Thursday, December 29, 2011

How to Downsize Your Home

Many people are looking to downsize these days, either because they're getting older or they need to reduce the financial burdens of a big house and mortgage. But editing a lifetime's worth of possessions can be difficult.

I spoke recently with Jim Henderson, president of William C. Huff Companies, a moving and storage firm with offices in Naples, Fla., and Barrington, N.H., to find out how to handle what is often a time-consuming and emotional process. Mr. Henderson specializes in affluent homeowners, whose homes average 6,000 square feet, and who may pay up to $100,000 to move a household full of antiques, artwork and other fine furnishings.

Here are his tips:
Start early: Too often, families don't start going through their things until they've signed a contract on their new home. Then as they become overwhelmed with other details of moving, they quickly abandon ... Read the entire article.

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5 Things Your Doctor Doesn't Like About You

Or, how to keep you off the "difficult patient" list.

Ask anyone what's wrong with the medical profession and you'll hear a long list of complaints: Too many pricey medications. Forever behind schedule. Always talks, never listens. Rushes me in and out of the examining room.

But people rarely hear what bugs doctors about patients. Their gripes are generally aired as doctors walk the hallways at medical meetings or chat behind closed doors at conferences. Here's your chance to find out what annoys your doctor.

1. You don't arrive on time
"It drives [some] doctors crazy when patients turn up late for an appointment," says Mary Catherine Beach, M.D., of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. "You can see the irony in that because patients almost always have to wait to see their doctor." But quite often the reason you're left twiddling your thumbs is that someone. Read the entire article.

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Prepaid Funerals - You Be the Judge!

 Paying for the funeral ahead of time, sounds like the thing to do.  However, there are complications that can arise that even the most ardent planner may have missed.

For instance;

1.  The funeral home you have been paying changes hands - many times the new owner will not honor the prepaid funerals from the previous owner(s).

2.  Federal law doesn't regulate the funeral industry, so investigate the state you're in to find out what protection you can expect.

3.  The costs aren't necessarily locked in at the time of your death so make sure you read the fine print.


What are the Alternatives

1.  prearrange your funeral without paying for it in advance

2.  set up a "payable upon death" bank account. It will earn interest, be available for an emergency, and still provide financial support to your family when you pass away.


Since their is no federal oversight, it is imperative you contact your state agency that regulates the funeral industry and talk with them about your prepaid funeral concerns.  Find out more specifics.

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Monday, December 26, 2011

Designer Jewelry at Low Prices

by Donna

Do you know some creative people who seem to be able to do almost anything artistic? I have a friend in Oklahoma, Christina, that is amazing with various forms of dance, she's given me a painting that is so beautiful and creative, she does wall murals and created an amazing room for her recent first child's nursery, and I have a beaded angel in my car that looks like it has a thousands beads in it. That means one bead at a time required a lot of patience and love besides being able to follow a pattern to get all those beads in the right place to look like an angel.

Well, Christina began making jewelry a few years ago and has sold a lot of it because her creations are truly unique and I believe inspired by God. I am always astounded at what she comes up with, each one being totally unique in its own way. And the prices for a uniquely designed piece of jewelry are incredible! She mainly sells her jewelry locally, but you can purchase through a site that is online (link below).

So if you enjoy beautiful jewelry and have a bit of Christmas gift money in your pocket, I wanted to promote her website. Even if you're not looking for any jewelry right now, take a look at the beauty of what she does. Visit Artistically Yours now.

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Friday, December 23, 2011

GPS in a Shoe!

For those suffering with a loved one that has Dementia and/or Alzheimers this is a great asset.  So many times we have to watch like a hawk someone suffering from either disease.  Now with these shoes you can set up an acceptable perimeter your loved one can move about freely in.

However, when the person decides to go outside of the perimeter then a message pops up on a computer or phone to tell you where they are.  This gives a caregiver the peace of mind of where they are at all times.

Visit the site that can tell you all about them!

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Eye-Glasses Online? What Will They Think of Next?

Yes, you can save a great deal of money buying glasses online.  Doing a quick look in the search listings I saw various savings all the way up to 70% off ads.  Glasses have gotten expensive over the years and some locations have discount optical centers nearby.  Others aren't so lucky, now you can do even better by uploading your picture and trying on the frames virtually.

Looking for a review of what people think I found this link for the company WarbyParker.  A quick glance revealed most everyone loved the experience.

Other fine companies include FramesDirect and JustEyewear and many more you can search for via your favorite search engine.

To start the process you will need

1.  your latest prescription

2.  pupilary distance from your latest exam

3.  your frame size they are usually in the inside of an old pair

4.  a picture to upload to the website to try on your glasses virtually

If anyone has done this within our readership, please comment about your experience and what companies are good to use.  I just may try this next time I need new glasses.


