapist specializing in workplace issues and co-author of "Working with You Is Killing Me: Freeing Yourself from Emotional Traps at Work," says firstborns like to know what the rules are, and once their younger brothers or sisters arrive, they like to take charge.
Career: The CareerBuilder study found that firstborn children are the most likely to earn six figures and hold a C-level position (e.g., chief executive officer, chief financial officer and senior vice president). Firstborns tend to gravitate toward jobs in government, information technology, engineering and science.
Middle or second child
Personality: "Second-borns arrive and someone is already in the forefront -- a sibling," Crowley says. "Their development includes noticing what the firstborn is doing and trying to carve out their own territory." They tend to be people pleasers, and their middle-of-the-sibling-pack status means they're often pros at negotiation and mediation.
Career: At work, they generally make good team players, facilitators and researchers, the CareerBuilder study notes. A middle child is the most likely to report holding an entry-level position and earning less than $35,000. Middle children lean toward public service and caretaking roles, including law enforcement, firefighting, construction, education and personal care.
Last born
Personality: Last-borns often get the short end of the stick when it comes to recognition of their achievements, since their parents have less time to spend doting on them. But since they are the last ones to arrive, they are the "babies," and they can use that status to get their own way. Crowley notes these children are the free spirits, entertainers and creative minds of the family.
Career: The last-born child is the most likely to work in middle management and prefer more creative roles and technology. Crowley notes that last-borns succeed in middle management roles because they are good at both managing up and managing down. Common job types include art/design/architecture, editing/writing, information technology and sales.
Only child
Personality: According to the Child Development Institute, a California-based agency that offers programs and services for children and parents, only children may be spoiled and self-centered, since they have no siblings to compete with. They are often mature for their age, likely due to the large amount of solo time they spend with their parents.
Career: An only child has a higher tendency toward working in technical and health-related fields and protective services. An only child is also likely to earn six figures and hold a C-level position. However, they are less likely to be satisfied in their jobs than workers with brothers and sisters. Only children tend to pursue careers in information technology, engineering, nursing and law enforcement.
Of course, there are always exceptions to these theories. And while much can be said about birth order and its impact, many other factors contribute to making people who they are.
Debra Auerbach is a writer and blogger for CareerBuilder.com and its job blog, The Work Buzz. She researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues.
Bing: Siblings of the rich and famous
Copyright 2011 CareerBuilder. All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without prior written authority.


Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Getting Your Home Ready for Winter

Hello FB Friends,










Getting Your Home Ready for Winter



As winter approaches and the temperature changes it’s time to start preparing your home for winter. Beyond the usual provisions such as the sprinkler system or remedying any drafts, there is the consideration that you will be spending a lot more of your time indoors. You will want to make the inside of your home as comfortable as possible for the indoor season.



In the winter the furnace is the beating heart of the home. Check the filter, clean or replace if it’s old and dusty. Make sure it is in good working order, the middle of a freezing snowstorm is not the ideal time to find out there is something wrong with your furnace.



Make sure you carbon monoxide detector works, if you don’t have one, get one.



Before you start closing up your home for the winter, now is a good time to give a good cleaning. Get the small, dusty areas and scrub them well, so you can start the indoor in a clean, fresh environment.



Consider the humidity. Winter air can be dry and that can not only make you uncomfortable but can wreak havoc on the wooden furniture and floors in your home. Before you buy one though, do a bit of research. Make sure it is energy efficient and relatively easy to fix.



You will also need to weatherproof your doors and windows, to keep the heat inside and the drafts out. Install door sweeps along all of your outside doors. Sweeps use rubber to form a tight seal with the floor and create a barrier to the outdoors. For windows there are a lot of options. You can use removable caulking, the old standard plastic cover or even heavy drapes if you don’t want to seal up the window.



Lastly, don’t forget to make the space cheerful. Use plants, candles maybe some potpourri to keep the atmosphere lively.









Sincerely,


Lisa E.



