August 30, 2007

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Parents and Grandparents

Filed under: Uncategorized — sandilarson @ 7:21 am

Yesterday I put a link in my blog to a website about America’s Poor.  I’m making an assumption that most of you who are reading this are not in that classification since you are able to pay for internet service to be reading my blog.  I’ve always felt that many of the poor in America have so much more than the poor of other countries.  The information even pointed out that America’s poor often have much more than the “average” citizen in many other developed countries.  Now here’s an interesting question to ponder.  Why do we have to buy and have so much stuff?  (This question from a person who sells stuff.) 

Now… back to Christmas.  A client was feeling bad yesterday because she is being “forgotten” at Christmas by her grown children.  She is older, and has been on a rather limited income for several years.  She owns her home, but lives on a modest income.  She is one of America’s poor.  She was planning on making something for each of her children, grand children, and great grandchildren for Christmas, since she can no longer afford to purchase even modest gifts for all 50 members of her family.  Her Children and Grandchildren all live in different parts of the country, and she spends Christmas alone.. None come to see her at Christmas, (and none send her gifts) and she is reluctant to go visit them because it would leave her mother (in a nursing home) alone.  I suggested that she forgo the handmade gifts and purchased gifts, and use the money to go visit one of her children or Grandchildren during the season instead. 

How many of you receive a gift from your parents every year at Christmas?  How many of you make sure you send your parents a nice gift each year?  How many of you make it a point to visit with your parents some time during the holiday season?  Are your parents or grandparents alone at Christmas?  Think about these things, and this year be sure to include your parents and grandparents in your plans and your gifting.    

August 29, 2007

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Sharing Information

Filed under: Uncategorized — sandilarson @ 8:50 am

My husband was sharing interesting statistics with me last night about America’s poor.  I’ve been in other countries and have seen poor.  I have also been in parts of America where the standard of living seems VERY poor.  I have clients that are “classed” as poor by American standards, and yet even the poorest of my clients has so much.  I want to share this web site with you.  I think you’ll find some of these statistics very interesting as well.  http://www.heritage.org/Research/Welfare/bg2064.cfm

August 27, 2007

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More About Saving

Filed under: Save Money — sandilarson @ 7:59 am

I’ll be going for a walk in a few minutes this morning.  One of the things I decided long ago was to give up a club membership to save money.  Walking and weight training at home don’t cost a thing and we have saved about $4000.00 since I quit going.  I was missing the hot tub after the workout every day, so we took our savings and waited until we could make a special deal on the hot tub we wanted, and it is now sitting outside right next to our patio.   Saving money for special purchases often makes you wait a while before you get something you want, but it also gives you lots of time to select the right product, and keeps you from making impulsive purchases.  As I said a couple months ago, you may regret certain purchases you have made over the years, but you will never regret saving money

August 26, 2007

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A New Recipe to Try

Filed under: Cooking Tip,Gardening,Save Money — sandilarson @ 9:14 am

This time of year, we do our best to take advantage of all our garden produce.  Last night I tried a new recipe with zucchini. Our plants were prolific this year, so I have lots to experiment with.  This was so easy and so tasty if you can get your hands on a couple zucchini you should try it.  Very inexpensive too.  I just cut a couple zucchinis into julienne strips, chopped up a couple cloves of garlic, toasted some pine nuts, shredded a cup of parmesan cheese, and chopped fresh basil.  Then, I started a pot of pasta.  Any kind would probably work, but I used  a combination of mafaldi and fuslli  because I had a little of each left in a package.  While the pasta was cooking, I put a little olive oil and a little butter in a hot skillet and tossed in the zucchini and fried it up until it started getting slightly caramelized.  I  removed it from the pan with a slotted spoon and set it aside.  OK… I added a bit more butter and olive oil to the pan then tossed in the garlic and the toasted pine nuts and stirred them around just until the garlic started to smell good… less than a minute.  I added the zucchini back into the pan and stirred.  When the pasta was done, I drained it, then added the zucchini mixture, the shredded cheese and the basil to the pasta.  Toss it all well and serve.  Salt and pepper to taste.  6 ingredients, 2 pans, and it was absolutely delicious.  It cost us under $2 too, since the zucchini, basil, and garlic came straight from the garden.  Oh, and it only took me about 15 minutes to make, and that included picking the zucchini and  basil.  You could serve this with a good artisan bread if you wanted, but it wasn’t necessary. 

I simply can’t resist sharing good recipes with you when I find them, because if you can serve a family of 4 a great meal that they will all love and only spend a few dollars (and a few minutes) you are going to save so much money.  For those of you that are saying, “I cant stand zucchini”, in this recipe you’ll hardly even notice it.  The other flavors are so intense and the textures all blend to make this a fantastic pasta dish.  Even the kids will like it and won’t even realize they are eating the dreaded zucchini unless you tell them.

August 25, 2007

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Egg Shell Mosaic

Filed under: Craft Project,Save Money — sandilarson @ 7:52 am

Find those colored egg shells you saved from Easter, and sit down today with the kids and a bottle of glue and begin making mosaic “anythings” for Christmas gifts.  If you didn’t save any egg shells, you can just use white shells from breakfast and paint them with acrylic craft paint, finger nail polish, or even house paint leftovers.  You can do a search for free clip art online, trace patterns from color books, or just make free form designs.  A cute idea for grandparents is to trace around children’s hands and use that design on a plaque, on the lid of a photo box, even on an old plate.  Almost any useful item can be made special with mosaic.  Paint the item first with a dark color of paint (I prefer black) then just glue on the pieces. 

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