Monthly Archives: June 2011

The Price of a Home

I am in the process of purchasing my first home. That’s right, I said “home,” not house. I have recently become aware, however, that there is a difference. The new real estate market is a callous beast that doesn’t care about anything but the bottom-line. If you are looking to buy right now, you are most likely going to be dealing with banks, frigid, heartless establishments that sell houses…pieces of property made of wood and nails and some paint.

These banks don’t care about that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you walk into the perfect house. They don’t understand that you can search and search and feel nothing, but when you finally find the place that makes you feel at home, you have to have it. I have been told not to get emotionally attached to anything that can’t love you back, but it’s hard. You cannot prevent yourself from envisioning your life in a new place; it’s part of the selection process when you’re buying a home. I have to be able to imagine my future in a home…Will I host my first Thanksgiving dinner here? Is this where I will start my own family?

Needless to say, it’s been a frustrating process. The banks take their sweet time trying to decide if your offer will meet their approval. After my first offer being flat-out rejected without even a counter offer, I’ve had to contemplate the price I would pay for happiness. The uncertainty of the market’s future adds an additional element of stress to any price decision. Real estate always used to be one of the most secure long-term investments you could make. But now, who knows what the future will hold.

I am supposed to hear today if my last offer was accepted. It’s a home I can see myself in for awhile, so I made the best offer I could. Let’s hope the bank thinks so too!

To a happy, healthy, and productive life!

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Filed under Personal Productivity

How to Prepare for Rain or Shine

It’s finally summertime! That means it’s time for BBQ’s, beaches, concerts and other fun outdoor activities. You would expect this time of year to be full of sunshine and pleasant weather, but what do you do when Mother Nature rains on your parade?

I recently had a run-in with some wet weather, and I found myself ill-prepared. In my case, it wasn’t a parade, it was my triathlon, which I had been training for all spring. I had read the weather report and saw the stormy forecast, but for some reason it didn’t register what that would entail: soggy clothes, drenched gear, muddy shoes…

In hindsight, here are somethings I wish I would have had on race day, and they are things you should have on hand if you plan to do anything outside on a rainy day. They may seem obvious, but they are things you wish you would have had but don’t think about until you find yourself in the rain without them.

  • An umbrella
  • Ummm duh! Of course an umbrella, but as I said, it’s one of those things you forget until you need it.

  • Plastic garbage bags
  • The best, easiest way to keep anything dry you don’t want wet. Like your bike seat, for example, while it’s waiting for you in the rain. 16 miles on a soggy seat is not the most pleasant experience.

  • A light, water resistant jacket
  • Thankfully, this I did have; however, it doesn’t do you any good if you don’t zip it up before getting on your bike and pelted with water drops. Trying to zip it up with one hand while racing is not a good idea either.

  • Old shoes
  • Or any shoes you don’t mind getting wet and potentially muddy. I decided to wear my new tennis shoes. Rain= puddles and puddles+dirt=muddy mess

    Don’t get me wrong, I do love the rain, and although I was drenched, the race was amazing! There are just some little preparations that can make a huge difference when you find yourself out in the storm.

    To a happy, healthy, and productive life!

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Filed under Health, Motivation, Time Management/ Organization

Make the Time to Get a Check-Up

I am going to warn you from the beginning that this is a bit of a soapbox post. This is for the “tan-aholics” and those who don’t care about the risk of skin cancer as long as they look tan today. Skin cancer is a SERIOUS and potentially terminal disease. I’m going to share the story of a close family friend in hopes that it will change someone’s mind about the importance of a tan.

Our dear friend was just diagnosed with advanced melanoma and told she may have less than a year to live. She is only in her 40s and the mother of a bright, beautiful daughter who just graduated from college. There were no warning signs, no visible indications that something was wrong. She suddenly and very rapidly became ill and ended up in the hospital.

An estimated 114,900 new cases of melanoma were diagnosed in the US in 2010, with nearly 8,700 resulting in death. It’s been shown that about 65 percent of melanoma cases can be attributed to ultraviolet radiation. There is nothing healthy about tanning and nothing attractive about ignoring the risks of cancer.

My message to you is to wear sunscreen every day, and make the time to visit the dermatologist once a year for a check-up. Our schedules are busy, and you may be under the misconception that you only need to do this when you’re “older,” but your age does not matter. In fact, most of the damage is done when you are young. Be proactive in your skin care because there is no Undo button once the damage is done.

Please pray for my amazing friend. She is a strong and remarkable woman, and my heart goes out to her and her daughter during this difficult time.

To a happy, healthy, and productive life!

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Filed under Health