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


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 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:
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 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.


Lisa E.

Cell: (586) 421-1642

Fax: (586) 949-0211

Visit my website at
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

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 jalapeƱo 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: 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!