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Things You May Not Know

Wednesday, July 5, 2017 posted by Joan
  • Friends Forever Engraved Rocks

    Friend Forever Engraved Stones

    Old toothbrushes can be used to clean crevices and other small places where a larger brush won’t fit.

  • How do you make a multi-color crayon?  Simply take the paper off a bunch of different color crayons and melt them together into a small ball.  That will produce unexpected results when coloring with the ball.
  • When traveling, does your hotel provide free shower caps?  If so, don’t leave them.  Put one around each shoe to keep your other clothes clean.
  • If you find nice stones on the ground, pick them up.  Clean them up and write on them using a Sharpie.   Your message to a friend will make great motivational stones.
  • Save your old plastic bottles.  Wash them out and bring them to a bathtub or pool.  They make great toys if you decorate them.
  • A new type of watering can can be made from an old plastic gallon milk jug.  Just drill a half-dozen small holes in the cap and presto, you have a new watering jug.
  • If you tape some old fabric softener dryer sheets to your A/C vent, they will freshen up the room.
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Why I Like

Friday, June 9, 2017 posted by Joan

Engraved Happy Birthday River Stones

Recently, the stock price of Amazon exceeded 1000.  20 years ago, the company did not exist, but today, it is the world’s largest retailer.  People buy from Amazon for a variety of reasons.  Others do not, mostly because they prefer not to use their credit cards online, or they like to personally examine the merchandise prior to buying it.  I like it mostly because you can buy just about anything and everything in most sizes from clever birthday greetings to canned soup.

These are the other reasons I love Amazon:

  1. Honest reviews from other consumers and answers to questions about the product
  2. With Amazon Prime, your order usually arrives within two days, and sometimes on a Sunday
  3. They have a flexible return policy in case the clothing does not fit correctly
  4. Excellent customer service is a cornerstone of the company
  5. Prices are always competitive or the lowest
  6. If you use your Amazon credit card, you save an extra 3% on your order
  7. Amazon does just about everything they can to make you a loyal customer.


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Creating Curb Appeal

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 posted by Joan
Friends Forever Engraved Rocks

Friend Forever Engraved Stones

Sometime houses look beautiful from the outside but are almost empty on the inside.  This is referred to as being house poor.  House warming gifts and personalized friendship gifts help to make things better, however a home should be enjoyable from the inside more than look great from the outside.  Curb appeal adds to the attraction because first impressions are everything.  Sometimes we see the landscaping but fail to see things like weeds, broken siding, broken downspouts and chipped paint. They destroy the luster when you get closer to the front door.

Unless you are planning to flip the house, you own, you can add to the landscaping gradually using a master landscape plan.  That way, you have extra funds available to make the interior homier.  Avoid taking out large loans to do everything at the same time.  It can be tempting, however, as we saw during the first decade of the 21st century, economics can change rapidly, and financial pressures are hard to deal with.


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Too Much Stuff

Thursday, May 11, 2017 posted by Martin
Engraved Motivational Stones

Engraved Inspirational Stones

Years ago, George Carlin did a routine on stuff.  He said that folks like to accumulate stuff just to look at it or to bury it somewhere, but never to toss it.  He said, “A house is just a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff.”  If you get gifts, you add them to your stuff.  If you get motivational stones to help you deal with the problem, you go out and buy a bigger house to put your stuff.   Now you have more room so you can collect more stuff.

Do we all have too much stuff?  It is much easier to collect stuff than to get rid of it.  Twenty years ago, we moved to a smaller house with a smaller basement.  In the old basement, I found stuff that I was going to repair when I found the time. We also had things like my wife’s wedding dress, the kids clothing when they were younger and cribs, etc.  We finally gave away some of our stuff to Goodwill and put the rest in a dumpster container.  Do you have too much stuff?


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Why We Like Consumer Reports

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 posted by Joan


Engraved River Stones

Reports is a unique magazine because it one of the very few that does not accept advertising.  They rate many popular products according to their usefulness and durability.  Also, they publish their information for the use of subscribers and do not permit manufacturers to advertise or promote their ratings without their permission.  They rate both expensive products like automobiles and low cost items like towel paper.  They don’t rate unusual things like engraved polished stones or waste baskets because there is not enough interest in them.

We have subscribed to Consumer Reports for more than forty years because it helps us to avoid buying mistakes.  Some of the public believe that if you pay more for a product you are buying a better product. That could be a costly mistake.  Others believe that buying cheap is best to save money.  Consumer Reports tests products using scientific methods and by collecting information from their large base of subscribers.  They send out questionnaires to learn more about product reliability and frequency of repair.  Because most folks are fair and honest, the information collected is accurate. Being a non-profit organization, they also solicit donations from the public.



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Healthy Potato Kugel

Thursday, April 20, 2017 posted by Joan
Happy Hanukkah Engraved Stones

Happy Hanukkah Engraved Stones

Send your personal Hanukkah greetings with a delicious potato kugel.  Although potato latkes (pancakes) are traditional of Hanukkah, a potato kugel is easier to make and healthier.  It is also a favorite of ours on Passover. Here’s an easy recipe that I have used for years, and it’s always yummy.