Cell: (586) 421-1642

Fax: (586) 949-0211







Visit my website at http://www.lisaekanger.com/
Your Hometown Realtor!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What Waffle House Can Teach Us About Tough Situations


What Waffle House Can Teach Us About Tough Situations

The restaurant chain knows something about rebounding from storms—and its lessons apply to life's tornadoes too.

From: Lesson 17: You Can Rise from the Ashes of Your Life

By Lynn Andriani

OWN TV
November 01, 2011.


Print 15 Comments ..

Photo: Thinkstock

In the aftermath of a major hurricane like Irene or Katrina, or a tornado like the one in Joplin, Missouri, earlier this year, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency relies on a few metrics to assess how destructive the storm was, including looking at aerial photographs and studying wind speed. But one of the more unlikely measures is the Waffle House Index. It works like this: If a Waffle House is serving a full menu, FEMA knows damage in an area is limited. If it's open but not serving any hot food, that indicates things are shaky. If it's closed, there's probably severe damage. The index is so reliable because Waffle House has a reputation for bouncing back quickly. Its 1,600 restaurants are spread throughout some of the country's most disaster-prone areas, from the mid-Atlantic to Florida and across the Gulf Coast, so the chain is well acquainted with dealing with setbacks. If it can open after a storm, it will. These four guidelines explain just how they do it—and how you can use their rules for when crises hit your world.



Waffle House Principle #1: Have a Manual

There may not be a huge storm brewing right now, but Waffle House knows, sooner or later, one will hit. As this article in The Wall Street Journal explains, the chain has a manual for opening after a disaster, outlining for managers and employees what to serve if, say, the generator's on, but they have no ice, or if they can turn on their gas stoves but can't get the heat lamps to work. Waffle House takes action where it can, solves whatever problems it's able to and works with what it has to get through the situation. Likewise, you may not know when your next crisis will hit, but Mary Steinhardt, EdD, a professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education at the University of Texas at Austin, can tell you this: There will be one. The longer we live, Steinhardt says, the more challenging situations we'll have to confront. Start by taking stock of the weather risks: Do you live in Tornado Alley? Or is your house on a flood plain? Do you have insurance for those instances? Then think about your life: If you're the parent of a small child, have emergency numbers (poison control, his pediatrician) handy; if you have a pet, determine where you'd go if you both had to evacuate. It's about taking some time to think about what could go wrong and working backward to figure out what you would do and what you would need.



Waffle House Principle #2: Accept the Situation

Hurricane Katrina affected more than 100 Waffle House outposts, and 75 percent of them reopened within a few days of the storm. Company spokesperson Kelly Thrasher says one of the business's top goals is reopening quickly, and the key is assessing the damage and then taking recovery bit by bit. If a building is still standing but the power's out, they bring in generators. Then, they work on figuring out how to get grits and their famous Bert's Chili back on the menu. By the same token, says Steinhardt, if your world has been turned upside down, you may have to take a strategy of acceptance too. Assess where you are. You may be faced with a tough situation—planning a funeral, for instance—so confront each part separately. Call the funeral home first. Then worry about the eulogy.



Waffle House Principle #3: Be Flexible

A Waffle House will face the same Category 3 hurricane with sustained winds of 125 mph that every other restaurant in the area faces. Is its menu somehow more hurricane-friendly? No. Its staff is just a little more flexible. So if the coffee machine won't work because the power's not on, the cooks boil water on the grill and pour it over beans they ground the night before. Although there is research suggesting our levels of resilience may be influenced by our genes, studies have shown that people who can quickly recover from setbacks tend to have certain similar personality traits too. [CE NOTE: I don't understand the "although" relationship between the research and studies. They seem like the same thing, no?] It's not exactly a surprise that Steinhardt says these characteristics are calmness, confidence and flexibility. But even those of us who fall more on the high-strung, less-flexible-minded part of the spectrum can increase our sense of resilience. In Steinhardt's 10 years of studying and teaching the subject, she herself has gotten better at withstanding difficult situations. Your goal, she says, is a familiar one: to be like a tree exposed to years of strong winds, bending instead of being snapped to smithereens. You can start by practicing on a small, daily frustration. If what you're doing isn't working, can you think of a different way to attack the problem? Or if everything has fallen apart, can you stop your internal voice from screaming, "No! This can't be happening. Oh my God!" and take a breath before giving back in to the panic? What you're trying to do is to practice being a little more limber in your thinking and find your way to calmness in less-threatening situations. That way, when things do go haywire, you're able to handle them a little more easily.