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Gift Card Balance Theft

Gift cards have a unique number in a magnetic strip that is used to track usage and outstanding balances. This usually works well, and has the benefit that you often won't lose your remaining balance if you lose the gift card, since you can simply call to report the card as stolen or lost.

Now imagine that a scammer comes into a store that displays gift cards on public racks (such as Wal-Mart) with a small and inexpensive mag-strip scanner in his pocket. This scanner can easily read and store the unique gift card serial numbers.

So, the scammer simply grabs some of these gift cards from the rack, finds a quiet place and quickly scans each card to get its unique serial number. They then put the cards back (or leave them somewhere in the store) since they are done with them.

(Incidentally, this high tech approach isn't even needed. The crook can simply copy ... Find out more.

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Spammers Get Up Close and Personal

Spearphishers' address you by name. Here's how to protect yourself

You may have noticed that your email inbox has less spam — you're getting fewer offers to sell cheap pharmaceuticals or help a deposed Nigerian prince.

Yes, the volume of junk email is down — dramatically. Symantec, which makes Norton antivirus software, estimates that spam peaked in July 2010 with an average 225 billion messages sent each day, compared with less than 50 billion a year later.

In spearfishing, scammers try to hook you with a personal touch; using your name, for instance.

Some of the credit goes to law enforcement and corporate cyber-cops for busting major criminal networks that were sending the stuff out through botnets, home or business computers that have been stealthily linked to forward spam.

In April, the FBI helped seize control of one botnet, called Coreflood, and scrubbed 19,000 computers infected with its spam-sending software. And in the same month, Microsoft managed to dismantle the infamous botnet, which once distributed nearly half of all spam.

But there's another reason for the drop: The crooks are narrowing their ..  Read the entire article.

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Charities Get Choosy - About What They Will Take

Planning to turn your clutter into end-of-year donations? Not so fast. Many human-service charities won't take certain items — or will require you to transport them yourself.

Patricia Donovan, of Buffalo, New York, tried to donate furniture sets and 500 near-new books. "The charities I called either didn't have a truck or wouldn't come into my second-floor apartment," says the 64-year-old editor, whose home goods also were turned down on-site. "There's a gap between what charities say they need and what they will ... Read the entire article.

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Free Activites for Couples

Recently, I read an article in a  publication we get about a husband that had trouble reading.  So, the wife offered to read the book to him.  Together, they enjoyed the book and developed new common interests.

This reminded me that this is something Donna and I have done too.  Although, it isn't because we have trouble reading we just take turns reading the mutually agreed to book outloud.  This helps us have new common discussions that we can enjoy and also helps each of us to have a deeper look inside of our mate.  Many times as we read things that we didn't know about each other,  some new reaction or meaning will pop out based on how we are reacting to the material being read aloud.  Try this some time together and see if this doesn't help you to know one another better, become more informed and deepen your commitment to one another.

Now regarding this activity, we have started a page on our site thefrugallife.com that will permit you to add more activities that you have enjoyed over the years.  Just post your comment, remember they are moderated so you only need to submit each comment once.

So many times couples think they have to spend money to be entertained so our hope is this will be a helpful list for those days when the pocketbook simply won't permit those activities that cost money.

Let us know your couple activities.

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Miscellaneous Frugal TIps

May I pass on a few frugal tips I have learned?

• Finely ground black pepper, when sprinkled on ant trails, discourages the little festers from using the trails. Great if you don't want them to continue coming indoors. Sprinkle generally to give good coverage.

• I don't know if you have the yellow insect repellant energy efficient globes over there. I buy them for indoor use, usually in my bedside light. When I put them in, I use a clean handkerchief or face washer to do so, as I have found that if I handle the globe, its life is decreased.

• I use methylated spirits in a spray bottle to clean a whole lot of surfaces, but most especially my toilet and my kitchen sink and cupboards (in particular the handles on the cupboards and the refrigerator handles). The toilet spraying starts with the bowl and I work up to the buttons.

I then use toilet paper to clean from the buttons down to the bowl. If there is any dried urine, it shows up beautifully with the methylated spirits! The toilet paper is flushed down and I know it's a clean toilet!

• My local library does not keep the newspapers it displays through the week, probably due to storage problems. If I get there during the early part of the week, I can collect the newspapers from them and I have all the puzzles I love doing during the week ahead. Of course, I also look through the papers and see articles for which I might have a use.

And if I need to look at the newpapers during the week, the Library is the cheapest place (free!) to peruse. As my Grandfather used to say, "What costs you nothing cannot be dear."

Dominus tecum
Leonie

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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Australia Bans Flu Vaccines

Although it's still summer in North America, it is of course winter in Australia, and the flu season is well under way there. As usual, Australian health authorities have been urging parents there to vaccinate their children against the flu, propagating the mythology that flu vaccines are both safe and effective. But this time around, many Australian parents found out the hard way that they were being lied to.

