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Archive for April, 2012

How To Get Free Financial Information

Sunday, April 29, 2012 posted by Martin

An Engraved Stone

A few weeks ago, I received a suggestion on a publicly traded oil company.  Because it was very small, there was no information available from the companies that issue reports on stocks.  I will not divulge the name of the company because touting stocks is not what I do.  But I will share with you just how I was able to do my own research on the company.

In the URL, which is the Securities and Exchange Commission site, you will find an option for EDGAR.  That is where you will find all of the reports issued by publicly traded companies.  The 10-K is the annual report and the 10-Q is the quarterly report.  There is also an 8-K which is issued when there is a change in important information such as a change in management or a significant event that could affect future eanings.  You might just learn more about the company you are planning to invest in.  It discloses most relevent financial information including explanatory information on risks and concerns.  If you never tried it, I suggest that you use EDGAR before you buy based on a stock tip.

It is better to invest your time before you invest your money.  Consider this advice to be an anchor or a motivational paperweight to hold down your enthusiasm before you jump into an investment without the facts.

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How To Stay Young

Friday, April 27, 2012 posted by Joan
Greeting Stone Inspirational Collection

Say It With a Greeting Stone

I received this from a very good friend, really like this and wanted to share it with you.  I hope it means as much to you as it does to me.

1.  Try everything twice.  On one woman’s tombstone she said she wanted this epitaph:  “Tried everything twice. Loved it both times!”

2.  Keep only cheerful friends.  The grouches pull you down.

3.  Keep learning:  Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever…  Never let the brain get idle. ‘An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.’  And the devil’s name is Alzheimer’s!

4.  Enjoy the simple things.

5.  Laugh often, long and loud.  Laugh until you gasp for breath.  And if you have a friend who makes you laugh,  spend lots and lots of time with HIM/HER.

6.. The tears happen:  Endure, grieve, and move on.  The only person who is with us our entire life, is ourselves.  LIVE while you are alive.

7.  Surround yourself with what you love:  Whether it’s family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever.  Your home is your refuge.

8.  Cherish your health:  If it is good, preserve it.  If it is unstable, improve it.  If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9.  Don’t take guilt trips.  Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county,  to a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is.

10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.  I love you, my special friend.

Remember! Lost time can never be found.

Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

Don’t take your loved ones and friend for granted.  Let them know how much they mean to you.  Say it with personalized notes,  phone calls or personalized pocket stones.

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Plant a Tree

Wednesday, April 25, 2012 posted by Joan
Motivational Stone

Motivational Greeting Stone

With recent climate changes, many trees are effected.  The hotter, drier weather is causing disease and stress to our trees.  As a result, we are losing many trees worldwide. Prolonged droughts have killed more than five million urban shade trees last year.  Some of the significant functions that trees perform are:

  • Trees turn sunlight into food for insects, animals and people through photosynthesis.
  • Trees provide beauty  in our surroundings and much needed shade.
  • Helpful chemicals are released through trees that help regulate the climate.  Other released chemicals are anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral.
  • Trees shield us from the heat of the sun by protecting us from the UV rays and keeping us cooler.   They keep the concrete and asphalt of cities and suburbs 10 or more degrees cooler and protect our skin from the sun’s harsh UV rays.

Celebrate Earth Day or Arbor Day by planting a tree.  No matter where you live, you can plant a tree.  Every year environmental agencies, farms, plant nurseries, schools, and other community groups give away hundreds of thousands of free saplings to anyone willing to adopt a tree. If you live in an apartment in a city, you might be able to find a tree-planting project in your city.

Carefully following the planting instructions that come with your tree is very important.  If you have any questions, check with your local plant farm or the internet. Remember to water frequently mulch the area around the tree to keep the soil moist.  Think about adding some motivational stones around your tree for good luck.

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Veggie Cutlets

Monday, April 23, 2012 posted by Joan
Motivational Stone

Engraved Inspirational Stone

OK, so you’re trying to eat healthy and enjoy it.  We try to eat one or two all veggie dinners a week.  It’s a challenge to find a low fat, low sodium, yet tasty veggie dinners.  Here’s a favorite recipe for vegetable cutlets that was my mother-in-law’s.

  • Dice 1/4 cup of onions and saute in a small amount of canola oil.
  • Peel a medium-sized potato and cut it into chunks.  Cook the potato half way.
  • Add 1 package of frozen mixed vegetables and cook until potato is soft and veggies are firm.
  • Drain and mash the potatoes and mixed vegetables.
  • Add sauteed onion, 1 scrambled egg or egg substitute, Mrs. Dash’s seasoning, pinch of pepper, 1/2 cup of whole wheat bread crumbs.
  • Mix well and shape into cutlets.  Bake at 350 for approx ½ hour until firm.

