Sunday, December 23, 2007

Holiday Greetings

I belong to an art class where once a week we all get together, chit chat and paint. With music playing in the background and in a small cottage right on the water, the inspiration to paint comes easily. Some are using watercolors, some oils and some acrylics. I have tried them all through the years. I was fortunate enough to major in Fine Arts in college, and also to have studied under Herman Itchavitch (deceased) during my lifetime. There is no better feeling than painting, to me. All my problems disappear as I concentrate on my canvas. Sometimes the paintings don't come out the way I wanted them to. (more often than not:) and these go into a bag. The bag is stuffed to overflowing right now. Other times, a painting will just click and even I am amazed at how it turned out! Those go on my walls at home. Years ago I used to sell them, but I actually found myself missing my own paintings and started re painting some of the scenes I had done. My point is that I am using the photo on the left for my Holiday Greeting because I painted it. It's not one of my best, but for those of you who received cards from me, you know that this was my Holiday Card!

For those of you who may not have received a card, this is it!

Happy Holidays, peace and health to all of you!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Holiday Stress

Are you feeling stressed out? Working or not, the Holidays can be a stressful time for many. Searching for that perfect gift and trying to not break the bank while you're doing it. Wrapping presents, planning feasts, visiting family and friends, cleaning your home, all contribute to the stress factor. All this while you are trying to live your daily (and probably already stressful) life!

Don't feel alone! You are not. Most people do get stressed during the holiday season. Add to this the New England cold weather and we are all dreaming of warmer shores.

There are no easy ways to completely alleviate stress, but there are some things you can do to make it somewhat less trying.

Make lists! This is important. Make lists of everyone you are buying a gift for. Then decide on the amount you will spend on each one. Then write down several possible gifts for each one that might fall in that price range. Start your shopping early. Theres no better feeling than having bought all your presents (and having them wrapped too) the week before Christmas.

If you are hosting the Family party, make lists for that also. Lists of who is attending, drinks, foods. Then plan your time accordingly. When you will shop, when you will cook, when you will call the bakery.

As you go through your lists of things to do, be sure to cross them off as they are done. Make the lists as long as you like and make each thing to do small. This way, you will have a feeling of accomplishment as you see so many items crossed off.

Lastly, and just as important. You have heard that you need to take time for yourself and you say, yeah, right! The truth is, you "can" take at least ten minutes a couple of times a day. In the morning and in the evening. Try to be somewhere alone and clear your mind. Do not think about anything at all. If you find this hard to do, then focus on something that brings you pleasure, a vacation that you took, or would like to take. The important thing here, in this ten minutes, is to NOT think about all you have to do!

Remember, there's only a couple of weeks left and you will have your Holiday memories!

Peace to all my friends and family during this Holiday Season!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Where do you Rank?

I read an article in the Providence Journal yesterday regarding MLS agents in Rhode Island and the measurement of their sales. A side is considered each end of a transaction, ie, Listing side and buying side. If you listed and sold the same property you have two sides.

This article breaks down by percentages how many sides are completed by each agent. The article was mostly referring to the difference between new agents (this year) and more experienced agents, however it gives a good synopis of probability of sales.

•36.24 percent had no sides
•38.51 percent had 1 to 4 sides
•16.4 percent had 5 to 10 sides
•8.85 percent had 11 or more sides

Keep in mind that these are Rhode Island statistics and may vary in other states, yet will give you an idea where you rank in sales.

From these statistics, we can narrow down to 75% 4 sides or under and 25% 5 sides and over.

Image from Beacon Learning Center. Article from