Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year Greetings from Acadia National Park

Planning to visit Acadia National Park in the New Year? There are plenty of activities to keep you busy on this Maine Island during the winter , especially when the National Park gets a significant snowfall. And we have a LOT of snow this year....One more foot of snow accumulated again today, and more is on the way! "Let it Snow" !

Acadia has forty-five miles of groomed carriage roads that offer the perfect setting for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. My friend and neighbor, "Dr Bob" and his helpers lay down the ski tracks on the carriage roads whenever there is a new snow fall! You can also cross country ski or snowshoe on the unplowed park roads. If you're coming 'from away', you don't even have to invest or transport skis, poles, shoes and other miscellaneous winter paraphernalia . Ski equipment and other rentals are available in the local communities. (See link for Cadillac Mountain Sports in Bar Harbor)

Stop by the office to say 'Hi' when you are in the village...but be careful not to trip over my snowshoes and ski poles that are in the office entry. The village landing is directly across from my office and it is incredibly beautiful when the rocky coast is covered with new snow!
Hope to see you in '08! The welcome mat is always out at REALTOR® GramEpat's place!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Gas Pump Safety Alert

I just received this safety information .
The link is to the Nation's Law Enforcement Community Police Link.

I don't usually pass these stories on, but this one made a lot of sense. So I googled the source of the story (see link) and decided it needs to be shared. I never would have considered a scenerio like the story below.

"A woman stopped at a pay-at-the-pump gas station to get gas. Once she filled her gas tank and after paying at the pump and starting to leave, the voice of the attendant inside came over the speaker. He told her that something happened with her card and that she needed to come inside to pay. The lady was confused because the transaction showed complete and approved. She relayed that to him and was getting ready to leave but the attendant, once again, urged her to come in to pay or there would be trouble. She proceeded to go inside and started arguing with the attendant about his threat. He told her to calm down and listen carefully:

He said that while she was pumping gas, a guy slipped into the back seat of her car on the other side and the attendant had already called the police. She became frightened and looked out in time to see her car door open and the guy slip out. The report is that the new gang initiation thing is to bring back a woman and/or her car.. One way they are doing this is crawling under women's cars while they're pumping gas or at grocery stores in the nighttime .The other way is slipping into unattended cars and kidnapping the women.

Please be extra careful going to and from your car at night. If at all possible, don't go alone! "
1. ALWAYS lock your car doors, even if you're gone for just a second!
2. Check underneath your car when approaching it for reentry, and check in the back before getting in.3. Always be aware of your surroundings and of other individuals in your general vicinity, particularly at night!

Please have a Safe New Year! REALTOR® gramEpat

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Why Blog?

Wondering 'why do people blog'?
I discovered many interesting articles on the subject.
In a PC Magazine article ,John Dvorak suggests: Ego gratification. Antidepersonalization. Elimination of frustration. Societal need to share. Wanna-be writers. He ads: "Some is shockingly good. Most of it is miserable. Whatever the reason for the Blog phenomenon, it's not going to go away anytime soon."
I prefer Dave Taylor's comments posted on the Intuitive systems web page:
"It's to have a voice, however small."

"To think that just like the people who write those fancy opinion columns for The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, you too can share your thoughts, vent, and complain to the public at large. There are lots of really smart bloggers who have interesting perspectives on the news, politics, sports, business, etc., people who wouldn't otherwise be heard in mainstream media."
To my blogging buddies: I look forward to your future postings. Thank you for sharing your time, your thoughts and your voice! Keep the postings coming!
From an "egotistical, antidepersonalized, no longer frustrated , wanna- be writer" who has a voice. REALTOR® gramEpat

Monday, December 17, 2007

"I am Woman, Hear me Roar"

Hear me roar? "In numbers too big to ignore"
I found some interesting postings about Women REALTORS®
1927 New York Times
Special to The New York Times.
August 14, 1927, Sunday

SEATTLE, Wash., Aug. 13 1927. -- "Far from the home and from the orthodox responsibilities of home-making sits the woman REALTOR® , but no line can be drawn where her home leaves off and her office begins. More than 200 women gathered here yesterday for the first national conference of women REALTORS® . "

I searched some more and found that in 1938, a national women's council formed a women's division at its annual convention. Thirty seven ambitious women represented nine states at the meeting for the inception of the Women's Council of REALTORS® .