Waffle House Principle #4: Know That You Will Get Through This

At Waffle House, managers know that even if they had to shut down and even if the community is still rebuilding, within a few days or weeks, their employees will be back to taking their regular customers' orders for, say, a fiesta omelet with extra jalapeño peppers. After a crisis, you may still be dealing with insurance forms for months, or grief for years, but at some point you will go back to work, to the supermarket and to the beach on a sunny day. With those future moments in mind, says Steinhardt, "it's impossible not to think in empowering ways."











Read more: http://www.oprah.com/oprahs-lifeclass/Resilience-Dealing-with-Stress-Waffle-House-Index#ixzz1cYgfpjDsLisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

In a nutshell about love:

from yesterdays blog post:
Here it is in a nutshell: I am not a static “container of love” with a dangerously limited supply. I can actually love all I want and never, ever run out! More importantly, with the correct perspective, I can never lose by loving and especially not by demonstrating that love

Best news of all? Neither will you;-)

Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Monday, October 31, 2011

It just gets bigger.


Note: This is a guest blog essay by Lisa Moeller



With all my might, I choose to love hard. At times I question my sanity – as do some of my friends. I look for and see the good in everyone. And if not the good, then the potential for good. I also believe some people can possibly be irretrievably lost to evil, perpetual anger, hate, confusion. I pity these people, because I know how inward pain can beget outward pain. I believe something beyond their control has altered their ability to function in a way that benefits the people who love them – and thereby humanity as a whole.



I sometimes wonder if, subconciously, people hesitate to love – or parcel out their love – because they think they only have so much to go around. They are selective about whom they give love to and how much they give to them.



Maybe some people feel love loses its value if given away too much. I sometimes wonder if people harbor the unexamined idea that their hearts will run out of room for future people they might love “even more,” so they “reserve” space just in case.



What if those people never show? What happens to the vacancy – this “unused” love?



I think the original purpose of love has been defiled, twisted and altered – and fear is the culprit! Fear of being taken advantage of, used, rejected, ignored. I believe love is the true nature of every human being and everyone has the capacity for it. I find it unfortunate that some people may believe that they are given a certain “quantity” of love, and because they’re afraid of running out of their love, they become misers of their love.



I think it is sad that so many people (including me) have misunderstood the original purpose for the existence of love. If there ever was a time for understanding love, it is NOW. Our world’s too often misconstrued concept of love might even be the very cause of our needing to understand love with this hastening requiring a capital lettered version of NOW.



Some people are of the belief that the use of the word love is bandied about too much. But I ask, “How so?” How can the love of anything or anyone be in action too much? Love, every layer of it, is always good.



I also believe that categorizing love into eros and agape is unnecessary. I believe agape love is much like broth – and the sexual intimacies you may share with someone are the added ingredients that make it a certain flavor of soup – akin to the idea of being best friends before you become lovers. You either add the ingredients, or you don’t.



I had an epiphany tonight about love. I recognize that epiphanies are sometimes blinding in their simplicity. In sharing mine, I run the risk of your thinking “uh…duh!” in reaction. And that’s okay. It’s my epiphany – and because of the nature of it, I believe it’s worth sharing – if even one mere person becomes less afraid to love generously. My epiphany came as a direct result of worrying about someone whom I love so much it hurts. I began to question why I would love so much, when the emotional “return for my investment” may never come.



Here it is: I am not a static “container of love” with a dangerously limited supply. I can actually love all I want and never, ever run out! More importantly, with the correct perspective, I can never lose by loving and especially not by demonstrating that love.



Once I love someone – in love’s truest form – which is a form which requires it being for their highest good and without concern for my personal gain or expectations. Anyway, once I love someone, I believe I will always love them – and they will forever have that space in my heart – even if they can’t reciprocate. Yes, even if this person has consciously hurt me, due to not loving me the way I want, I recognize that my hurt is merely the direct result of my unmet expectations, and shouldn’t taint my view of “love” as a whole.



