Monday, January 30, 2012

Solutions: lifestyle changes

There are a couple of things you can try to reduce your chances of experiencing panic episodes while sleeping:

1. Music

Listening to relaxing music can help you fall asleep faster than simply lying on your bed in complete silence. Music will help you relax your mind and stop focusing on your conscious thoughts. Alternatively, you can try listening to a white noise machine instead of music.

2. Relaxation

Basic relaxation exercises can go a long way in helping you sleep better. I like to practice conscious breathing whenever I have trouble falling asleep as I find it helps me calm my mind.

3. Exercising

You don’t need to do a lot of exercising every day to sleep better. Some simple lifestyle changes like taking the stairs instead of the elevator will do you a lot of good. It’s amazing how a 20-minute walk outside can do wonders to clear your mind and help you sleep better at night.

4. Avoiding alcohol and coffee

In many cases, alcohol and coffee have been found to be the cause of panic disorders in people. Gradually decrease your intake of coffee and avoid taking it in the afternoon if you want any chance of sleeping at night. If you drink a lot, try to cut back on alcohol and take notes on the quality of your sleep to learn what effects it has on it.

5. Stress management

As I mentioned earlier, nightly episodes of panic happen when there is a lot of stress and anxiety repressed during the day. Learning how to manage that stress will help you get rid of your problem.

6. Therapy

If your panic or anxiety attacks become a problem in your life and you feel like you can’t solve it by yourself, don’t be afraid to consult a professional to help you with your issue.

Panic attack or sleep apnea?

Panic attacks happening while you’re sleeping can bear some resemblances with sleep apnea, a disorder where the person stops breathing during sleep for a small period of time. While the symptoms of sleep apnea may look like the symptoms of a panic attack, doctors agree that the two disorders are unrelated.
Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

Ted Turner a True Role Model for Our Times!

By Ted Turner

1. I promise to care for Planet Earth and all living things thereon, especially my fellow human beings.

2. I promise to treat all persons everywhere with dignity, respect, and friendliness.

3. I promise to have no more than one or two children.

4. I promise to use my best efforts to help save what is left of our natural world in its undisturbed state, and to restore degraded areas.

5. I promise to use as little of our nonrenewable resources as possible.

6. I promise to minimize my use of toxic chemicals, pesticides, and other poisons, and to encourage others to do the same.

7. I promise to contribute to those less fortunate, to help them become self-sufficient and enjoy the benefits of a decent life including clean air and water, adequate food, health care, housing, education, and individual rights.

8. I reject the use of force, in particular military force, and I support the United Nations arbitration of international disputes.

9. I support the total elimination of all nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, and ultimately the elimination of all weapons of mass destruction.

10. I support the United Nations and its efforts to improve the condition of the planet.

11. I support renewable energy and feel we should move rapidly to contain greenhouse gases.

Lisa Ekanger Your Preferred Realtor!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

THE DILEMMA ~ A Poem by Oliver Wendell Holmes


by: Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894)

OW, by the blessed Paphian queen,

Who heaves the breast of sweet sixteen;

By every name I cut on bark

Before my morning star grew dark;

By Hymen's torch, by Cupid's dart,

By all that thrills the beating heart;

The bright black eye, the melting blue,--

I cannot choose between the two.

I had a vision in my dreams;--

I saw a row of twenty beams;

From every beam a rope was hung,

In every rope a lover swung;

I asked the hue of every eye

That bade each luckless lover die;

Ten shadowy lips said, heavenly blue,

And ten accused the darker hue.

I asked a matron which she deemed

With fairest light of beauty beamed;

She answered, some thought both were fair,--

Give her blue eyes and golden hair.

I might have liked her judgment well,

But, as she spoke, she rung the bell,

And all her girls, nor small nor few,

Came marching in, -- their eyes were blue.

I asked a maiden; back she flung

The locks that round her forehead hung,

And turned her eye, a glorious one,

Bright as a diamond in the sun,

On me, until beneath its rays

I felt as if my hair would blaze;

She liked all eyes but eyes of green;

She looked at me; what could she mean?

Ah! many lids Love lurks between,

Nor heeds the coloring of his screen;

And when his random arrows fly,

The victim falls, but knows not why.

Gaze not upon his shield of jet,

The shaft upon the string is set;

Look not beneath his azure veil,

Though every limb were cased in mail.

Well, both might make a martyr break

The chain that bound him to the stake;

And both, with but a single ray,

Can melt our very hearts away;

And both, when balanced, hardly seem

To stir the scales, or rock the beam;

But that is dearest, all the while,

That wears for us the sweetest smile.

Lisa Ekanger Your Preferred Realtor!

Easy Blender Salsa!

Quick and Easy Salsa

By Kelley on January 23, 2012

Let me introduce you to the easiest salsa you’ve ever met. It literally comes together in under 5 minutes. Not only is it easy peasy to prepare but it’s down right delicious. Unlike pico de gallo, it’s more like a salsa you’d get in a Mexican restaurant served with chips before you get dinner.

This is perfect for the winter months when tomatoes aren’t in season but you’re craving a fresh simple appetizer. It’s a go to recipe of mine when we have a houseful of guests. I can throw it together in no time and I almost always have the ingredients on hand. I mean who doesn’t love chips and salsa? If you raised your hand we might have to stop being friends. For reals. Bacon haters and the non fan of chips and salsa are deal breakers in my life. And you think I’m joking.

In a food processor or blender, I combine a can of diced tomatoes, a can of Rotel which is seasoned diced tomatoes with green chilies, 1/2 of a small onion, 1/2 of a jalapeno, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, honey and a few spices. Pulse for 30 seconds and that’s it. I’ve been known to throw in half a cucumber and a carrot before too. This is the kind of salsa that you can’t really screw up. You can follow the recipe below as a guideline and do as you like to make it your own.

It’s the perfect apres nosh after a long day of skiing or snowboarding and the perfect beverage to wash this down is an icy cold beer. Absolute heaven if you ask me.
With the Super Bowl just around the corner, this would be a great easy appetizer to watch the big game. Make sure you’ve got something to serve at half time because this won’t last through the first quarter.
Print Recipe
Easy Blender Salsa


•1- 14 oz can diced tomatoes

•1- 10 oz can orginal Rotel

•1/2 small onion, roughly chopped

•1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed

•1/2-1 jalapeno, seeded or not (depends on how spicy you like it)

•1 teaspoon honey

•1/2 teaspoon salt

•1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

•small to medium size handful of cilantro, washed

•juice of 1 lime


Put all the ingredients in the base of a food processor or good blender and pulse to combine for 30 seconds or so until all the ingredients are finely chopped and salsa is desired consistency. Taste for seasoning and adjust to taste. Serve with chips or over tacos.

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Lisa Ekanger Your Preferred Realtor!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tapping into Your Inner-Savvy: 10 Ways to Accomplish Your Goals

June 10, 2010 by Shannon P

1. Take the first (and last) step! There are only two ways to complete any task or project. Begin it. Finish it.

2. Keep a notepad nearby. I received this tip from our very own Shelly, the founder/CEO of College Lifestyles (TM), who encourages all CL interns to keep notepads on-hand to write down ideas that may arise. Sometimes, the greatest ideas arrive spontaneously; you don’t want to be in a position to forget them. Keeping a notepad nearby ensures that not only will you remember your idea or goal, but you will also remember to fulfill it.

