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Archive for April, 2017

2017 Football Season

Sunday, April 30, 2017 posted by Joan
Engraved Motivational Stones

Engraved Inspirational Stones

Now that the NFL draft is complete, you don’t need an inspirational paperweight to get you excited.  Early camps open in less than two months and the first pre-season games shortly after that.  With the draft completed, each team will try to fill in the gaps with free agents.  Fans begin evaluating the strength of their favorite teams and begin to predict wins and losses.

Soon, the bookies in Las Vegas will establish the odds for making it to the Super Bowl and the betting begins.  For the fantasy players, it is time to look at the films to determine who could be a sleeper in this year’s rookies.  In the Spring, most football fans ponder whether their team will make it to the playoff.  Of course, New England, Atlanta, Seattle and Pittsburgh are expected to be there, but who else will make it?  Get your new gear for the coming season and get ready to rumble.  If you don’t have season seats, be sure to buy them for at least one game during the season.  Get lower level seats.  It’s no fun to sit in the nosebleed sections

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How Did We Communicate in the Past

Friday, April 28, 2017 posted by Joan

I Love Grandma Engraved Stones

During the 1950s, a Western Union telegraph was like using a tracking number today.  If you wanted to notify someone about an issue and wanted proof of the notice, you sent a telegram.  Photocopiers did not exist and the only way to reproduce something was by use of a mimeograph master.  You did not use smoke signals, message stones or semaphore signals.  Western Union was the way to go.  As with most electronic technology, the telegraph became outdated.

A mimeograph machine used sheets that had a waxy finish.  Someone typed on them using a manual typewriter which cut an image in the sheet.  Then the sheet was placed on a roller and as it turned, it produced a fuzzy image of the document you typed.  The Xerox machine was not invented until the 1960s and produced only about three pages per minute.  Now, both Xerox and Western Union are in different businesses.  WU sends money from station to station by wire.  Xerox Corp. spun off Conduant Inc. which provides professional technology services for businesses.  Xerox is still in the document technology business.

 

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Improving Mental Health for Seniors

Sunday, April 23, 2017 posted by Joan
feel good engraved stones

Inspirational River Stones

Many seniors struggle with depression.  This condition can be due to heath challenges, retirement and death or sickness of their partner.  It’s not unusual for seniors to doubt their self-worth, be unmotivated and bored.  Here are some preventative measures that can help alleviate these negative feelings:

  1. Stay connected – Try to telephone your family and friends. Don’t forget to send those clever birthday greetings. Plan dinners and outings to get together.  Visit your children and grandchildren.  If you haven’t heard from someone; reach out to them.
  2. Keep moving – Try to do some type of exercise each day.  Join a gym, walk outside, take a yoga or stretch class.  If your time is limited or access to resources is a problem, there are many good DVDs and TV programming to consider.
  3. Go outside – Studies have shown the time spent outside is a natural high.  Go for a walk, garden and spend time outside at the park or on your patio.
  4. Play games – Games and puzzles are good for your brain.  Try crossword and jigsaw puzzles for fun.  Learn to play canasta, mah jongg and/or bridge.  These games will not only keep your mind active, but are also a good way to make friends and socialize.

 

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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.

Ingredients:

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

Preparation:

  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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Threats from North Korea

Monday, April 17, 2017 posted by Joan
Inspirational Greeting Stones

Inspirational Stones

For more than 50 years, North Korea has been a thorn in the side of the United States.  To avoid military conflict, America has consistently taken a passive role with this rogue nation.  They were supported by China for years and it made more sense to throw insults and pocket stones at them rather than bullets and bombs.  So, what is new in 2017?

What is new, is a rational China and an administration that is willing to get tough with this insane dictatorship.  Now, North Korea has not only nuclear weapons, but missiles capable of reaching the United States.  It seems that the more we appease the North Koreans, the more aggressive they get.  By ignoring them, they will be even stronger in ten years and the likelihood of armed conflict even greater.  With China seeing a greater potential for global conflict, it could be that she will become neutral, rather than a North Korean ally.  This combined with our ability to use our defensive missile shield could force the Koreans to behave.  What do you think?

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Interesting Hobbies

Saturday, April 15, 2017 posted by Martin
I Love My Dog Engraved Stones

I Love My Dog Engraved Stones

People love hobbies.  It gives them something productive to look forward to besides work.  Typical hobbies are gardening, photography, collecting things like coins and stamps and body building.  Of course, there are many unusual hobbies such as making engraved rocks, making models, model railroading and collecting specimens.  The question is why do folks enjoy hobbies.