My epiphany in a simple nutshell: No matter how many people I love – no matter how many people stake property in my heart – there will always be room in my heart for more. My heart will never “max out.” My heart just gets bigger.



Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

It just gets bigger

It just gets bigger

Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

An interview is one of the hardest things to obtain as a job seeker --

5 ways to derail your interview


Rachel Farrell, Special to CareerBuilder

An interview is one of the hardest things to obtain as a job seeker -- and unfortunately, it's also one of the easiest ways you can lose the job opportunity.



Interview mishaps happen to everyone, but the key to avoiding them is to relax and be yourself, says Laura Rose, a life and business coach and owner of Rose Coaching.



"The interview is as much about getting to know the company and work environment as it is about them interviewing you. This strategy relaxes the entire interview," she says. "You can essentially direct the interview to the areas you are most comfortable talking about. Listening to the interviewer answer the questions, you can clue in on his terminology, terms and what he feels is important. Then you can highlight those same terms and skill set in your comments back to him."



Being well-prepared for the meeting can also help you impress a potential employer.



"It's difficult to overstress how important it is to do some research on a company you're interviewing with. Have a list of good questions to ask the person interviewing you. You want to seem like you are asking questions that require thought rather than questions seeking information that may be available on the website," says Debra Yergen, author of "Creating Job Security Resource Guide."



"Start with questions about the importance the organization places on industry hot buttons and what the hiring manager sees as differences between their company and their competitors. Another great question might be something like, 'Are there any employee groups here that work together to plan team-building activities or extracurricular events that bring co-workers together either to boost morale or support the community?' These kinds of questions send a potential employer a message that you're looking for more than a job," she says.



While asking the right kinds of question is vital, you must also be prepared to answer the tough questions, says Henry Motyka, business solutions manager at Norwood Consulting.



"Of particular importance are behavioral interview questions like, 'Tell me about a situation when ... ' It is best to define those situations beforehand and memorize them," he says.



Doing your research, asking the right questions and answering tough questions are ways to avoid making an interview mistake. But, unfortunately, there are many ways to derail an interview. Here are five gaffes to steer clear of in your interview:



1. Inappropriate attire



"If you are not professionally attired, you won't get the job, even if you are the most qualified," says image consultant Sandy Dumont. "Always dress better than required for an interview. Never dress down, because it is insulting to the other person. It says, 'I don't have to impress you; I dress for my own comfort.' When you dress to impress, they get it, and you will stand out from all the other candidates."



2. Trying to lead the interview



"Many of my clients have children. [They have a] tendency to talk over their interviewers. That's how they manage to be heard at home and that's what they often do in their interviews," says Rory Cohen, a career counselor. "When you don't listen, you don't get invited back for a second interview. Interviewers, in general, want and expect to be in the driver's seat."



3. Showing up too late or too early



"If you're more than 15 minutes early to your interview, go to the restroom and freshen up, then casually walk in about 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment," says Marie Applegate Prasad, founder of WiSo Résumés.



4. Bringing your own food or drink



"Do not bring any food or drinks into the office of the interviewer. Many find eating or drinking a big distraction and some people are sensitive to smells," Prasad says. "It's best to just wait until after the interview is over."



5. Forgetting important information



"On a sheet of paper write down the following information: company, address, phone number, hiring manager, person who scheduled the interview, position you are interviewing for and job duties," Prasad says. "Study this and bring with you the day of your interview."



Rachel Farrell researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues for CareerBuilder.com. Follow @CareerBuilder on Twitter.







Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Monday, October 24, 2011

This very day, two individuals are vying to be your personal adviser.

This very day, two individuals are vying to be your personal adviser.




The first, whose name is Fang, dresses in immaculate business attire, carries a briefcase full of neatly organized folders, and answers all e-mails instantly, via BlackBerry. In a loud, clear, authoritative voice, Fang delivers strong opinions about how you should manage your time. Fang's résumé is impressive: fantastic education, experience to burn.