3. Visualize your goals. Being able to envision your goals makes it more likely that you will accomplish them. In their initial stages, your goals are abstract thoughts. Make them concrete by writing them down. You can go a step forward by drawing out a plan. Your notepad will definitely come in handy for this. You can also write down your goals on note cards and post them on your wall. In my last post, I mentioned creating a vision board, which is a collage of images and quotes that reflect your desires. Create your own vision board that represents what you want to accomplish. My fellow CL intern Michelle Martinez’s most recent post goes into great detail about how to create your own vision board.

4. Utilize online social networks. Facebook and Twitter have become social phenomena. Use them both to your advantage. Befriend or follow the top figures in your field of interest. You’re bound to encounter rich advice, words of encouragement, as well as hear about noteworthy opportunities.

5. Network the traditional way. While Facebook and Twitter offer a new way to network, you can never go wrong with networking the traditional way. Find a mentor –a professor whom you admire or a professional in your field of interest –who can help point you in the right direction. You are the company you keep. Surround yourself with people who have the same vision for your life as you do.
6. Don’t talk about it; be about it. I’ve likely heard this phrase, or something similar to it, before. But it became my new mantra one day when I realized I said often to myself, and others, what I needed or planned to do, instead of just doing do it. So, don’t talk about it, be about it.

7. Change your language. We often speak things into existence. The world reacts to our energy. Speaking negatively and bearing a negative attitude will not help you accomplish your goals. Also, omit the word “try” from your vocabulary. If you say that you are “trying” to complete a task, you will only succeed in attempting to complete it –not necessarily completing it.

8. Read. A lot. Some of the greatest advice and wisdom come from philosophers, authors, and savvy professionals gracious enough to put their pens to page. There are many worthwhile books about how to be successful. I find reading success stories always inspire me to work towards my goals.

9. Trust your instincts. “Create your own roadmap. You’ll get lost trying to follow somebody else’s.” — Susan Taylor. I came across this quote recently while on the internet. Reading about others’ success stories and soaking in helpful tips are merely starting points and guides to help keep you on your path to success. The direction of your path is always up to you, so trust your instincts.

10. Be realistic about your goals.  Always dreams big, but dreaming big doesn’t mean you have to start big. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself with a task so large that it may be too much for you to handle. If your task is big, break it up into smaller goals so that your smaller goals add up to one big goal. Completing each smaller task will help build up your consistency, which is one of the determinants of success.

Lisa Ekanger Your Preferred Realtor!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sales of previously owned homes rose in December for the third straight month:


Sales of previously owned homes rose in December for the third straight month, bringing the supply of homes listed for sale to the lowest level since 2006 and offering a glimmer of hope that the housing market could be starting to climb out of a profound downturn.

Existing-home sales increased 5% in December from a month earlier, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.61 million units, the National Association of Realtors said Friday. Lawrence Yun, the Realtors' chief economist, called the December gain "a good finish to a very tough year."

Close.Many economists had predicted that 2011 would be the worst year on record for existing home sales, but the year ended with 4.26 million sales, about 1.6% higher than the 4.19 million existing homes sold in 2010. Market-watchers attributed this to a minor surge in sales at year-end, driven by historically low mortgage rates, falling prices, active investor-buyers and increasing consumer confidence.

Still, economists cautioned that it's too early to assume that the market is recovering. "These were positive numbers, but that doesn't mean the market is getting better. Lenders have been trying to get rid of distressed homes, and investors been snapping them up," said Patrick Newport, chief economist at IHS Global Insight. According to the Realtors report, investors purchased 21% of all homes in December, up from 19% in November.

WSJ's Jon Hilsenrath has details of 2006 Federal Reserve transcripts that reveal the Fed did not forsee the coming housing bust and resulting economic downturn. Photo: REUTERS/Jason Reed

.. Brendan Conway has the morning's economic news that will impact markets on Tuesday, including Germany's confidence report, Jeffries and General Mills earnings reports, and new housing data. AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

.The inventory of homes for sale declined in December to 2.38 million, the equivalent of a 6.2-month supply, assuming the pace of sales remain at December's level. A six-month supply of homes typically is considered healthy, although NAR's numbers don't take into account the "shadow inventory" of homes that are either in foreclosure or on bank balance sheets and not yet listed for sale.

Prices, meanwhile, continue to fall. The median price in December was $164,500, down 2.5% from a year earlier. Prices were down in all regions except the West, where prices rose slightly, compared with a year ago. For all of 2011, the median was $166,100, the lowest since 2002.

"What you really want to see is sales going up, inventories going down, and prices going up, not down," said David Semmens, an economist with Standard Chartered. "People still feel they can hold off buying a house because the recovery won't be that aggressive. It's still very much a buyer's market."

That buyer's market allowed Andrew Gonzales, a 24-year-old police officer in Santa Fe, N.M., to be picky about price when looking for a home for himself and his three-year-old daughter. He closed last month on a $132,000, three-bedroom home in Rio Rancho, a suburb of Albuquerque, after the price was cut twice. Just before closing, the home was appraised for $18,000 higher than the sales price, at $150,000, by a private appraiser.

"I got tired of paying rent, and I'm a single father, so I wanted a home for my daughter," he said. "I was just waiting for the price to come down."

Vision Equity, a company that buys foreclosed homes at auctions in Indianapolis, stepped up the volume of its purchases this winter, buying about 45 homes a month in October, November and December, compared with about 30 homes a month last summer.

"There's a lot of cash investor activity right now," said Steve Olson, a spokesman for Vision Equity. "The chatter at the courthouse was, there's going to be a lot more product coming on the market, and the pricing is going to be good for investors. And we prepared our own investors for that."

Lisa Ekanger Your Preferred Realtor!

Friday, January 20, 2012

“unconventional rules of life”


What I believe is how I do. These “unconventional rules of life” guide why and how I live my life.

It’s not about the success of one business or idea, it’s about the success of you. You are not defined by one project or idea or experience. Failure is not a stigma. It’s okay to fail. If no one is responding to what you’re doing and you feel no progress, that might be an indication that you should move on to something else or take a new approach to what you’re already doing.

Define success as you see fit. You don’t have to define success according to how others do. For me, I want to feel fulfilled, I want to eliminate unhappiness in my life, and I want to experience ease, flow, purpose and progress every day. That’s it. How do you define success?

Eliminate haters. If someone is hating or bringing me down, I immediately cut them out of my life. If someone lifts me up and makes me feel alive, I bring them closer. But I never, ever, get close to those who bring me down. I cut them, wish them well, and carry on. I rarely, if ever, provide an explanation. Explaining is draining. (I went through a period where I was obsessed with explaining and trying to help people understand where I was coming from. I thought it was the good and honest thing to do. In the end, this exhausted me and them.) Letting go and moving on is one of the most important rules I’ve implemented in my life.

If you want the world you envision, create the self you envision. We don’t get what we want by focusing on external rewards and validation from other people. We get what we want and we achieve success by replacing negative habits with positive ones, eliminating unhappiness from our lives, and working toward things that we feel matter. If you were the best version of yourself, how would you behave? Start there.