According to statistics that I found on, women are making strides in the profession, making up nearly 54 percent of REALTORS® licensed through the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).
200 in 1927, over a half a million in 2007! WOW. That's impressive! "You go, girl". G r r r r r r r r r r r r r r REALTOR® gramEpat

Sunday, December 16, 2007

People are like tea bags

People are like tea bags. Put them in hot water and they grow stronger.
(To quote Dr.Lynn in the link above: some people are like tea bags: put them in hot water and they do grow stronger. Others, worn out, also like tea bags, tear and break, messily spilling their contents adrift in the boiling water.Try to make it through life with ease and minimal scalding)
According to a posting on a tea benefits webpage Enlightened tea drinkers are rediscovering the protective and revitalizing benefits of this ancient drink. Recent research shows that any tea derived from camellia sinensis has cancer-fighting properties. The leaves of this plant contain chemicals called polyphenols, which give tea its antioxidant properties.
Which tea offers the most benefits? Black, Green, Red or White?Black, green and red teas derive their leaves from a warm-weather evergreen tree known as Camellia sinensis. The leaves from this tree contains polyphenols.
Sipping on a pot of herbal tea in the evenings, while I work on my computer is part of my daily routine.
But it's really not accurate to call it Tea. Most herbal teas in the market are NOT tea at all. They are only infusions made with herbs, flowers, roots, spices or other parts of some plants. The proper term for this type of beverage is "tisane". Although tisane does not contain as much polyphenols, it does promote other various health qualities such as relaxation and calming effects.
Ever wonder why the Chinese and Japanese have some of the longest life-expectancy rates in the world. …here’s the secret:
They drink a lot of tea! REALTOR® gramEpat

Saturday, December 15, 2007

It's Easy to be Green:Recycle Batteries

Every year we hope that Santa remembers to put Batteries in the toys and least remembers to tuck them in the stockings.
When I googled 'recycling batteries' (dry-cell, rechargable, automotive, button, lead-acid) I discovered that batteries contain metals, acids and other compounds (like Mercury) that can be hazardous when released into the environment.
How to recycle the most common battery types:
*Disposal of Alkaline & Carbon-Zinc ("Heavy Duty") batteries: In Germany it seems that every supermarket has a collection bin for batteries. In the USA there fewer options. The experts recommend individuals place these with normal household trash, unless your trash is incinerated or you are restricted by local regulations. Some communities collect batteries as part of a recycling program, but the batteries generally end up in a hazardous waste landfill. Several reclamation companies are now processing these batteries, so the situation may improve soon.
The only alternative that I know about is rechargeable batteries. Facilities designed to recycle other rechargeables do not want any type of dry cell battery.

Click this link for more information : **Recycled Batteries
**Recycling Nickel-Cadmium batteries: can be recycled'
**Recycling Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH), Recycling Lithium Ion (Li-Ion): "Many newer laptop computers and other portable use Nickel Metal Hydride or Lithium-Ion batteries.

**Disposal: Button Cell Batteries, Recycling:
Most small, round "button cell" type batteries contain **Mercury, silver, cadmium, lithium or other heavy metals as their main component. These materials leak in landfills, can enter the water table, and are even worse when incinerated. Many shops that replace watch and hearing aid batteries will accept your batteries for recycling at no charge.

**Recycling: Automotive batteries: "Automotive batteries contain lead. Lead is both toxic and valuable; Virtually any place that sells batteries will take them back, most state laws require it.

**Recycling non-automotive lead based batteries: Gel cells and sealed lead-acid batteries are commonly used in industrial equipment, emergency lighting, and alarm systems. The same recycling process applies as with automotive batteries.
**Note: Mercury: Mercury has been used in a wide variety of products, even kid's flashing sneakers.
Mercury is a deadly poison. Chronic exposure leads to brain damage . Mercury containing products of any source must be disposed/recycled as "household hazardous waste". Contact your garbage or recycling company for days & times. Do not mess around with mercury.
GramE tip: Keeping "your" batteries charged is important. Find your comfort level and recharge occasionally.
You are too important to end up on a hazardous waste pile!

REALTOR® gramEpat

Friday, December 14, 2007

Passport Procrastination

New Year’s Resolution #1: Complete the passport application that is currently on the bottom of my ‘to do’ pile on my desk!
I know that a passport is now required when traveling anywhere outside of the USA.
I also know that the processing time frame is about two months. So why do I put it off?
I know that if I need to expedite the service, I’ll have to pay an extra fee and still have to wait for nearly a month to receive it.

When I initially inquired about the application process I found out that all I needed to do to start the process was to go to the local post office or town office to pick up the application. The town clerk instructed me to
complete the form and return it with my original birth certificate (proof of US citizenship) , proof of identity (social security card, driver’s license), and 2 passport photos. The town clerk mentioned that AAA members can get passport photos done at a discounted rate in nearby locations.
The government also provides a useful guide for first time applicants.

FYI: If you're traveling within two weeks and need a passport or foreign visa for travel, you can contact one of the
thirteen Passport Agencies who will be able to assist you.

