Working Internationally—Expect More Holidays

No, I do not mean that you should expect more holidays for yourself if your home business takes on a more international twist, but that you will need to keep in mind that other countries and cultures have different holidays than we do and they tend to take much more time off on the whole. I have been working to get the initial planning stages of an international conference in Spain off the ground. The conference won’t be for a couple years, but it can take that long to pull off a successful event such as a conference. I was … Continue reading

Too Many Gifts

I love Christmas, I really do, but I can’t help but wonder how much longer it will be the holiday we all remember from childhood. Every year the stores bring out the decorations earlier and earlier. Christmas trees are up in the stores before the school supplies are even gone. Everything is advertised as that perfect gift for someone on your list. Have we forgotten what Christmas is about? All day long I hear people talking and read online about the shopping, shopping and more shopping. The amount of debt Americans take on every Christmas is staggering. I’m as guilty … Continue reading

The Conclusion to My Big Time Mess Up As a Parent

My fellow blogger Michele Cheplic, reminded me of an unfinished end to a blog I had written about a huge mistake I had made with my daughter. There was an uncertainty to her future and where she would end up for high school. To recap, the county I live in has a terrible school system. It gets worse by the time children make it to high school. So my boys were put into another school district by what is called “open enrollment.” When it came time to sign my daughter up for open enrollment, I apparently failed to put on … Continue reading

Planning Ahead for Genealogical Gift-Giving

With the holidays a few months away, I thought that now might be a good time to offer up some information about genealogy-themed gifts. Since many genealogy-themed gifts are personalized or require some time to piece together, it is important that you give yourself enough time to have them ready by the desired date. Genealogy-themed gifts abound, and they vary from framed family trees to hand crafted treasures that will stay with the family for years to come. I recently read a news story about a woman who made a genealogy quilt for her son. Colorful patterned blocks alternate with … Continue reading

Roving Rabbis: Coming to Your Neighborhood Soon!

While there is a large Jewish population of Miami, far-flung areas of Florida like Green Cove might more readily stock bacon than gefilte fish on store shelves; when people there use the term “Bible Belt,” they aren’t talking about the Tanach. “One thing Jews outside of Jacksonville have in common,” write Zalman Levin and Shmery Labkowski in their Roving Rabbis blog, “is that they are sure they are the only Jews around.” Roving Rabbis is a collection of blogs from 250 Chabad rabbinical students around the world who spend their summer vacation locating Jews in outlying areas from Ireland to … Continue reading

Two Things to Buy Now for Holiday Giving

One wonderful thing that frugal living people can do is to share their bounty with others. Whether it is sharing with friends and family or giving to special charities and families in need, you can take advantage of some opportunities right now. Not only will this give you the ability to give more for less, but also your spending on gifts will get distributed quite nicely instead of occurring over just a few weeks. School Supplies One brilliant mention in our church’s newsletter reminded us to stock up on school supplies. In December, we have a few different giving missions, … Continue reading

Caretaker Stories: Moments of Lucidity

Friends and family who have experienced the progression of Alzheimer’s disease say that things get a lot easier once the person with the disease stops remembering. I can definitely see how that can be the case. People with the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease are often combative and difficult to deal with. As example, I offer my own experiences as caretaker for my grandmother. In the early days of the disease, she was very defensive about gaps in her memory. If she couldn’t remember something, it was because nobody had told her. Sometimes, her brain would come up with a … Continue reading

I Could Never Return The Call to The Underwriter Lost on 9 11

I was late to the office on the morning of September 11, 2001. Living on the west coast we woke to the news of the terrorists attacks on the World Trade Center, by the time I was sipping my coffee the news of the Pentagon and Flight 93 caused an uneasy feeling that more attacks might come to LA or some other place on the west coast. Most of us were late that morning. Knowing people we worked with on a daily basis were in the towers we saw crash to ruins live on the morning news. We had business … Continue reading

Moms Need Reminding Too

I’ve written about when our kids get into the “I forgot” stage, but it dawned on me that I definitely am NOT the queen of remembering things that I used to think I was. The more independent and active my kids become, the more likely I am to lose track of what’s going on. I can’t blame it entirely on adolescence, however, as I’ve had a tendency to have an occasional tough time keeping track of everything in a busy household with one parent and three kids for some time now… I need reminders. It helps if my kids write … Continue reading

Ask Anna:The Midnight Disaster!

Last night my phone rang just before midnight. The caller I.D. said it was my little brother in California, of course I panicked for a moment as I picked up the phone to talk. My brother’s and I are very close but generally don’t speak in the middle of the night. So naturally I knew something was wrong. The good thing was that no one was hurt, dead or dying. Once I knew everyone was safe, my brother started to explain what his problem was. Freezing temperatures are not the normal thing people in Southern California experience for long periods … Continue reading