Create what you’d use. Whether it’s a product, experience, piece of content, program, or whatever, create things that you want and would actually use. If you wouldn’t use it, or aren’t sure if you’d use it, then don’t create it.

Know why you’re doing what you’re doing. Keep asking yourself “Why?” until you get to the core of why you’re really doing what you’re doing. For example, I committed to writing twice a week because I wanted to put out ongoing content that’s valuable. I wanted to address the same questions that I get through email in a public forum. I wanted to prepare myself for the book I’ll likely write within the next year. I wanted to share bits and pieces of my journey in hope that they’ll enable more people to eliminate unhappiness from their lives and act on what matters. I want to enable more people to do this because then we’ll change our behaviors and the world. Why do you do the things you do?

Never do anything you don’t want to do. Hell yes or no. If you don’t want to do it, be honest (without being hurtful), and carry on with what you do want to do. Doing things that you don’t want to do because you’re trying to be nice or trying to please will actually hurt you and them in the long-run.

Be really effing honest. On that note, always be really effing honest. Whether you’re breaking up with a company, ending a romance with someone who’s just not right for you, or telling someone how you really feel, save time by keeping it real and being honest. It might suck at first but ultimately, it’s better for you and better for them. Life brings you beautiful things when you’re honest with yourself and others.

Listen to your body. When I’m heading away from the work that I’m meant to be doing, my body reacts. For a few years, I was allergic to cream. When I made a significant move and change in my life, I suddenly dropped that allergy. Your body sometimes knows more than you do.

Life is an experiment. It is only an experiment. When I think of life as an experiment, it removes the emotion and makes taking action easier. When I’m being bombarded with challenges, responsibilities, even overwhelming hurdles, when I look at it like an experiment, I realize that just rising above is an opportunity to learn, grow, and succeed. Maintaining this perspective helps me look forward to the challenging moments. It helps me have more fun, try things just to find answers, and not take life so damn seriously.

Create your own rules. What works for me may not work for you. What works for you may not work for me. Break rules that don’t matter to you and instead create your own. Give yourself permission to create a life on your own terms. You don’t need the approval or support of your parents or close friends if it’s not aligned with what you know you need to do. Just start.

Hey, I'm Amber

Imagine a world without a speed limit.

Where human potential is not governed by what we're told to be, the only fear is not giving enough, and the urge to share your gift cannot be restricted.

This is the world I'm creating. One person and story at a time, backed by an unwavering mission.

It takes guts. Heart. And finding purpose through asking Why? Be inspired and follow the journey twice a week.

In the last 365 days I said Hell Yes to: Working with Seth Godin to launch the Domino Project, helping Derek Sivers make his book a best-seller, speaking at TEDxCMU on The Art of Being Unreasonable, and launching a program where I help people give their dreams direction.

This is an adventure. It's only the beginning. Let's make it amazing.

A. Rae
Lisa Ekanger Your Preferred Realtor!

No One Cares What You Do ~ They Care Why You Do It.

That’s the premise of one of my favorite books, Start With Why, by Simon Sinek. In this book, Simon talks about how great leaders inspire action. He explains how the most innovative and influential people and organizations have an uncanny ability to articulate the why of their existence.

For example, Martin Luther King didn’t give a ten-page presentation on the changes he envisioned with statistics on why it was a good idea. Instead, he got on stage and said, “I believe in a world . . . ” He shared his driving belief, the reason he got out of bed, and the change he wished to see in the world.

Apple didn’t say “we make great computers.” They said, “we challenge the status quo and believe in thinking differently.” Dell, on the other hand, talked about making great computers. Now which brand has built a cult following?

Zappos talks about a belief that happiness can be used as a model both in business, and in life. What other shoe company does this?

To explain the companies that are functioning at their highest ability, Simon developed a Why/How/What “Golden Circle” (pictured above) which is based on the biology of human decision making as it relates to how people interact with brands and organizations.

No one cares what you do. They care why you do it.

So how does this apply to your life or business?

Yesterday, a close friend approached me for direction on the style/fashion business he’s building. For his own clarity, he was attempting to map out his Why/How/What. Within 30 seconds of chatting with him, I realized he didn’t actually understand what “why” “how” and “what” mean.

Here’s the advice I gave him, which might assist you in evaluating your own ability to create influence and impact in everything that you do:

Why: A belief that drives you. The reason you get out of bed in the morning.

For example: my why is to inspire and enable people to unleash their full potential so that together, we change the world.

How: The actions you take. The things you do to realize your Why.

For example, my Hows are to:

1) challenge conformity and ignore what’s expected

2) focus on positive long-term behavioral change (to change the world, I must first change myself)

3) see the good and opportunity in everything

4) experiment to see what sticks

5) candidly share everything

What: The tangible things that you can see and touch. The outcomes that prove your Why and How.

For example, my Whats are:

1) Hey Amber Rae: I write. I experiment. I reflect.

2) I tell stories of remarkable people living unconventional lives.

3) Passion Experiment: I work with high-potential people one-on-one to overcome obstacles and make positive change.

What we do will evolve and grow and change over time. Why and how we do things will remain consistent, guiding the things we create to realize our full potential.

Lisa Ekanger Your Preferred Realtor!

You may think you can't or won't. But when faced with a fire & only one way out...

Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!
You may think you can't or won't. But when faced with a fire & only one way out...or after realizing it's a barrier to reaching something or someone extremely won't waste time questioning yourself or doubt your ability. You just WILL do it. And when you do, you will do it with a sudden calm control, lazer sharp focus, & decide at warp speed. You become twice as strong. So YES, you ...can do it. You are just thinking way to much & not inspired by loss or gain. What is that important to you? What inspires you with extra strength or drives you? What would you be willing to do facing a loss, or for a huge gain right within your reach? Now channel that thought, vision, & feeling into a motivating strength that helps you take action. You know you could DO it if you suddenly really needed to...or wanted to. So no questions or stalling. You are way more capable & strong than you know. So DO it. :)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