What if a Passport is lost or stolen?
* A report of the loss or theft must be filed immediately to the State Department and a report needs to be filed with the local police.
*If the picture ID for domestic travel is lost, it is necessary to contact the airlines immediately . They have other ways to document identities.

Heart of the Valley Travel web site info: "When traveling internationally, carry a passport even if you don't need one (it's always the best form of ID), and make two photocopies of the data page (one for someone at home and another for you, carried separately from your passport). If you lose your passport, promptly call the nearest US Embassy or consulate and the local police. Make sure you have a signed, valid passport and visas, if required. "
The embassy request that applicants appear in person, prove identity, and reapply (and of course, pay a hefty fee). Another contact is the Department of State Overseas Citizens Service at 1-317-472-2328. Before you go, fill in the emergency information page of your passport and check the expiration date. Many countries require you to present a passport with an expiration date of no less than 6 months from the end of your visit to their country.
Keep the passport in a safe location….and have a safe trip!
I think Santa has an
RSS feed for gramEpat's blog. Maybe he will leave a AAA gift card in my stocking to pay for my passport photos!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

John Travolta and "It's the Thought that Counts"

When my sisters and I (6 girls in our family) were very little, we used to enjoy the boxes that our holiday gifts came in…sometimes even more than the presents! All we needed was some duct tape and imagination and we were ‘good to go’. Some things never change! At GramEpat’s Place I continue to enjoy the packaging! Only now the emphasis is on repurposing items. The locals (BTW: Interesting article about John Travolta….Locals want John to be more thoughtful! Click the link!) know that I love to repurpose products….and of special interest are the maps of Mt.Desert Island. There are limitless ideas and, thanks to Wes Shaw, my local map maker, I have cases of outdated maps to re-use.
Today I was delighted to receive a holiday card that was sent in a recycled European map envelope.
The written verse on the card was lovely and very much appreciated. However, I’m certain that the 'direcktrecycling
envelope was the 'thoughtful hidden message' for me! “It’s the thought that counts!” Thanks, Andie! REALTOR® gramEpat

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Price for Overpacking

Recently I was traveling and thought I would pack everything in one suitcase to send through ….and just take a small light weight carryon with me. I thought it would simplify things on the receiving end if I only had to look for one suitcase when I got to my destination. It would also be easier to maneuver just one large suitcase with wheels...than to have to deal with several bags. Because the heavy suitcase had wheels, I was not concerned about the weight of the bag. When I was checking in, I was informed that I just “squeaked by’ with about 1 pound to spare. It never entered my mind that I had to be concerned about the weight! I knew there were limits, but I had no idea that I was that close.
I should have considered distributing the weight between the 2 suitcases. Most airlines now limit luggage to one carry-on and two checked pieces. Airline baggage restrictions are getting tougher—and more expensive. Depending on the airline, I could have been charged as $25-$50 for the extra weight. It would have been cheaper to distribute the weight between 2 checked bags. It could cost as much as $80 for an extra bag. I saved the $25 on that end of the trip and ended up spending $25 to purchase an extra bag to ‘redistribute the weight’ for the return trip! (I always end up returning with more that I started with!). I can think of better ways to spend $25-$80 unnecessarily!
Here's a GramEpat tip: If you plan to check 2 bags…also plan to share the packing…so that there are clothes, shoes, toiletries, etc. in EACH bag…just in case one of them does not arrive at your destination. Another travel tip for women: Wear basic black (or brown/beige) and wear layers for travel clothes. Silk scarves,accessories and several light weight wrinkle free travel shirts (silk blouses?) can be rolled and tucked in the bottom of your briefcase. And, if possible, try to find a way to make room for an extra pair of shoes in your carryon. You will be surprised at how much extra stress you can handle if you have 'happy feet'.

I just noticed the 'red high heeled shoes in the photo. ("Big Girl Shoes"). Definitely not 'gramE' recommended travel shoes! It reminds me of the military quote " Walk Proud!..."Pain is temporary..Pride is forever" !
Have fun traveling. Good luck finding your luggage or 'your luggage eventually finding you' !
Here are a few tips from the experts:
9 tips for packing light
Learn to pack like a pro

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tranquility ,Terrain and Technology

I love winters in Maine ! When it snows, the world seems to spin in slow motion.
…The tranquility, the beauty, and the excuse to not go to the office ASAP!!….(Even though the road crews are usually out 24/7 keeping the roads plowed).
I don't think I'll ever get over the excitement that I used to feel as a kid when I woke up and discovered that school was canceled and it was a SNOW DAY. It will always be a reason to celebrate! Of course, on Mt. Desert Island, I had excuses to celebrate several times this past week! There may be many celebrations before this winter is over!...and I may start running out of excuses.

It’s also a good chance to take advantage of the extra time and work on improving techie skills…assuming there is not too much snow accumulated on the satellite dish!