5 large potatoes, peeled and grated
1 ½ large sweet onion, peeled and grated
2 large eggs and 2 egg whites
1/3 cup matzah meal or breadcrumbs
2  tablespoons canola oil
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 X 13 inch pan with 1 tablespoon oil.
  2. Grate potatoes and onions together alternating each.
  3. Pour potato and onion mixture into a fine strainer and squeeze out the liquid.
  4. Place mixture into a large bowl and cover.
  5. Beat eggs and egg whites with salt and pepper.
  6. Add egg mixture to potatoes and onions. Mix in 1 tablespoon of oil and matzah meal.
  7. Pour the mixture into the greased pan and smooth out the top.
  8. Bake in oven for about 1 ¼ hours until top is golden brown.
  9. Let rest 30 minutes before cutting into squares.
  10. Potato kugel can be prepared in advanced and heated up in a 300-degree oven for approximately 30 minutes.
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Get Ready for Spring

Saturday, March 4, 2017 posted by Joan
Happy Hanukkah Engraved Stones

Happy Hanukkah Engraved Stones

The holidays have passed and Valentine’s Day, New Years, Christmas and Hanukkah greetings have passed.  Spring will be here before long and that means Easter, Passover, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day will be here before long. Get ready to store your snow blowers and get ready for spring fertilizing and lawn treatments.  You will have a better lawn if you take early steps to prevent weeds.  Here are some of the things you should do:

Inspect your lawn from winter damage such as compacted soil, damage done by pets, and signs of disease such as dry, dying, or brown patches of grass. Early fertilization is the key to getting off to the right start.  Check with your garden center to make sure you are using the correct fertilizer. Adding lime to your lawn during Spring is also important if you need to adjust the PF factor.  Aeration will help get the new grass growing if the soil is compacted.  Remember to put down crab grass preventer and fresh seed to get things moving quickly and keep your lawn moist.  Can’t do it all?  Hire a lawn service.


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What Can You Do With Rocks?

Tuesday, February 28, 2017 posted by Joan
Engraved Rocks

Engraved River Rocks

One of the most popular uses for granite rocks is to slice then into slabs to be used for kitchen and bathroom improvements.  They add beauty and functionality to the home and one need not worry about hot pots or kitchen knives.  That is quite different from man-made counter tops which are vulnerable to accidents.  One exception is the use of man made quartz counters which have an advantage over granite.  Granite is every bit as durable, however quartz counters do not require frequent sealing as granite counters do.  Small rocks can also be engraved into engraved rocks or small statues and used for decorations.  Small rocks are also used for landscaping because it requires far less maintenance than mulch.

Then again, you will also see boulders integrated into the landscaping plan. Boulders along with foundation and specimen plants become a centerpiece of the array.  In the Southwest, many landscape projects use only small and large rocks along with cactus plants to brighten the approach to homes.  The heat is too intense to use grass and stone looks natural, especially in Arizona.

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How to Find a Hobby

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 posted by Joan
Engraved Motivational Stones

Engraved Inspirational Stones

Many folks enjoy photography, cooking, carpentry, collecting and other hobbies.  Some unusual hobbies also include jewelry making, crafting inspirational stones, track driving, wood or stone carving, clay sculpturing, and climbing.  Everyone should have at least one hobby they enjoy.  Allocate part of your month to hobbies you enjoy.

Don’t be set in your ways.  Learn new things from reading or attending presentations and see if it interests you.  History can be very enjoyable, especially learning about the major wars and what led to them.  Afterward, see if you can find museums which cover the same subjects.  It is like stepping back into time.  Two very good books dealing with World War II are Killing Patton and Killing the Rising Sun by Bill O’Reilly.  Their style reads more like a novel that books of history.

Often, people have skills they never knew about.  Try painting, sketching and craft making.  Whatever, don’t be glued to the TV.


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Unusual Crafts

Tuesday, January 31, 2017 posted by Joan
Engraved Motivational Stones

Engraved Inspirational Stones

Commonly, some folks enjoy making paintings and sculptures to enjoy their free time.  You can use them as displays or give them as gifts.  Still others prefer knitting sewing and other needlework.  Have you ever considered woodworking, personalized stone etching or jewelry making?  Here is a list of other uncommon craft activities that you might enjoy:

  •     Glass & Mirror candles
  •     Jewelry made from recycled products
  •     Jigsaw puzzles
  •     T-shirt transfers
  •     Fancy pumpkin carvings
  •     Animal balloons
  •     Towel animals
  •     Pillow making
  •     Video imaging
  •     Hand-made light fixtures.

There are books and articles on just about everything.  Rather than spend your spare time surfing the net, consider something more productive.  Get your kids involved and realize what you accomplished all by yourself.  Your friends and family will be amazed.  Sometimes, part-time crafts lead to a part-time business or even a full-time business.  Enjoy yourself and be sure to pass along this blog.  Have fun.

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