“A leader on the playground!”  Those were the words that were carefully written on a thin line at the bottom of a pink carbon copy of my second grade report card (and believe it or not) those words have helped me hang on to my sense of self ever since.  My childhood consisted of the classic Midwest ingredients: Start with one conservative medium sized Catholic family, (stir in one idealistic homemaker and one ambitious salesman) then add in a large colonial home in an upwardly mobile subdivision, sprinkle across the prairie then bake in the average daily grind until mediocrity occurs.  We never talked about our dreams; we never talked about me going to college or my future because mostly we didn’t talk about stuff like that because that’s just how Catholics from mainly German heritage did things back then. Most of my childhood days were filled with daydreaming and creating scenarios and competitions, but when I reached about fourteen years old, my grades started to plummet and the crying spells began.  I had a sense early on that my parents weren’t really interested in spending time with us kids, and we weren’t the only family where I saw that happening. It seems that it was a part of the evolution of the 1970’s and of the women’s movement. The 1970’s were pretty traumatic to me and to many others like me; the rampant divorces and remarriages of neighbors was very desperate houswivesish (I think I just invented a new word!) one of the ladies I babysat for ran off and joined the military and announced that she was a lesbian and left her loyal hubby and two adorable little boys. Crocheted bikinis, marijuana bongs and twenty year olds taking teens to the roller rink on dates? Seriously, now that I’m an adult I can ask, “What the hell happened?” There is one super trauma (as I like to call it) that stands out among the rest and “it” came in the form of a very scary man that we called the “butt slasher”.  There was a guy who rode around on his motorcycle slashing young women in the rear end with a machete for wearing their jeans too tight.  I can just hear him thinking, “That’ll teach em!” My friends and I walked everywhere and we were so freaked out when we heard the sound of any motorcycle approaching. I’m not sure if that guy was ever caught, but wow, the 1970’s were messed up in more ways than one. Honestly, I cannot remember most of my life from 14-20 due to a thick fog I found myself walking through daily.  When I turned 17 my father was fired from his job of 20 years (as a successful publishing salesman) and that’s when the fog went from thick to black.  My father had a complete psychological breakdown; my parents divorced and then lost their dream home to foreclosure. Dad disappeared and mom (who still had two teenage children at home) started working two jobs to make ends meet.  I ran away to NYC to find something.  I don’t know exactly what I was looking for, but looking back, I can now see that I was just trying to get as far away as possible; to disassociate from the pain that looked like a giant boulder pinning down the back legs of a donkey at the bottom of a desert canyon. My time spent in NYC was a blur too, jumping from job to job with (sometimes) intentional and intermittent homelessness wedged in the open sores of my pain.  I did not do any drugs, even though I was offered them daily.  Instinctively I knew I was already in a darker place than a drug addict; for I had no home, no family, no friends, no guidance, and not a soul to talk to or lean on. I had no hope. I was alone in a city of millions of people. Somehow I managed to make it out of the Big Apple and back to my city city ~ the Mini-apple. I returned to find an empty overworked and despondent mother, a desperate and destroyed teenage sister and a mentally ill homeless father. I took a job at a downtown furrier because my friend told me that they were hiring.  What a weird time for me, fetching twenty five thousand dollar mink coats from cold storage when I only owned the clothes on my back. One of the store managers gave me some money to buy a nicer outfit for work, so I bought a purple cotton knit skirt with a matching purple and white horizontal striped top, I loved it and I wore it to work every single day for an entire summer. I had three co-workers that were older ladies.  They were: Gertrude, Helen & Mrs. Booth. Gertrude was a ninety-something socialite who lived in a downtown loft, walked to work every day and still wore every piece of Italian gold that each one of her suitors gave her; on each of her gnarly bent fingers an 18k gold ring represented a man who chased her, fell in love with her, tried to buy her and eventually gave up. Gerty lived her romantic history by pointing at each piece of jewelry and telling the tale of each love, she was hunched over and stood about four feet tall, her hair was a thin soft cloud ~ a barely gold nest piled right on the very top of her head. Mrs. Booth was the buyer of the store; she was built like a linebacker and always wore a stiff tight two piece tweed skirt suit. She was the teacher of the three, always explaining the difference in the fur coats, the makers of the fine accessories and always making sure we knew that she routinely mingled with top designers at trunk shows in NYC.  So at nineteen I didn’t know how to cook or how to balance a checkbook, but I could point out the difference between mink, chinchilla, fox, seal and beaver coats. Helen was the hater.  Back then it wasn’t even a term, but I know she was a petty bitter human being. I guess you could say Helen was a rule monger, task master a perfect schoolmarm; she would watch my every move I made and comment on what I was doing wrong. If I bent over without bending my knee the right way I was scolded, and if I sat down without crossing my legs the proper way, she would whisper ‘hussy’. Helen had real issues with my refusal to wear pantyhose (which were a requirement) she would report me daily to the boss but he just blew it off. He was a small mild mannered Jewish man who knew I simply could not afford to buy them. There have always been moments of complete clarity and vision in my life; even in my youth (and in my vulnerability) I knew that there was something better.  I knew that attitude shaped these women and I knew I had youth on my side.  I would never forget how each of them made me feel and I have always made sure to reach out to younger women and try my hardest to be a positive role model wherever I went. I always believed that one person could make a huge impact; each one of those old broads left an indelible impression on me. One thing I knew for sure was that wearing a tight synthetic fiber on the largest organ of your body was just wrong. I vowed never to wear pantyhose again as my defiant opposition to what Helen stood for: empty, bitter, angry like a bully desperately grasping sand in both hands and trying to throw it as the other kids run away.  Mrs. Booth, well she taught me to put your heart and soul into something and to give it your everything no matter how small, to give it serious consideration and in Gerty I learned that I should not fear making commitments, because it was the one thing she just couldn’t seem to do. To make matters even more difficult and awkward; my homeless father had a knack for finding out where I worked.  I could see his reflection in the front glass (from about 15 feet away) as he briskly approached the door; his hair was wild like classic Einstein and he was wearing the navy blue quilted brewery jacket that he received after  my Moms uncle Zig’s funeral. I quickly hit the floor behind the counter and told my friend Roohi to tell him I no longer worked there. That was just one of the many colorful and uncomfortable situations he would put me through, and over the next ten years my sisters and I spent countless hours in the local court house having him committed to the VA hospital so that he could receive proper treatment for his bi-polar disorder. I like to refer to those days as my sockless phase. I took the Miami Vice trend of sans socks with loafers all the way through a Minnesota winter. Nothing and I mean NOTHING can compare to the blistering misery of sitting at a frozen bus stop (several times a day) for 15 minutes at a time in negative -30, -40 and -50 temperatures. Freezing temps that were so cold you literally felt like your skin was on fire. It’s not that I wanted to nearly freeze to death every day, but I told myself that I was fine because it was the only way I could cope with not having the money to buy a pair of socks. And when I made friends with a rich girl in one of my college classes, I would play it off that I enjoyed driving around with her in the convertible that her parents bought her, I pretended to enjoy the countless trips to the high end downtown department stores where she would try on multiple pairs of shoes and endlessly ask me which ones I liked better. She would always say, “You should buy some.” and I would say, “Nah, shoes are not my thing.” Push pain down, keep pushing the pain down.  That’s what I did most of my adult life. I knew I was hurting, but I came from a family that didn’t talk about such things. I was trained not to whine. “Get over it.” I could hear my mother’s words loud and clear and so I did. Or so I thought I did, but deep in my heart I knew something was very wrong with me, but I chalked it up to poverty and walked forward into my life to make something of myself. With hard work and a college education, good things started to happen for me, but my life still felt the way molasses looks when you pour it from the jar.  It was dark, slow, thick and by itself, inconsumable. I got married and had a son and for several years this adorable little creature enticed the sun to follow me wherever I went.  My handsome loving husband and my baby boy brought me joy that I had never experienced before; Joy that could split a watermelon in two with the sound of its laughter. As the years marched on, the crying spells became less frequent (but so did the temporary joy) they morphed into something different.  Now I was simply numb. I was without feeling, like a lifeless octopus that washed up on the beach ~ each tentacle representing a dead appendage of my life. Here’s the equation: Marriage = huge struggle + Children = even bigger struggle + Career = a walk of emptiness on the moon. From about twenty five to thirty five, I bounced without feelings in my oxygenated suit, working fifty hours a week (insulated from emotion and from the world) as I walked on my own personal empty planet.  My thoughts were jumbled, my words were twisted and my actions bewildered all those with whom I interacted. At 35 years old I had a complete breakdown.  I tried to tell my Mom (and in her classic German way) she shut me down. She said, “I worry about you.” And this translated into, “I worry that you will go down the same pathetic road as your father.” It was at this point that I realized I had hit bottom and could no longer wish and hope for things to get better, so I decided to go to a Dr. for help. The meeting was uncomfortable and weird because I was embarrassed to admit that my thoughts, actions and words just didn’t make any sense. I began to tell him the story of my life and he listened intently.  I could hear my words coming out crammed together and I became more and more self conscious. I wanted to smooth it over and just give him the abridged version but as I searched for more words, (and my eyes wandered from corner to corner on the ceiling) I heard him say. “Two Rats.” This tiny Middle-Eastern psychiatrist had a very thick accent, but I immediately got what he was trying to say. I think he meant I had two problems. I was like, “Huh?” “What did you say?” “Tourette’s, it’s a syndrome and I believe you have it.” “That combined with anxiety.” I sat there silently stunned looking at the cheap paneling in his dumpy office. Alas, finally I can begin to understand me. I’m not the only person in this world who feels this way, struggles with these issues; there’s a name, THERE IS A NAME!  I was bewildered and silent, I wanted to laugh and to cry at the same time and I was both relieved and worried too….this little girl, the leader of the playground who was always called goofy, crazy, wild, zany and defiant could (maybe?) now take back her power.  She could reclaim her self esteem that had been slowly whittled away through the years like a lone piece of drift glass lying on an empty beach. With my diagnosis I was completely liberated.  My diagnosis allowed me to know what to research and the knowledge I acquired opened doors that lead me on a personal wellness journey a of self discovery and of taking back the power of me.  My life is light and energy now.  Every day I awake and thank my lucky stars for me and then I go about my day making sure to spread the good feelings to everyone I encounter…and every night as I lay in bed I think about my own beating heart and my last thoughts are always the same.  “Wow, I’m so lucky to be here; this is such a miracle.”  I wouldn’t change anything from my life (past or present) because now as I live in the moment, it’s as if every day is Christmas to me. I’m the little girl who breaks the rules and sets her alarm early to get a sneak peek of the Christmas tree and all its bounty; because for me, seeing the world through rose colored glasses is a big beautiful velvet wrapped gift.
Lisa Ekanger Your Preferred Realtor!