Rural Maine can be beautiful in a snow storm…but it can raise havoc with technology.
For those of us who live in the ‘boonies’ , the terrain is mountainous and many of us live on private roads, well off the beaten path. We are nowhere near the
high speed wireless connections available to the ‘city dwellers’ who live in downtown Somesville or uptown Bar Harbor.

As the world was spinning slowly, and I was surfing the net, I came across helpful hints about building a better Web site. (Realtor Magazine online). Here are some of the subjects on that site that I found interesting and helpful.
Ask Mr. Internet: Extreme Web Site Makeovers
Tech Watch: Does Your Web Site Have Curb Appeal?
Web Site Makeovers: Look Your Best Online
9 Ways to Make Your Web Site Stick
11 Tips for a Great Web Site
Let it snow….I have lots to learn before Mud Season arrives and the world starts spinning faster again! REALTOR® gramEpat

Monday, December 10, 2007

It's Easy to be Green: Pesky Packing Peanuts

Ho! Ho! Ho!.....(Oh! Oh!Oh!) As the packages arrive, and styrofoam pellets are stuck to your clothes, hair, and 'whatever' !!(FYI: Grab a fabric softener sheet!)...Wondering how to reuse the polystyrene packing & peanuts, other than the OBVIOUS...send them on to someone else? Those pesky packing peanuts don't have much recycling potential, but they can be reused, which is even better. Many packing, shipping and moving stores will take used styrofoam peanuts. Just pack them up in (recycled) plastic bags, and drop them off next time you are nearby. Suitable businesses can be located under "packaging" in the yellow pages. Typical chain stores include Mail Boxes Etc. and The Postal Annex. For a partial list of local collection sites, try the Plastic Loosefill Council at 1-800-828-2214 (24 Hours).
Some peanuts are not made of plastic. If you find a peanut that looks like a cheese puff, try licking it
. (Or, you may prefer to drop it in water to see if it dissolves!)
One type of peanut is made from vegetable starch, and dissolves almost instantly in water. These taste somewhat like rice cakes, and are just as safe in a compost bin. If you buy peanuts, strongly consider switching to this type. They're better for the environment, and much much easier to get rid of.
Disposal of rigid foam blocks (such as those protecting new equipment) is problematic. The materials are very lightweight, they're made from natural gas: it is easy to end up with a net environmental loss just transporting the stuff. For most individuals recycling this material is not worth it, though future research into local small-scale reprocessing may change this. If you have large quantities of material, a list of collection sites is available from
The Alliance of Foam Packaging Recyclers. Have fun packaging, wrapping and unwrapping....and brushing off and vacuuming up those pesky pieces! REALTOR® gramEpat

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Where are you Kirmie?

"Where are you Kirmie?"

I have been searching all the stores in Maine this season for a little 'Kermit' frog. A small Kermie gift is no where to be found. 'Bein Green' you would think that I could easily spot him in a store. I find myself wandering around the shops, humming 'The Rainbow Connection" and wondering perhaps, after the holidays are over,

Saturday, December 8, 2007

"And Miles to Go Before I Sleep"

I recently had a conversation with my son who is considering running a 100 Mile endurance race. I asked him what he would do about lack of sleep…assuming the race might take up to 30 hours to complete. After that conversation, I decided , just for fun…to send him the poem lyrics of Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening’ by Robert Frost because it has the quote “and miles to go before I sleep”. In my Google search, I was delighted to discover a very interesting article about a commercial real estate investor who was making his debut in solo sailing . Managing sleep deprivation is a critical skill in the solo-sailing racing game. The article includes helpful tips from Dr.Sleep (Dr. Claudio Stampi is sole proprietor of the Newton, Massachusetts-based Chronobiology Research Institute, which is dedicated to the highly refined art of achieving maximum performance on minimal sleep ). Many of us budget time like others budget money. (And others think ‘time is money’ :) Wouldn’t it be great to learn how to sleep less and accomplish more! We all have “promises to keep and miles to go before we sleep”. REALTOR® gramEpat


$ave Money. $ave Energy. $ave the Environment.
Driving around our Island, I see many older homes with HUGE ice sickles hanging from the roof lines. That might make a nice holiday photo....sparkling ice and snow drifts...but it really isn't that beautiful when you realize that it is a snapshot of lost energy and lost money! Sparkling ice is spectacular when it's cascading off the side of a cliff in a frozen waterfall! ....but not when it's hanging off the side of a home's roof line! With fuel prices skyrocketing, I no longer find roof line sparkling ice cycles that attractive. (Not to mention how dangerous they are when they fall off the roof!) .Thinking about what to do to not only help the environment , but save money on the fuel costs? #1 on the 'to do' list is to weatherstrip homes. Did you know:-The average family needs to heat a home for at least six months out of the year (and, I think it is at least 10 months in Maine!)...and about 30 percent of a home's heat escapes through small cracks and holes that are not always easily detected. -Sealing a home can translate into an annual household savings of 5-30% on the cost of fuel bills.-Older homes are especially vulnerable to drafts, but even new homes can develop drafts as they settle. (Yesterday, on my way to the office, I saw a newly constructed home with one side of the roof lined up with those 'yucky' ice sickles! ) REALTOR® gramEpat