Hobby Lobby figured out the answer to that long ago.  People enjoy seeing the outcome of their labor and are proud to show it to others.  Needlepoint, sculpturing and art are an important piece of the hobbyist’s budget.  In addition to admiring one’s own work, sometimes folks create a second income.  What is your hobby?  If you don’t have a serious passion for one, you may be missing out.  As an example, some dog lovers decide to breed their animals for profit.  Pure breeds can sell for more than a thousand dollars each and some breeds can fetch over two thousand dollars.  Given a litter of about six or seven pups and the rewards can be substantial.

 

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The Throwaway Children

Thursday, April 13, 2017 posted by Joan
Love Greeting Stones

I Love Grandma Engraved Stones

The Throwaway Children by Diney Costeloe is a heart wrenching story of two sisters, Rosie and Rita, who lived in England after World War II.  These two young girls, ages five and nine years-old were given away by their mother.  How can someone give away their children like throwing engraved stones in the water?

The girls had lived with their mother who married a bully whom they all feared.  She was pressured by her new husband to send the girls to an orphanage.  However, she didn’t realize that the papers that she signed gave away her rights to her children. Even their maternal grandmother, was not able to have any contact with the girls.

The sisters were sent to an orphanage in Australia and then separated.  As the book unfolds, you will learn about the severe obstacles and extreme hardships that the girls faced.  This compelling story will make you appreciate intact families who value their children.  If you care about kids, this book is a must read.

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Fighting Cancer

Friday, April 7, 2017 posted by Joan

One Day at a Time Inspirational Stones

The one word heard by patients that scares us is the word cancer.  I am not a doctor nor a researcher so this column is not to provide medical advice.  My purpose in writing this is just to discuss the topic with a sober but rational tone.  If you watch the commercials on TV, you are probably aware of Cancer Treatment Centers of America.  Treating cancer is what they do so I suppose they are at the forefront of breakout options.  However, being positive and listening to the experts is also critical.  Carrying some engraved stones with you will motivate you to stay on track every day.

Other highly regarded cancer hospitals are University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston and Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.  Also, consider UCLA Medical Center in California and the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.  Pick the one closest to you.  Remember, knowledge and experience is more valuable than the convenience of a nearby hospital.

Cancers can be treated and become dormant, yet still reappear years later.  All it takes are a few dormant cancer cells and inflammation.  One thing that will reactivate dormant cancer stem cells is continuous inflammation.  Be sure to check with your doctors about ways to lessen the likelihood of reappearance.

 

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UConn Woman’s Basketball Team

Wednesday, April 5, 2017 posted by Joan
You're A Winner Motivational Stone

Engraved Inspirational Paperweight

Recently, the UConn women’s basketball team lost to Mississippi State in a close overtime game.  It was their first loss in their last 111 games.  What does it take to continue to refuse to lose that many consecutive games?  It takes more than just inspiration.  It takes more than just inspirational stones for each player. It takes more than good luck.   It takes great coaching, great recruiting, great players and most of all, it takes heart.

Eventually, UConn had to lose.  Nothing continues forever.  Sometimes it also takes bad luck but also hats off to Mississippi State who were up for this game and were determined to end the streak for UConn.  This will be remembered as one of the great women’s basketball games.  I look forward to the next time these two great teams meet.  It will need no hype.  For sure, the game will be televised on national TV.  Good luck to both teams.

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Receiving Business Gifts

Monday, April 3, 2017 posted by Joan
Thank You Engraved Stone

Thank You Engraved Stones

There is a big difference between corruption and thank you gifts, but I’m not sure exactly where the line is drawn.   If someone were to receive two personalized friendship gifts such as a box of golf balls, it would have little if any influence on the receiver of the gifts.  The same would be true if a business acquaintance picked up the tab for breakfast at IHOP.  However, if the gifts were a regular occurrence like every month, it could have such influence.  The test is not so much by the person who gave the gift as much as it might be by the receiver of the gifts.  Cash is never appropriate.  For these and other reasons, organizations and governments have strict policies regarding gifts.

At one time, I helped a business acquaintance with a problem his wife had with the company I worked for.  I was glad to help his wife and my company to resolve the problem.  He sent me a thank you letter along with a gift certificate to a restaurant.  His act was well meaning, however I returned the gift certificate along with a note explaining the it would be inappropriate to accept the gift.  While it would have absolutely no effect on my conduct, I asked myself one question.  If the CEO of my company were aware that I accepted the gift, what would he think?

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