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

January 2012 Housing Market Update!

January 2012 Market Update

2012 shows signs of an improving housing market as the U.S. economy continues its forward-moving yet slow road to recovery. Although there are economists projecting housing prices will decline further, aided by distressed property sales that sell at a greater discount, these prices are expected to rebound considerably later in the year and continue into 2013.

Factors that continue to impede a speedier recovery in the housing are consumer confidence, job-growth uncertainty, and tough lending standards that keep many otherwise qualified buyers from financing a home purchase. However, consumer confidence may be showing signs of improvement according to a report released by Fannie Mae on December 7, which revealed that consumer sentiment toward home prices is stabilizing and that, for the first time in six months, more people believe that prices will soon begin to rise. This is an encouraging development, as much of our economic vitality depends upon the overall confidence of the consumer, and could trigger even stronger home sales as more people feel confident that prices will go up.

As the new year begins, many consumers appear to be in a holding pattern, waiting to see how the economy reacts to the different demands both here and abroad. Yet with steadily increasing sales and record-breaking affordability, now is the time to take advantage of these opportunities to buy or sell a home.

Sources: Fiserv, Fannie Mae
Interest Rates:
Mortgage rates continued to push historic lows in November, dropping another .08 points, to 3.99% for a 30-year fixed mortgage. "Rates on 30-year fixed mortgages have been at or below 4 percent for the last eight weeks and now are almost 0.9 percentage points below where they were at the beginning of the year, which means that today's homebuyers are paying over $1,200 less per year on a $200,000 loan," said Frank Nothaft, Vice President of Freddie Mac.

Home Sales:
Sales among existing homes rose in November by a seasonally adjusted 4%, to 4.42 million units up from 4.25 million in October, and are 12.2 percent above last year at this time. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR said, "Sales reached the highest mark in 10 months and are 34 percent above the cyclical low point in mid-2010 – a genuine sustained sales recovery appears to be developing."

Home Prices:
While median home prices in November rose to $164,200 from $162,500 in October, they are down 3.5% from a year ago. David Stiff, chief economist at Fiserv, stated, "Housing affordability has improved dramatically because of declines in both prices and mortgage interest rates. The monthly mortgage payment for a median-priced single-family home is now $700, compared to $1,140 in 2006—a decline of nearly 40%." (Based on 2011 Q2 figures)

With increased levels of sales, the inventory of homes on the market continued to decrease, falling by 5.8% in November to 2.58 million homes available for sale, or an equivalent of a seven month supply at the current sales pace. This positive sign of increasing sales and lower inventories are keeping the housing market on track for stabilizing home prices and a stronger housing sector.

Buyer/Seller Tips:

If one of your New Year's resolutions is to sell your home, here are a few things to keep in mind:
  • Although the traditional home-buying season starts in the spring, here are some reasons why listing your home now, rather than waiting, could prove to be a smart decision.

  • On average, the number of home sales in January drops almost by half from the previous year's peak. A house that is priced right and staged well will stand out even more with less competition.

  • Lenders, home inspectors, movers, and other vendors also see a seasonal dip in transactions. This could mean a quicker, easier, and possibly cheaper time to buy, sell, and move.

  • Even if you're not ready quite yet, now is a great time to start the conversation with your local real estate agent. He or she can give you pointers on which repairs and preparations to tackle first, and which ones may not be necessary, saving you time and money. Starting now can help you capture the most buyers by busy season.
 Lisa Ekanger Your Preferred Realtor!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My Joy.

And when my joy was born I held it in my arms and stood on the house-top shouting, "Come ye, my neighbours, come and see, for Joy this day is born unto me. Come and behold this gladsome thing that laugheth in the sun."

But none of my neighbours came to look upon my Joy, and great was my astonishment.

And every day for seven moons I proclaimed my Joy from the house-top -- and yet no one heeded me. And my Joy and I were alone, unsought and unvisited.

Then my Joy grew pale and weary because no other heart but mine held its loveliness and no other lips kissed its lips.

Then my Joy died of isolation.

And now I only remember my dead Joy in remembering my dead Sorrow. But memory is an autumn leaf that murmurs in the wind and then is heard no more.
K Gibran 1883-1931
Lisa Ekanger Your Preferred Realtor!

My Defeat


Defeat, my Defeat, my solitude and my aloofness;

You are dearer to me than a thousand triumphs,

And sweeter to my heart than all worldglory.

Defeat, my Defeat, my self-knowledge and my defiance,

Through you I know that I am yet young and swift of foot

And not to be trapped by withering laurels.

And in you I have found aloneness

And the joy of being shunned and scorned.

Defeat, my Defeat, my shining sword and shield,

In your eyes I have read

That to be enthroned is to be enslaved,

And to be understood is to be levelled down,

And to be grasped is but to reach one's fullness

And like a ripe fruit to fall and be consumed.