Thursday, December 6, 2007

REALTORS® "Can & Will Give What They Do Have"

Many REALTORS® are active members of their community …and do what they can to help their community, plus try to balance their lives. At a recent fundraising event (our local board council was hosting an auction to raise money for local affordable housing issues) I heard bits of conversations that went something like this:
The ‘word’ was spreading…..asking who wanted to car pool to another fundraising event next week…and I heard comments like: ' I wish I could, but I have my local firemen’s training group session that night'….'Sorry, I can’t come, my boy scout troop is holding their annual Chilly bake off'…'I would love to join you but that’s my hospital BOD meeting night' …'Oops…Can’t attend because it’s the night of the Bank Shareholders Meeting'…'I would love to support the next auction , but the Library is holding their fundraiser the same night'….and many other comments that were not excuses not to support another holiday fundraiser. They were choices for how and where the members were going to spend their time, energy, money, love and support for community involvement.

Maybe “You cannot give what you do not have” ..but I have discovered that most REALTORS® and Associates ...thruout the year...‘can and will’ give what they do have!
REALTOR® gramEpat

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

It's Easy to be Green:Computer Re-Use

I am hopeful that Santa will think I've been a good Antique Little Girl and will fill my stocking with a new laptop computer and some other electronic toys. I'm prematurely wondering what to do with some of the dated electronics that might still be of use to somebody. I checked out the site for a list of places that might accept the electronics. I also left a message with our school techie and offered to gather up miscellaneous parts and 'quirky' equipment for him to pick up. He indicated that sometimes the schools can use products and or parts. He also told me that he makes trips off and on to the State Prison where the machines are either fixed and recycled ...or old equipment is stripped for parts and re purposed. 'Interesting'. I would think contributors would be a bit concerned about making sure the stored data was somehow deleted before the items were picked up.

Think before you donate electronics with stored data. You never know where it will end up! However, try to donate or recycle your old computers before they become totally obsolete (the EPA estimates that 75% of computers sit in storage for several years before finally getting thrown away)!
If you've waited too long you'll have to recycle, not reuse. Electronics contain lead and other chemicals, so they should not be landfilled (and some jurisdictions are working on banning such material from landfills). One good option is dropping off at Office Depot (See They'll accept most office-type electronics, and small TV's.
REALTOR® gramEpat

(I hope Santa knows that I have a 'fired up' wood stove at the bottom of our chimney. I can't imagine that much heat would be good for electronics! Maybe he's a Maine REALTOR and has a card reader for the new lockboxes! )

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Will the land be 'under all' 5000 years from now?

An all-female surveying crew in Idaho in 1918
Ever wonder about the history of boundary surveys? Many deeds make reference to monuments and markers (such as iron rods, pipes, concrete posts) but some descriptions (especially in Maine) also refer to blazes in trees, piled stone corners, old stone walls, the tallest Pine tree in the field, and other perishable landmarks. I did a little research online and discovered that boundary surveying has been an essential element in the development of the human environment since the beginning of recorded history (ca. 5000 years ago)
According to articles posted online, in ancient Egypt when the Nile River overflowed its banks and washed out farm boundaries, boundaries were re-established through the application of simple geometry. The Egyptian command of ancient surveying is affirmed by the nearly perfect squareness and north-south orientation of the
Great Pyramid of Giza, built c. 2700 BC. More interesting information can be viewed on Wikipedia.
*Egyptians had a land register (3000 BC).
*Romans established a tax register of conquered lands (300 AD).
*In England,
Domesday Book by William the Conqueror (1086) contained names of the land owners, area, and and quality
*Continental Europe's
Cadastre (comprehensive register of real property) was created in 1808 (A cadastre loses its value if register and maps are not constantly updated.
Most recently, distance measurements can be fully robotic, and can even e-mail point data to the office computer and connect to
satellite positioning systems, such as a Global Positioning System (GPS).’Under All is the Land’ I cannot begin to imagine how it will be measured for future generations, 5000 years from now! REALTOR® gramEpat