I usually spoon marinara sauce over the cutlets and serve with brown rice.  It’s easy to make and a delicious dinner.

Remember to keep an inspirational paperweight, saying WAY TO GO,  in your kitchen to remind you to keep cooking and eating healthy.  Please share this recipe with your friends and family.  Do you have any healthy recipes to share with us?

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Benefits of Financial Planning

Saturday, April 21, 2012 posted by Martin
Business Stone

Engraved River Stones

If you could see next week’s newspaper today, you could make a small fortune.  You would know which stocks are up and by how much and which ones are down.  You would know which teams won and what happened to the price of oil or some other commodity.  The bad news is that you can’t see those things in advance and you are faced with the problems associated with risks and rewards.

Some of us are prepared, but some are unprepared.  Which group do you belong to?  As an example, most of us have young children that will need more education to improve their lives.  Some kids will attend college.  Others require vocational training to learn a trade.  Still others are naturally talented and will succeed as professional performers or athletes.    What if we could understand the future and could take some steps to be prepared?  That can also apply to your small business or your life.  That is what financial planning is about.

Almost all of us have access to money that we do not absolutely need to survive.  We are challenged between spending that money or using it as a resource to plan for the future.  Financial planners are experienced in taxes, investing and the power of money growth.  Those of us that can afford planners or money managers get professional help.  Others, prefer to do the planning themselves.  Let’s look at what the professionals do.

They advise us on cash flow management, education planning, retirement planning, investing, insurance, taxes, estate planning and business succession planning (for business owners). One of the key objectives with which a financial planner works is to provide inflation and risk adjusted returns for its clients

The Boy Scout motto is Be Prepared.  That is a great way to think about planning.  When you have dealt with it, you earn a reward of engraved river stones for your desk or bookshelf.  Check out this blog for more ideas on planning.

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Children’s Earth Day Activities

Thursday, April 19, 2012 posted by Joan
Motivational Stone

Inspirational Greeting Stone

April 22 is Earth Day.  So. it’s time to start planning  Earth Day activities for your children.   It’s fun to focus on what our Earth gives us and how we can give back.  We hope you enjoy these suggestions:

  • Vegetable Garden – Use an egg carton to plant vegetable seeds. Simply spoon soil into each egg holder.  Sprinkle a few seeds in each holder.  Cover with soil.  Seeds will begin to sprout in a few days.  In a few weeks, transplant to your garden or large pots.
  • Earth Day Family and Friends Swap – Each person brings one item that they no longer use.  If you want that item, it’s yours.  All leftover items are donated to charity.
  • Recylcing Station – Discuss with your kids what can and cannot be recylcled.  Your children can look at  old magazines and cut out pictures of items that can and cannot be recycled.  Tape each photo to an index card.  Have two tubs, one for recycling and one for trash.  Have you children sort  pictures by placing each card in one tub.
  • Neighborhood Cleanup – This is a popular Earth Day Activity for kids of all ages.  Identify what can be recycled  Give each child a pair of rubber gloves and 2 bags.  One bag has the recyle symbol and the other is labeled trash.     As the children clean up, they place the items in the appropriate bags.
  • Green and Brown Day – Children dress in green and brown clothing to remind everyone of the importance of trees to our environment. Plant a tree in your yard or community.  Place inspirational stones, river stones engraved with inspirational messages, around the tree.  Each child can write his/her name on a stone.
  • Earth Day Stories and Poems – Read The Giving Tree, a wonderful story by Shel Silverstein,  about a little boy and a tree.   Check your local library for Earth Day children’s literature.

Happy Earth Day!