It didn't take long to realize the truth after their children start going into convulsions following the flu vaccine injections. Other children began vomiting or exhibiting dangerously high levels of fever. One child has gone into a coma and may never recover. Read the entire article.

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Don't Quit Giving - Just Be Choosy

A charity may be more excited to add your name to its donor list than to actually receive a small donation. That's because that small gift will pale in comparison to the money it raises from the sale and rental of that donor list.

Unless you want to be contacted by an endless stream of charities, be a selective donor. Make an annual charitable giving budget. Select the specific charities you want to support. Give to those charities generously, but resist the impulse to give to any others.

You'll become a more valuable donor to the charities that matter most to you and simultaneously reduce unwanted mail from other groups.

Unless you specifically request otherwise, the charity is likely to share your name. So when you submit your donation, include a note explaining that you do not want your name to be sold, rented or exchanged. You may even want to add that you will not donate in the future unless the organization respects your privacy.

"If you can," the Wise Giving Alliance suggests, "use a unique middle ... Read more suggestions.

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Daily Deals May Just Help The Budget

There have always been deals but the internet has provided us with 24 hour deals and now they have become daily deals that change. You may ask how can they cut the prices so much on all these products? It's really quite simple, they expect if you visit there site every time a new deal is coming up then you will have that company name in mind and when you get ready to purchase again who will you think of first? More than likely, the sites and companies you have been searching the daily deals for.

The best-known is groupon.com but did you know Target and Wal-mart are also offering daily bargains. Amazon has a gold box deal of the day sometimes as much as 66% off of the items. LL Bean has joined the fray with a daily markdown of two items. Women's jeans have been known to be $9.99 instead of the regular price that is 3-4 times higher.

Sometimes making a decision every day can get frustrating and overwhelming so if you need more time REI has a deal of the week in addition to their deal of the day.

So hopefully, these deals can make it easier for you to shop this holiday season and save some money too.

Source AARP - November 2011

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Water Flying May Not Be Pure

With the new regulations that you can't take water through security it's easy to think I'll just get some on the plane. However, many airlines don't stock enough bottled water. When they run out (and they often do), flight attendants will resort to using the plane's own water supply.

This presents a problem for the unwary traveler.

In 2004 the EPA found that 15% of the U.S. planes tested positive for coliform bacteria. In fairness, new regulations have been enacted since then, but unless you hear the twisting sound of a new bottle you might want to stick with the canned beverages instead.

Source: AARP Magazine - November 2011

For the latest specifics ... Read the entire article.

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Monday, December 5, 2011

God's Perspective on the Recession


This is an email from Andrew Wommack Ministries about a live stream of a financial discussion which we are going to be attending.

To help you gain God's perspective on the current "recession" and how you can overcome it, I'm hosting a live-streaming internet broadcast Thursday, December 8 with Paul Milligan, the new head of our CBC third-year Business School. He has been a good friend and board member for many years. Paul owns several companies, with over 1,200 employees, and just like our ministry, he has experienced unprecedented growth during this "recession."

Recently, I sat down with Paul and got an education on monetary matters, and I thought of how much this would benefit you. So, we will sit down again and just discuss what's happening in our nation economically and what we can do about it. I think this could make a big difference in your attitude, faith, and prosperity. So, please make plans to join us on the internet that evening.

Watch the live stream of the discussion. It will be broadcast live via the internet on Thursday, December 8th, at 9 p.m. Eastern, 8 p.m. Central, 7 p.m. Mountain, and 6 p.m. Pacific Time. You won't want to miss this.

God bless you,
Andrew Wommack

Save Money on Auto Related Expenses

From Not Made of Money

If a car owner wants to come out ahead when owning a car then they need to adopt a smart strategy to cut down auto expenses. Listed below [in the article] are a few ways that car owners can save money on automobile related expenses. Additionally, don’t forget about using the internet to compare car insurance quotes online. Read the entire article.

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Make Your School An Eco-School

Join over 50 other countries in this international initiative designed to encourage whole-school action for the environment.

Eco-Schools USA strives to make environmental awareness and action an intrinsic part of the life and culture of a school, including students, teachers, administrative staff, non-teaching staff and parents, as well as the local community.

Eco-Schools USA works to extend learning beyond the classroom and develop responsible environmental attitudes and commitments, both at home and in the wider community.

Whether you are a teacher, student, administrator or facilities manager, the Eco-Schools USA program can benefit your school and local communities. How Do You Become An Eco-School?

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"Simplicity of living, if deliberately chosen, implies a compassionate approach to life. It means that we are choosing to live our daily lives with some degree of conscious appreciation of the condition of the rest of the world." Duane Elgin

"Do what is good with your own hands, so that you might earn something to give to the needy." Ephesians 4:28