Monday, December 3, 2007

It's Easy to Be Green: Cell Phone Recycling

Thinking of asking Santa for a new phone for Christmas this year?
It seems too bad that tens of millions of used cellular telephones are put in boxes every year, never to be used again. Phones are useful, and contain toxic materials. Why not consider donating your old wireless phone . It can be recycled.
Recycled phones go overseas to people who can't get regular telephone service, or to people in abusive relationships (the phones are programmed to call 911 only). Try to collect as many parts as possible.Phones or phone parts (like batteries & cords) are collected. Before you drop off your phone and /or at any
Sprint PCS or Staples chain store, check with your local organizations to see if anyone is doing frundraising projects...or see CollectiveGood or for mailing information.
It's easy to have a green holiday.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

"Let it Snow"

Planning to drive any distance this time of year in Maine? The Fema web site offers some good safety tips.
In the Northeast, you cannot predict the weather!Heavy snowfall and extreme cold can immobilize an entire region. Winter storms can result in flooding, storm surge, closed highways, blocked roads, downed power lines and hypothermia. Here are a few GramE tips to ad to the Fema list: Be sure to keep plenty of clothes, a blanket, bottled water, dry food snacks, a flashlight and emergency medical kit in your car. Don't forget your cell phone. the window scraper, gloves and a portable shovel. It would be great to also have a bag of kitty litter and/or bagged salt handy for icy situations.

Maine REALTORS ® If you are planning to attend the Portland Educational Extravaganza tomorrow, please drive carefully. REALTOR® gramEpat

Saturday, December 1, 2007

"It Ain't broke. It just lacks Duct Tape"

In many homes, Santa fills the toe of the Christmas Stockings with an Orange. However, in our home, Santa has always filled the stockings with Duct Tape! Over the years, my sons discovered at least 1001 uses for the 'sticky stuff'. I bet most REALTORS® could top that! Duct Tape is so popular that there are even Duct Tape Clubs and Duct Tape fashions and Duct Tape scholarships!

Did you know that
Duck Products annually sponsors a competition that offers a college scholarship to the person who creates the most stylish prom formal wear made from duct tape. The number of uses to which duct tape can be put is a source of humor (many of these are collected in books by "The Duct Tape Guys").
One of Duck Products previous competitions was for vehicles covered in duct tape called "Stuck in Traffic".
There is even a medical theory that, "Theoretically, the rubber adhesive could somehow stimulate the immune system! "
The Duct Tape Guys (Jim Berg and Tim Nyberg) as of 2005 have written seven books about duct tape. Their bestselling books have sold over 1.5 million copies and feature real and wacky uses of duct tape. Is there anything that your can't fix with Duct Tape? To quote Jim and Tim: "It Ain't Broke, It Just Lacks Duct Tape".

If you've been a good little girl or boy , maybe Santa will leave the sticky stuff in your stocking this year ! REALTOR® gramEpat

Friday, November 30, 2007

Holiday Flying Tips

As we all know, the holidays can provide some of life's greatest joys—But it also can contribute to some great frustrations for weary travelers. I was surfing the AARP website and came across a recently posted list of tips to help make the process go more smoothly.

AARP Members also save on airline travel, car rental, cruises, hotels, vacations, and more. It's all in
AARP Member Discounts and Services
“You don’t stop playing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop playing”. Ben Franklin
Stress is a part of life. You can't avoid it, but you can learn to manage it! REALTOR® gramEpat

Thursday, November 29, 2007

It's Easy to be Green: Reuse Holiday Cards

I recently read an article that mentioned that for the last 25 years Saint Jude's Ranch, a non-profit youth home, has operated a holiday card reuse program. The ranch provides counseling and opportunities for troubled youth. The kids operate a business taking used greeting cards, neatly cutting off the front covers, gluing on new back covers, and selling the result. The kids earn money, experience and a sense of purpose.
The St. Jude's program has been such a success, they have millions of cards and may never need any more. But you can help them by buying the cards, and help to close the recycling loop. To help recycle cards, you send either entire cards, or cards with the backs cut off. To save cost, bundle the cards and send via UPS ground or request the "library book rate" at the post office. Address: St. Jude's Card Recycling, 100 St. Jude Street, Post Office Box 60100, Boulder City, NV 89006.
Or perhaps you know of a group in your community who could use the cards for a similar fund raising program. If you want to create your own 'Green projects' for the Holidays, Ruby has some great suggestions. It's easy to be GREEN . Have Fun!

REALTOR® gramEpat

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

"A Safe Work Place is No Accident"

At the Recent Maine Association of Realtors®' Convention in Bar Harbor, PepTalk company owner and motivational speaker, John T. Jenkins offered a program on safety and self defense. He gave an interesting, informative and interactive presentation showing some of the choices that are available during personal self protection situations.

The National Association of Realtors® also recently produced a REALTOR® Safety Week Kit that was packed with powerful tools that you can use to build members’ awareness of potential on-the-job dangers and the proper procedures that can save lives.