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Saying Thank You To Volunteers

Tuesday, April 17, 2012 posted by Joan
Thank You Engraved Stone

Thank You Greeting Stone

During April, we show our appreciation for our volunteers. April 15 -21 is Volunteer Appreciation Week. Having been an educator for many years, I can tell you from personal experience that volunteers play a very important role in education.  Think about the parents who volunteer to supervise children at after-school activities.  How many people are aware of the effort and time required for fundraising by parent volunter which gives the children and teachers the extras they deserve?  What about the parents who plan the holiday parties throughout the school year!  When writing a volunteer a thank you note, you may want to include a quote.  Here are some suggestions:

Volunteers are paid in six figures… S-M-I-L-E-S. ~Gayla LeMaire

Those who can, do. Those who can do more, volunteer. ~Author Unknown

The broadest, and maybe the most meaningful definition of volunteering: Doing more than you have to because you want to, in a cause you consider good. ~ Ivan Scheier

A volunteer is a person who can see what others cannot see; who can feel what most do not feel. Often, such gifted persons, do not think of themselves as volunteers, but as citizens – citizens in the fullest sense: partners in civilization. ~ President George Bush

A different world cannot be built by indifferent people. ~ Nelson Mandela

Always do right. This will gratify some people, and astonish the rest. ~ Mark Twain

Forget yourself for others and others will never forget you. ~ Unknown

Here’s to all volunteers, those dedicated people who believe in all work and no pay. ~ Robert Orben

Consider including engraved polished stones that says THANK YOU and WAY TO GO! with your personal note to say thank you to a volunteer.  The volunteer will hold on to a Greeting Stone using it as a paperweight ot keeping it on their desk.  Everytime they look at it, it will remind them of  your appreciation.

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Third Anniversary Gift Ideas

Sunday, April 15, 2012 posted by Joan
Happy Annivesary Gift Stone

Happy Anniversary Greeting Stone

Are you looking for the perfect third anniversary gift for that special couple? The traditional gift for the third wedding anniversary is leather. Leather is strong, flexible and durable. These are important qualities for a thriving marriage. The modern gift for the third anniversary is crystal.  Crystal is beautiful and dazzling just like a successful marriage.

Use these themes to create some fun and creative ideas for giving a third wedding anniversary gift. Here are some interesting ideas:

  • A 3-day get away, one day for each year of marriage.
  • Pearl or jade jewelry since these are third anniversary gemstones.
  • A fuchsia plant or vase of fuchsias since this is the 3rd anniversary flower.
  • Since leather is the traditional gift, plan a western party with country music for the couple.
  • Luggage
  • Leather photo album, scrap book or desk set.
  • Crystal wine or martini glasses, vase or photo frame
  • Crystal collectibles.

With your gift, give a Greeting Stone with a wedding anniversary inscription – Happy Anniversary. Use a permanent marker to write the number “3″ and the date on the reverse side of the stone. Write a longer message and insert it in the organza pouch which comes with the stone. Need help with the sentiment? Visit our Greeting Stones website and click on the Sentiment Ideas tab.


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Saying Thank You

Friday, April 13, 2012 posted by Joan
Thank You Business Stone

Thank You Greeting Stone

Many of us will be saying thank you more than usual this month. During April, we show our appreciation for our volunteers. We also thank our assistants and secretaries on Administrative Professionals Day (Secretary’s Day).  Finding the right words to say thanks is not easy for all of us.  Here are some suggestions that may help.  There are more free sentiment ideas for other occasions on our website.  Just visit and click on ‘Sentiment Ideas’ on the left panel below ‘Why Greeting Stones?’

The world’s a better place
Because of people like you,
Who take the time to do nice things
The way that you always do.

Thank you much more
Than a greeting can say,
Because you were thoughtful
In such a nice way !

Thanks to you, For all you do.

You really make a difference!

We’re so luck to have you.

The one word that describes your impact on our organization is ‘appreciation’.

Thank You Greeting Stones make perfect engraved business gifts.   People keep them  in a conspicous place like their desk, book shelf or table looking at the stones frequently and remembering the person who gave them.

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How Do You Say Thank You?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012 posted by Joan
Thank You Business Stone

Thank You Greeting Stone

Many people will be saying Thank You in April.  April 15 – 21 is National Volunteer Week and April 25 is Administrative Professionals Day (Secretary’s Day).  Here are some ideas to consider when you say Thank You:

  • Explain how the person makes a difference.  Let them understand how their contribution benefits you and the organization.
  • Hand-written is preferable to the printed word because it takes time, and that will be appreciated.
  • Send a hand-written Thank You note. If you need suggestions for wording, please check out our Greeting Stones website help you.  On the homepage, above the black bar, is a tab ‘Sentiment Ideas’ which has suggested sentiments for all occasions.
  • Send a Thank You greeting card or Greeting Stone with your comments. A stone engraving (Greeting Stone)  is better because the recipient will keep it in a conspicious place for others to see.
  • Say Thank You to the person directly.

Saying  Thank You really isn’t that difficult; you know you want to do it… Start saying Thank You today.

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