The other candidate, Buddy, wears shorts, a tank top, and a rose tattoo. If you question the professionalism of this attire, Buddy just smiles. When you ask advice on a pressing matter, Buddy hugs you. There are almost no words on Buddy's résumé (the few that do appear are jokes and song lyrics), and in the margins, Buddy has doodled pictures of chipmunks.



Who will you hire to advise you?



Yeah, that's what I used to think, too.



Long, long ago, as a teenager, I gave the name Fang to my socially conscious, verbal, educated mind. Buddy was what I called a perverse, disobedient aspect of my being, who apparently never evolved logical semantics and simply does not understand How Things Are Done Around Here. Fang is wary and suspicious, while Buddy ignores all caution in the pursuit of appealing experiences, like a puppy on LSD. In high school, I vowed to let only Fang run my life. A couple of decades later, I noticed something surprising: Though I generally did listen to Fang, it was Buddy who was always right.



When clients tell me they need to find their "inner voice," I suspect they're already listening to one: a loud, logical, convincing Fang-voice that echoes parents, teachers, priests, and angry personal trainers. You have no problem hearing this voice; the problem is, its counsel rarely leads to fulfillment. Yet you sense there's someone else knocking around in your psyche: someone whose counsel might make you happy—the kind of wise, primordial self I named Buddy. Unfortunately, Buddy is almost nonverbal, initially unimposing, and, from Fang's point of view, way too weird to trust. I believe one of the primary tasks of your life is to trust Buddy anyway. That means first learning to recognize true inner wisdom, and then opening yourself to its peculiar counsel.







Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Your Life Speaks to you in Whispers:


What signals does your life use to lead you toward good decisions?.What makes it hard to pay attention to the whispers? What's distracting you?.Is there anyone in your life who causes you to doubt yourself?.Do you have a "top five problems" list of issues that come up over and over again?.



Read more: http://www.oprah.com/oprahs-lifeclass/Lesson-11-Your-Life-Speaks-to-You-in-a-Whisper#ixzz1bl0rQRAqLisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Heart of Your Home.

The Heart of Your Home
Many people feel that the kitchen stove is the heart of the home.  At no time is this truer than during the holidays.  These days, the options are astounding.  Features that were once considered luxury are now standard on many ranges.  Stainless steel finishes, smoothtops, and self-cleaning ovens are commonplace.  Add to this the fact that the price for these “premium” features has dropped considerably and your array of options further expands.
In a Hurry
If you are always rushing to prepare meals fast, you may want to consider a thermal/convection oven.  This is an oven that cooks with a fan so food cooks more quickly.  Also; if speed is an issue; bear in mind high-heat burners/elements.  Many stoves have one or two elements with higher wattage burners, resulting in faster cooking times.
Cleaning Up
Electric smoothtop stoves require careful cleaning after every use.  Residue can build up and they also require a special cleaner.  However, they are very easy to wipe up, much easier than cleaning in and around coils.  So although you need to be meticulous and consistent in wiping your smoothtop, it’s a much quicker job than maintaining the cleanliness of the coil tops.
Bigger isn’t necessarily better
How much oven space do you really need?  Not many people actually use an oven to full capacity, so consider carefully if those extra cubic feet are really essential.
Whatever your choice, your new stove will likely make kitchen life a bit easier, especially during the holiday season.  Enjoy!




Sincerely,
Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My Premium Marketing Plan

My Premium Marketing Plan


What most clients want is my PREMIUM MARKETING PLAN. This type of plan is the traditional type of listing with an "Exclusive Right to Sell" and gives your property the widest range of exposure to help sell your home. The commission rate for the PREMIUM MARKETING PLAN is 6%* and will be paid at closing. All our marketing is at our expense. The seller does not pay (commission) unless the home is sold.

PREMIUM MARKETING PLAN includes:
  • WEBSITE MARKETING - Not only will your home be placed on major websites like Realtor.com, Google.com, Yahoo.com, AOL.com, CraigsList.com, Realty Trac.com, Real Estate.com, Oodle.com, Trulia.com, Kijiji.com, and Home Gain.com, but because we are a member of the most powerful real estate network in the world, your home can be advertised on hundreds of local websites. This is important because in our age of technology, over 87% of buyers use the internet to start looking for a home rather than other sources. When Buyers begin to look for homes on the internet they use "Search Engines" such as Yahoo! or Google. Homes we list will have their very own website, which will allow it to found directly by these search engines.