This "10 Second Rule " article was part of the kit that was provided.
1 0 - S E C O N D R U L E
Inattention is one of the main reasons people find themselves in dangerous situations.
Take a few precious seconds during the course of your day to assess your surroundings.
Take 2 Seconds when you arrive at your destination.
• Is there any questionable activity in the area?
• Are you parked in a well-lit, visible location?
• Can you be blocked in the driveway by a prospect’s vehicle?
Take 2 Seconds after you step out of your car.
• Are there suspicious people around?
• Do you know exactly where you’re going?
Take 2 Seconds as you walk towards your destination.
• Are people coming and going or is the area unusually quiet?
• Do you observe any obstacles or hiding places in the parking lot or along
the street?
• Is anyone loitering in the area?
Take 2 Seconds at the door.
• Do you have an uneasy feeling as you’re walking in?
• Is someone following you in?
Take 2 Seconds as soon as you enter your destination.
• Does anything seem out of place?
• Is anyone present who shouldn’t be there or who isn’t expected?
10 Seconds TOTAL
Taking in your surroundings lets you spot and avoid danger. Make it a habit. Then
share it with someone else.
(Appeared in “What You Can Do About Safety,” REALTOR® Magazine, September 2000.
Courtesy Night Owl/Vector Security, Landover, MD.)
PLEASE....Stay safe! REALTOR® gramEpat

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Recycled Carpets

Thinking of starting the new year with new carpets? Don't let a major carpet job go by without asking about recycling. Natural fiber carpets can be composted. Old synthetic carpets have value as recycled materials. Individual consumers generally can't get rid of a carpet, but you can ask installers and renovation companies if they will do it for you.
It's Easy to be Green.
REALTOR® gramEpat

Monday, November 26, 2007

Are you Still Waiting?

An optimist is a person who starts a new diet on Thanksgiving Day. Irv Kupcine

ARE YOU STILL WAITING ? "If only I'd invested then!"- from Farm and Land Realtor Magazine, October, 1917 REALTOR® gramEpat

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Family Traditions

REALTOR® Family Photo....The National Association's first Board of Directors, 1909.

Where are the women in this family? I'm going to have to search the 'family tree' to find out when women began to appear in Association photos. "Stay tuned"

My Realtor Family was founded as the National Association of Real Estate Exchanges on May 12, 1908 at the YMCA Auditorium in Chicago, IL. In 1981 there were three earlier unsuccessful attempts at organizing a national real estate group. With 120 founding members, 19 Boards, and one State Association, the National Association of Real Estate Exchanges' objective was "to unite the real estate men of America for the purpose of effectively exerting a combined influence upon matters affecting real estate interests." The Code of Ethics was adopted in 1913 with the Golden Rule as its theme.

As in all families, the dynamics change , but traditions continue to be passed down through the generations. NAR started out as a group of 120 men...and now has over a million men and women. And for generations to come, we will continue to pass on the NAR code of ethics tradition: "Treat Others, as You Would Like to be Treated"! To my REALTOR® Family ( men and women! ) : "Best Wishes for the Holidays" . REALTOR® gramEpat

Saturday, November 24, 2007

*BFF* Gift, Google Search

What can I type in for a 'Google search' (BFF GIFT?) that could produce a gift that would show how much a new friendship means? How is it possible to find the right holiday present when "The best gift life can offer is meeting folks like you." ? What a wonderful delimma....Too many new friends and no search results that can begin to show how much I care! REALTOR® gramEpat

Friday, November 23, 2007

Turkey 'Soup for the Soul'

For those of you who also had the misfortune to sit near someone with Bronchitis on the return flight from the NAR convention in Vegas, I hope you find these tips helpful. I can only assume that turkey soup must also be 'good for the soul'..or at least, ...'Good for the cold'.

Most colds are '3 days coming, 3 days here, and 3 days going. Hang in only have about 4 more days to go. (GramE's recipe...Forget the chicken. Use up the Thanksgiving Turkey plenty of garlic...let it simmer on the stove...make yourself sip on it off and on..and pretend it is working!) Best wishes for a speedy recovery! REALTOR® gramEpat

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

“I’m Supa’, I’m Upright and I’m Movin’ Forward”