Defeat, my Defeat, my bold companion,

You shall hear my songs and my cries and my silences,

And none but you shall speak to me of the beating of wings,

And urging of seas,

And of mountains that burn in the night,

And you alone shall climb my steep and rocky soul.

Defeat, my Defeat, my deathless courage,

You and I shall laugh together with the storm,

And together we shall dig graves for all that die in us,

And we shall stand in the sun with a will,

And we shall be dangerous.
K. Gibran

Lisa Ekanger Your Preferred Realtor!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

List of Little Known Facts about Martin Luther King Jr.

1.In 1934, five years after his birth, his family discovered Martin's name had been recorded wrong on his birth certificate. The certificate said Michael King, so his name had to be legally changed to Martin Luther King Jr.

2.In 1939, Martin sang with his church choir in Atlanta at the gala premiere of the movie Gone With The Wind.

3.He skipped the 9th and 12th grades in school and entered Moorehouse College at age 15.

4.He had Bachelor degrees in sociology and theology. In 1955 he received his PH. D. from Boston University.

5.From 1957 until his death in 1968, he traveled more than 6 million miles. He gave over 2500 speeches during his travels. He also wrote 5 books and had published countless numbers of articles in newspapers and magazines.

6.In 1964, at age 35, he was the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

7.According to a Gallup poll, King is the second most admired person in the 20th century.

8.In a contest sponsored by the Discovery Channel, he was voted the 3rd Greatest American of all time.

9.Presently there are 730+ U.S. cities that have streets named after King.

10.King is 1 of 10 20th century world martyrs who has a statue at Westminster Abbey.

Lisa Ekanger Your Preferred Realtor!

To love is not to ask anything in return...

"Freedom and love go together. Love is not a reaction. If I love you because you love me, that is mere trade, a thing to be bought in the market; it is not love. To love is not to ask anything in return, not even to feel that you are giving something- and it is only such love that can know freedom."

Lisa Ekanger Your Preferred Realtor!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

56 Things I Wished I’d Known When I was Younger.

56 Things I Wished I’d Known When I was Younger

1.I wish I’d known that failure was an option.

2.I wish I’d known there’s a difference between friends and drinking buddies.

3.I wish I’d known honesty, in all situations, is always, always, always the best policy.

4.I wish I’d known how to grow a pair and be more assertive.

5.I wish I’d known how to feel comfortably weird about being a little weird.

6.I wish I’d known how much my mum and dad really loved me, and all the warnings I got came from a place of love.

7.I wish I’d known that my thoughts don’t have to dictate my life.

8.I wish I’d known that home really is where the heart is.

9.I wish I’d known that intelligence is not something you’re born with, it’s something that can be worked on.

10.I wish I’d known that being positive can really change your thoughts which can indeed change your life.

11.I wish I’d known how to be myself more and not tried to imitate Tom Cruise’ (Top Gun) confidence (Although singing, ‘You’ve lost that Loving Feeling’ to girls sometimes did work )

12.I wish I’d known that the jacket of life could be altered to suit me.

13.I wish I’d known how to say No!

14.I wish I’d known that the phrase ‘just try it’ should apply to everything we do in life.

15.I wish I’d known that not being perfect is okay, and, in fact, striving for perfection is an impossible task.

16.I wish I’d known that not being ‘well off’ didn’t mean I didn’t have a rich life.

17.I wish I’d known that losing myself in a book wasn’t a substitute for living.

18.I wish I’d known that my thoughts actually control how I feel, and how I feel affects the way I see the world.

19.I wish I’d known that sex is a physical act and that love is something different altogether.

20.I wish I’d known that having two strong sisters was a blessing.

21.I wish I’d known that formal education was only one option in life and not the only, or best, option.

22.I wish I’d known that starting a business didn’t require as much planning or money as I’d thought.

23.I wish I’d known never to settle for second best, whether it be in relationships, product choice, or employment.

24.I wish I’d known that loving yourself was a pre-requisite to truly loving others.

25.I wish I’d known how to plan my finances better.

26.I wish I’d known that everything I ever stressed out about would not matter one year later.

27.I wish I’d known that TV numbs the mind.

28.I wish I’d known that my mistakes would define me as the person I am today.

29.I wish I’d known that perfection is never going to happen.

30.I wish I’d known never to actively participate in gossip, it’s the black death of the soul.

31.I wish I’d known that nobody can be changed, no matter how hard you try to change them. People change because the pain of changing is less than the pain of not changing.

32.I wish I’d known how to express my love more.

33.I wish I’d known that my regrets in life stopped me from moving on. When it’s done, forget it and move on.

34.I wish I’d known that helping others was the real path to helping every area of my own life, business, and personal.

35.I wish I’d known that change is inevitable, and rather than fighting it, I should have befriended it.

36.I wish I’d known not to waste my time and mental energy on people who didn’t matter in my life.

37.I wish I’d known that life is a balance and I dictate the ratios.

38.I wish I’d known that it’s okay not to know everything.

39.I wish I’d known to live in the moment, and not in the future or the past.

40.I wish I’d known that trusting myself would allow great things to happen.

41.I wish I’d known that not all people are bad, but not all people are good either.

42.I wish I’d known that what’s right for me is not necessarily right for others.

43.I wish I’d known that although responsibility can seem scary, when embraced it gives understanding acceptance and choice.

44.I wish I’d known that one of lifes skills is to be able to spot genuine people.

45.I wish I’d known that things have to come to an end to be able to experience new, exciting things in the future.

46.I wish I’d known that learning doesn’t finish when you leave school.

47.I wish I’d known how to trust my instincts more.

48.I wish I’d known that the world is as big as you allow it to be.

49.I wish I’d known that I had choices, and my route may need to change but perseverance always got me through.

50.I wish I’d known that the world does not owe you any favours, you have to step up to the plate and be counted.

51.I wish I’d known that happiness is not defined by financial wealth.

52.I wish I’d known the importance of working out what was right for me.

53.I wish I’d known that all actions, always have a consequence.

54.I wish I’d known that my needs and desires would change over time.

55.I wish I’d known that doing what I wanted to do was not necessarily me being selfish.