  • PROFESSIONAL "COMPARATIVE MARKET ANALYSIS" (CMA) to determine your homes value
  • UNIQUE PROPERTY WEBSITE BUILT EXCLUSIVELY FOR YOUR HOME
  • "QR CODE" MARKETING
  • EXCLUSIVE PHOTO TEXTING/CALL CAPTION SERVICE
  • EXCLUSIVE 1-800 CALL CAPTION SERVICE
  • ONE HOUR OF HOME STAGING CONSULTING (additional hourly rate will apply)
  • HOME FEATURED ON CABLE TV HOMES CHANNEL
  • Professional POST YARD SIGN PLACED ON THE PROPERTY
  • PUBLISHED IN three  MLS's. (MiRealSource & Realcomp & RMLS)
  • COLOR DIGITAL PHOTOS
  • "JUST LISTED" POSTCARDS
  • HOME PLACED ON AGENT HOMES TOUR
  • HOME FEAUTRED IN OUR NEWSLETTER (over 1000 subscribers)
  • SHOW THE PROPERTY
  • OPEN HOUSES
  • MANAGE AND SET ALL SHOWING APPOINTMENTS
  • PROVIDE UPDATES & BUYER FEEDBACK
  • PRE-QUALIFY BUYERS
  • PRESENT ALL OFFERS
  • PREPARE/NEGOTIATE THE PURCHASE AGREEMENT AND ALL DETAILS
  • PREPARE ALL RELATED DOCUMENTS
  • HELP BUYERS WITH FINANCING OPTIONS
  • ORDER TITLE WORK
  • COLLECT PAY OFF LETTERS
  • MANAGE AND ATTEND FINAL CLOSING
  • ...and many other tasks associated with Listing and Selling Your Home
 Please feel free to contact us at 586-421-1642
*Some items in this plan may be altered or changed at my discretion.
Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

My Pledge to You: Personal Service With A Difference.

Personal Service With A Difference
You probably know how important it is to find the right Realtor when you are focusing on a financial investment as substantial and as personal as your home.

What you should know about me is that as a Keller Williams Sales Associate, I believe wholeheartedly in the unique and personal nature of real estate. You will  experience this in the way I follow through on what I promise, as I carefully guide you through the many steps and decisions along the way.

I am fully committed to providing you with Keller Williams Culture - a noticeably higher level of service that will make your real estate experience as easy and as stress-free as possible.

You can expect from me:
  • Personal and knowledgeable service that is genuinely responsive to your needs.
  • A "Neighborhood Specialist's" familiarity with local communities, home values & price trends.
  • Professional skills continually refined through KW training programs respected industry wide.
  • Advice and guidance throughout the entire process.
  • Commitment to help you leverage Keller Williams many resources. I can save you valuable time and effort in securing home financing, insurance, and home connections.

Feel free to contact me anytime, whether it's to get started on helping you realize your goals and dreams, or just to ask a question. I would welcome the opportunity to make a difference for you.
Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Have you ever wondered why...

Have you ever wondered why some of the nicest houses in the neighborhood seem to stay on the market forever? Or why some of your neighbors seem to settle for less than their home is probably worth?
The right real estate agent is critical. In today's market, it's more important than ever that you choose to work with an agent that has the knowledge and systems to get you the most money for your house, including:           
             As your local real estate expert, I understand:           
                 How to set a price that will attract the most buyers               
                 The most likely buyer for your home and how best to reach them               
                 What features buyers are looking for and expect from the homes in your neighborhood               
                 What marketing techniques are driving the most buyer traffic               
             Why settle for an agent who will simply put a "For Sale" sign in your yard, when you could have one that will get the "SOLD" sign up as soon as possible! As your local real estate expert, I would be honored to work with you on your next move.   
             Sincerely,           
Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011