I met an old ‘Mainer’ friend..(in this area, he would be called a ‘local’) at our village Post Office this AM. I said my usual “Good morning. What a nice day! How are you today?” His response (which is his daily response) was “It's a Supa'(super) Day! I’m upright!....and I’m movin’ forward !
He always ‘makes my day’. His attitude helps remind me to have a positive attitude. Applying that to today’s real estate market, I am reminded that we need to stay upright and move forward. If we make an effort to master technology, and learn to integrate new channels of communication into our businesses we will be able to keep up with the needs of our clients…young and ‘older’.
Taking the long-term perspective, we will notice that (according to NAR economists John Tucillo and Lawrence Yun)
“The demographics of home buying and selling are shifting significantly, away from baby boomers and toward Generations X and Y.” “Baby boomers are still fueling demand for second homes in communities across the country. However, younger generations are emerging as market forces, and their influence will change how real estate practitioners do business.”
To keep up with the needs of the Generations X and Y younger consumer, we are going to need to pay attention to their perception of value…which includes: time, stress, convenience and service.
If we continue to remain educated, ‘stay upright, and keep moving forward’ we will be able to meet the needs of our younger clients.
Have fun taking the “Supa” classes that are offered in your area. (Maine REALTORS®
I look forward to seeing you at the Portland Educational Extravaganza in December!)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

What a Wonderful World

I was looking at this photo of my husband and grandson and wondered what the world will be like when it is the little guy's dream to settle down and raise a family.

It is comforting to know that “Under all is the Land’ and that "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" is the dream of home ownership.It is fundamental to today’s maintenance of a healthy and democratic society and for future generations. No organization has driven that message home as powerfully as the National Association of REALTORS®

In May 2008, NAR is celebrating 100 years of advocacy on behalf of the real estate professionals and property owners in this country.
This centennial celebration is an opportunity to reflect on the 100 years of innovation in the marketing of real estate, 100 years of setting and promoting professional standards, and 100 years of bringing home the American Dream to more people. I am proud to be a member of this organization that is the Voice for Real Estate and the hope for future generations.
“What a Wonderful World!”
REALTOR ® GramEpat

Monday, November 19, 2007

"Like a Bridge over Troubled Waters"

Don't be discouraged by the recent news media coverage of the housing market. A recent NAR survey shows that Americans still believe that buying a home is a good financial decision.
(Nov. 14) NAR's 2007
National Housing Pulse Survey shows Americans are more concerned about obtaining a mortgage but remain convinced that buying a home is a good long-term investment.
Let your REALTOR® 'ease your mind' and help you obtain the American dream of Home Ownership!
REALTOR® gramEpat

Sunday, November 18, 2007

4 PM and Nowhere to Be

I love those days.. when it’s 4 PM and you realize everyone’s still in their jammies. Sometimes, it’s just so nice to have nowhere to be.

I hope all the 30,000 REALTORS® and Associates enjoyed the recent NAR convention in Vegas as much as I did!

Friday, November 16, 2007

"Sleep like a Baby"

The NAR convention in Vegas is over! I plan to 'sleep like a baby tonight'.
I hope that doesn't mean that I will "wake up every 2 hours and cry" !
Coach Lou Holtz made that humorous statement at a convention program that I attended a few days ago. I thoroughly enjoyed Lou's stories and his charisma. To quote Lou: "It is a fine thing to have ability, but the ability to discover ability in others is the true test".

How Sweet it is to be Loved by You!

Tonight at the NAR Vegas Convention, singer and song writer James Taylor knew 'How sweet it is to be loved by you" as REALTORS® and their guests applauded his incredible performance. The concert was just one of the many events that have made this convention so spectacular. For those of you who could not join the other 30,000 attendees, we hope to see you at the 2008 convention in Orlando!

According toWikipedia,James Vernon Taylor is an American singer songwriter and guitarist born in Belont, Mass. His career began in the mid-1960s, but he found his audience in the early 1970s, singing sensitive and gentle acoustic songs.

"Sweet Baby James",....."You've got a Friend" , Realtor® gramEpat

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

"These Boots were made for Walking"

I have to assume that Nancy Sinatra was not a REALTOR® attending a convention in Vegas!

There are limitless meetings...limitless friends...and limitless opportunities to have a great time...but it also seems like there are limitless casinos and hallways to walk thru to get from 'here to there'. It seems frivolous, but the thing that is foremost on my mind this AM is my choice of footwear for the day! Should I wear the gramE pumps...and take the 'big girl' shoes in my bag? (in case I think I need to make a fashion statement :) ...or do I start out optimistic that I can get thru the day with heels...and pack the granny shoes....One thing I know for sure....
"These Boots were NOT made for walking...."

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

30,000+ Birds of a Feather Flock together

Vegas NAR Convention amusing quote of the day: At the National Association of REALTORS® President's breakfast this AM , outgoing NAR president, Pat V. Combs quoted former NAR president Richard Mendenhall when she reminded the leadership team that :“Today’s Peacock is Tomorrow’s Feather Duster”. I got a kick out of that visual!

I hope the 'big birds', who volunteer their time, realize how effective their leadership is and how much the feathered flock appreciates them!