56.I wish I’d known that where you are born does not dictate where you will end up in life.
~S. Aitchinson

Lisa Ekanger Your Preferred Realtor!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Newly Remodeled! 18600 Clinton River Road

Property Description:

Great Two Story Home on a spacious .87 acre lot! Living room & kitchen w/ wood burning stoves, formal dining or second living area off kitchen. First floor bedroom plus 2 bedrooms up. Charming, spacious eat-in country kitchen w/ plenty of storage in the butler’s pantry and 3 season produce cellar off back of kitchen.

~~~~~~~~Organic Gardeners Dream!~~~~~~~

Special Features:

SQ. FT. Approx.: 1650



GARAGE 2 Car detached


EXTERIOR Wood clapboard

ROOF TYPE Composition Shingle

COOLING Ceiling Fan

HEATING Oil furnace + 2 wood burning stoves

Lisa Ekanger

Contact me:

31525 23 Mile Rd.

Chesterfield, MI 48047

Phone: (586) 949-0200

Fax: (586) 949-0211

Cell: (810) 357-8404

Visit my site at:

Lisa Ekanger Your Preferred Realtor!

The Dream That Came True.

He would be an elder statesman now, a lion in winter, an American hero perhaps impatient with the fuss being made over his birthday. At 83, he’d likely still have his wits and his voice. Surely, if he were able, he would continue to preach, to pray — and to dream.

For the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., dreaming was not optional. It was a requirement of citizenship to envision a fairer, more prosperous nation no longer shackled by racism and poverty. It was a duty to imagine a world no longer ravaged by senseless wars. His most famous speech was less an invitation to share his epic dream than a commandment.

.In these sour, pessimistic times, it is important to remember the great lesson of King’s remarkable life: Impossible dreams can come true.

This is not a partisan message; King was every bit as tough on Democrats as Republicans. His activism even transcended ideology. His call for social justice and his opposition to the Vietnam War were rightly seen as liberal, but his insistence on the primacy of faith and family was deeply conservative. His birthday is a national holiday because his words and deeds ennoble us all.

Thinking about King’s legacy reminds me that this is hardly the first time our society has been bitterly divided and fearful of an uncertain future. When he led the 1963 March on Washington and gave his indelible “I Have a Dream” speech, many Southern whites, including officials, were still determined to resist racial integration by any means necessary. Many black Americans were fed up, no longer willing to wait patiently for the rights promised them under the Constitution.

We were inured to television images that today would be shocking. Police dogs turned loose on peaceful protesters. Columns of smoke rising from cities across the land following King’s assassination.

As he predicted, King did not live to reach the mountaintop. But his leadership — and that of so many others in the civil rights movement — set us on a path that changed the nation in ways that once seemed unimaginable. Racism, sexism and all the other poisonous -isms have not been eradicated, but they have been dramatically reduced and marginalized. It is difficult for young people to believe that overt discrimination — “You can’t have that job because you’re black” or “I’m going to pay you less because you’re a woman” — used to be seen as normal.

Today, the nation is suffering what I see as a crisis of confidence. Economic globalization and advances in productivity have hollowed out the U.S. manufacturing sector, eliminating millions of blue-collar jobs. For the first time, parents have to worry whether their children’s standard of living will decline rather than improve. Demographic change is about to make this a nation without a white majority; by the middle of the century, we’ll be an increasingly diverse collection of racial and ethnic minorities — held together, even more than in the past, by the ideals of the nation’s founding documents.

We’re struggling to climb out of the worst recession in decades. We’re deeply in debt. Most of us agree on the need for a social safety net but not on how to structure it or how to pay for it. Our political system is sclerotic if not dysfunctional. The past few elections have not produced a consensus on the way forward. The next won’t, either.

I consider myself fortunate that, when I’m feeling pessimistic about all of this, I’m able to visit the new King memorial that was dedicated in October. The towering statue of King looks out toward the Jefferson Memorial, which honors the man whose stirring words now apply to all Americans, not just a few. Behind King is the Lincoln Memorial, a tribute to a leader who shepherded the nation through days much darker than these.

The plaza surrounding King’s statue opens up to the Tidal Basin as if to demonstrate how our nation, at its best, embraces possibility.

The first time I visited the memorial, I ran into former senator George Allen from Virginia. He and I disagree on almost everything — and since he’s running for office again, I’m sure we’ll be on opposite sides of many issues. But on a crystalline morning, we were able to stand together, awed by King’s moral vision and humbled by his challenge: We can be better. We must. We will.

Lisa Ekanger Your Preferred Realtor!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Top Real Estate Agent, Lisa Ekanger Joins Keller Williams Macomb St Clair as Lead Buyers Specialist

Top Real Estate Agent, Lisa Ekanger Joins Keller Williams Macomb St Clair as Lead Buyers Specialist

Chesterfield, MI (Jan. 1, 2012) -

Keller Williams is proud to announce the addition of one of Southeast Michigan’s top Buyers Specialists to the Keller Williams Macomb St Clair Market Center, a regional leader in real estate sales.

"My goal is to attract the very best that the local real estate industry has to offer with the powerful support of Keller Williams Macomb St Clair's demonstrated standard of excellence in the Southeast Michigan marketplace." “I have an impeccable reputation and a record of accomplishment that is among the top in the business."

"The addition of Lisa emphasizes our commitment to cultivate our superb Buyer’s Agency presence in this region," said Phil Grosso Operating Principal of Keller Williams Macomb St Clair.

During her previous tenure in contract sales, Lisa excelled as one of the top sales persons companywide, receiving numerous recognitions and awards for her work, including being recognized in the Million Dollar Sales Club.

Since 2013, Lisa has been with the Floyd Wickman team which offers highly successful sales training programs and life-changing sales seminars, workshops, and events. They conduct a real estate sales coaching program called R Squared that gets phenomenal sales results. Floyd also has numerous books and CD's on a variety of sales, management, leadership, mentoring, and self-improvement topics. For more information, go to

To learn more about Lisa Ekanger visit:

Lisa Ekanger Your Preferred Realtor!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Do you think the people who were trying to reach to the Everest were not full of doubts?

Do you think the people who were trying to reach to the Everest were not full of doubts? For a hundred years, how many people tried and how many people lost their lives? Do you know how many people never came back? But, still, people come from all over the world, risking, knowing they may never return. For them it is worth it - because in the very risk something is born inside of them: the center. It is born only in the risk. That's the beauty of risk, the gift of risk.
Lisa Ekanger Your Preferred Realtor!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Lisa Ekanger Your Preferred Realtor!

“Celebrate aloneness, celebrate your pure space...

“Celebrate aloneness, celebrate your pure space, and a great song will arise in your heart. And it will be a song of awareness, it will be a song of meditation. It will be a song of a lone bird calling in the distance— not calling to somebody in particular, but just calling because the heart is full and wants to call, because the cloud is full and wants to rain, because the flower is full and the petals open and the fragrance is released…unaddressed. Let your aloneness become a dance.”

Lisa Ekanger Your Preferred Realtor!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Today I think it finally happened. I think my tear ducts ran dry.

March 7th 2003 was the day my world began its slow morph into the empty black hole it suggests today. It was an innocent enough day, in fact, it was a day that most parents look forward to; it was our first born child’s 13th birthday. Innocuous as it may sound, like a slow growing disease the teen years have turned my life inside out, upside down and challenged everything I thought I knew to be true about life.

How many water droplets are in the ocean? Countless. How many tears will a mother shed as she ushers her children though the teen years? Countless. Or so I thought, but today I think it finally happened. I think my tear ducts ran dry. I couldn’t cry if I tried, nothing came out. Not words, not tears, nothing. Wow I thought to myself. This is how it begins, the complete desensitization of aging.

The drama and the sheer brokenness of the life we live now is nothing like the life we used to know. There are no smiles, no laughter, no chatter, no planning and no recalling of nice memories from days long ago. We shuffle in, we gripe, we go to our four corners, we eat dinner in silence, we gripe some more then we shuffle to bed and then hit repeat the next day.

Oh you think you know don’t you? I thought I knew it all too. I used to judge people who said they couldn’t control their teens, trust me, I don’t any longer. Can you control depression? Can you control ADD? Can you control PTSD? How about OCD? Good luck with that. To satisfy your curiosity, no our kids aren’t spoiled. They don’t have TV’s in their rooms, they don’t have every latest cool gadget and we raised them to be polite respectful human beings….and they are, to everyone but us.

This life leaves me envying everyone who doesn’t live with a teen. Your twins are 6? Oh how adorable. They still kiss you goodnight, hold your hand in public and tell you stories about their day? Awww!

Oh, you live alone? OK, I imagine you with your cat reading the newspaper on the davenport on a sunny morning; you are drinking coffee and your cat is playing with the fern that needs to be watered.

What? You’re a homeless man who has been given a month’s shelter in the basement of a church? People approach you with kind eyes and ask you gentle questions about your life, how you ended up here and equally delicately ask you where you will go next. Yep, I totally envy you too. It’s true!

In two months we will celebrate our sons 22nd birthday, he has been out of the teen years nearly 3 whole years, but alas we now surf an even bigger tsunami that came thundering around the corner (w/ 15 and 12 year old daughters) oh yes, we were warned just like the fisherman of Sumatra but we ignored the warning and went to the beach anyway. We saw the water rapidly drawing back, but we were greedy and thought we could quickly pluck a few shiny fish in its wake and somewhere around the 5th year of parenting teens, we let out the air we had been holding so tightly in our lungs and exclaimed “Hey we can do this!” We have ‘experience’ now. …things can’t be any harder than that! Wrong! Nearly 9 years of the non-stop parenting of teens makes us understand why people do crazy things. Why do marriages split up? Teens. Why do the little pleasures in life seem to escape me daily? Go ahead and spend just 10 minutes with a teen girl who rolls her eyes and cuts you down to size with one fell swoop. Why do people buy red convertibles? Teens. Rob stores? Teens. Tramp stamp? Teens. Speed? Teens. You can see where I am going with this. Not only can I NOT cry, I am blaming everything including the problems of the Middle East on teens. 9 years down, 7 years to go….Calgon, take me away!

Lisa Ekanger Your Preferred Realtor!

Wicked Game Lyrics

The world was on fire and no one could save me but you

It's strange what desire will make foolish people do

I'd never dreamed that I'd meet somebody like you

I'd never dreamed that I'd lose somebody like you

No I don't want to fall in love (this girl is only gonna break your heart)

No I don't want to fall in love (this girl is only gonna break your heart)

With you

With you (this girl is only gonna break your heart)

What a wicked game you played to make me feel this way

What a wicked thing to do to let me dream of you

What a wicked thing to say you never felt this way

What a wicked thing to do to make me dream of you

And I don't want to fall in love (this girl is only gonna break your heart)

No I don't want to fall in love (this girl is only gonna break your heart)

With you

The world was on fire and no one could save me but you

It's strange what desire will make foolish people do

I'd never dreamed that I'd love somebody like you

I'd never dreamed that I'd lose somebody like you

No I don't want to fall in love (this girl is only gonna break your heart)

No I don't want to fall in love (this girl is only gonna break your heart)

With you (this girl is only gonna break your heart)

With you (this girl is only gonna break your heart)

No I...(this girl is only gonna break your heart)

(This girl is only gonna break your heart)

Nobody loves no one

Lisa Ekanger Your Preferred Realtor!

Tiger Woods’ ex-wife bulldozes $12 million home!

.........Tiger Woods’ ex-wife bulldozes $12 million home

..By Shane Bacon

Courtesy of Pacific Coast News

There are times when divorce forces people to do strange things. Burn sheets. Throw out clothes. Toss rings into the ocean. But when you get $100 million in your divorce, you can trump just about anything and that's what happened with Tiger Woods' ex-wife when she bought a $12 million home and bulldozed the whole thing.

[Check the before picture above and the after picture after the jump]

Yes, according to TMZ, Elin Nordegren bought a $12 million home in North Palm Beach, Fla., but didn't like it, and has plowed the whole thing.

The house, which had six bedrooms and eight bathrooms, is now just rubble, with no word yet on what is going to replace the beautiful building you see above, but I guess when you have nine figures in the bank, it doesn't really matter what you want.

I guess we can all applaud Elin on not rolling over after all this happened and continuing on with her life. But I think we can all agree on one thing: Why in the world is she still in Florida? Wouldn't you want to move back home for good?

Lisa Ekanger Your Preferred Realtor!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

You only see what your eyes want to see ~:-()

You only see what your eyes want to see

How can life be what you want it to be

You're frozen

When your heart's not open

You're so consumed with how much you get

You waste your time with hate and regret

You're broken

When your heart's not open


Mmmmmm, if I could melt your heart

Mmmmmm, we'd never be apart

Mmmmmm, give yourself to me

Mmmmmm, you hold the key

Now there's no point in placing the blame

And you should know I suffer the same

If I lose you

My heart will be broken

Love is a bird, she needs to fly

Let all the hurt inside of you die

You're frozen

When your heart's not open

If I could melt your heart

Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

In the grand scheme of things, even the poorest 5% of Americans are better off financially than two thirds of the entire world. .

American Dream Deferred

Americans make up half of the world's richest 1%

By Annalyn Censky @CNNMoney January 4, 2012: 11:41 AM ET

It only takes $34,000 per person to be amid the richest 1% of people in the world.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The United States holds a disproportionate amount of the world's rich people.

It only takes $34,000 a year, after taxes, to be among the richest 1% in the world. That's for each person living under the same roof, including children. (So a family of four, for example, needs to make $136,000.)

10 largest economies

So where do these lucky rich people live? As of 2005 -- the most recent data available -- about half of them, or 29 million lived in the United States, according to calculations by World Bank economist Branko Milanovic in his book The Haves and the Have-Nots.

Another four million live in Germany. The rest are mainly scattered throughout Europe, Latin America and a few Asian countries. Statistically speaking, none live in Africa, China or India despite those being some of the most populous areas of the world.

The numbers put into perspective the idea of a rapidly growing global middle class.

Sure, China and India are seeing their economies grow quickly, and along with that growth, large portions of their populations are also becoming richer. But remember, the emerging world is starting from a very low base to begin with, so its middle class is just that -- still emerging, says Milanovic.

"It doesn't seem right to define as middle class, people who would be on food stamps in the United States," Milanovic said.

0:00 / 4:47 U.S.: The worst income inequality?

The true global middle class, falls far short of owning a home, having a car in a driveway, saving for retirement and sending their kids to college. In fact, people at the world's true middle -- as defined by median income -- live on just $1,225 a year. (And, yes, Milanovic's numbers are adjusted to account for different costs of living across the globe.)

In the grand scheme of things, even the poorest 5% of Americans are better off financially than two thirds of the entire world.

Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

"If it didn’t Bring you Joy, just leave it behind."

"If it didn’t Bring you Joy,

Just Leave it Behind.

Let’s Ring in the New Year

With Good Things in Mind.

Let Every Bad Memory Go

That Brought Heartache and Pain.

And let’s Turn a New Leaf

With the Smell of New Rain.

Let’s Forget Past Mistakes

Making Amends for This Year.

Sending You These Greetings

To Bring you Hope and Cheer

Happy New Year!

Author Unknown
Lisa Ekanger
Your Preferred Realtor!