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Archive for the ‘Quotes’ Category

The Way is in The Heart
April 7, 2012

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Photo of the Day
May 4, 2011
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What’s a good number of hours to sleep each night?
Enough to wake up renewed and refreshed.

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Photo of the Day
March 18, 2011

The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning.
~Ivy Baker Priest

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“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
~ Leonardo Da Vinci

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Photo of the Day: Dream

February 6, 2011

Lately I have been talking with people who are expressing feeling stuck, uninspired, unmotivated, unable to focus, and generally feeling a bit off from their normal selves. They are in a state of unease and/or depression due to these feelings.

Perhaps it is good to realize that all things are temporary. The universe and we inhabitants are always in a state of flux and change. Your life will be different in the future–different in a minute, an hour, a month, a year, and all other future time frames. If you’re experiencing some of the feelings described above, consider the fact that today, now, is one brief moment in a lifetime. Focus on what you want. Take a moment to dream and be inspired.

Here then, some inspirational quotes on dreams to start the week:

Dream and give yourself permission to envision a You that you choose to be.
–Joy Page

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.
–Harriet Tubman

I tell people I’m too stupid to know what’s impossible. I have ridiculously large dreams, and half the time they come true.
–Debi Thomas

If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.
–Henry David Thoreau

If you take responsibility for yourself you will develop a hunger to accomplish your dreams.
–Les Brown

No one should negotiate their dreams. Dreams must be free to fly high. No government, no legislature, has a right to limit your dreams. You should never agree to surrender your dreams.
–Jesse Jackson

Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.
–Gloria Steinem

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
–Eleanor Roosevelt

The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do.
–Sarah Ban Breathnach

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.
–Anatole France

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Home owners are becoming more realistic about the current marketplace.
So where does this lead us?


August 18, 2010 – Zillow.com reports that home owner confidence about the value of their home has declined in the second quarter.

“Home owners have become much more responsive to current market conditions than they were just two years ago, when a more typical reaction was denial.” ..—Stan Humphries, chief economist at Zillow.com

Even with this new realism, over 72% of adult Americans still see owning a home as part of their future and their personal American dream according to a survey for Trulia.com.

Currently, 68% of renters who plan to purchase a home said it would be more than two years before they do. What would encourage them to buy now? These six factors were cited:

  1. Able to save a down payment (47 percent)
  2. Land a new job (28 percent)
  3. Interest rates stay low or fall lower (27 percent)
  4. Some other factor that persuades them that buying makes financial sense (24 percent)
  5. Get a raise (23 percent)
  6. Local real estate market stabilizes (9 percent)

One might have thought that market stabilization was more of an issue given all the foreclosures, short sales and declining values and yet it shows up at the bottom of this list of factors. A full 47% surveyed need to save for the down payment. Think about this—almost half of those surveyed.

If you’re a first-time buyer looking at a $200,000 home and you want or need to put 20% down, this amounts to $40,000. A buyer will also need funds for closing costs unless the seller is willing to pay these. The good news is that there is down payment and closing cost assistance for buyers.

Also on the good news front is that interest rates are at a forty-year low. Here is a sample of rates for today according to one site I’m checking:

30-year fixed conforming: 4.25%
15-year fixed conforming: 3.75%
30-year fixed FHA: 4.25%
30-year fixed VA: 4.25%
30-year fixed Jumbo: 5.25%
7-year Jumbo ARM: 3.75%

People who are currently in their seventies and older bought their homes, first and foremost, as a place to live and raise their families.

Appreciation was not the principal reason for buying. It’s very likely that home values will not rise significantly in the short term.

“Our forecast remains largely unchanged: We’re in for an L-shaped recovery that will likely keep annualized home value appreciation very low for the next three to five years.”  —Stan Humphries, chief economist at Zillow.com

There are certainly situations where money can be made in real estate. If you have patience and TEAM (my term for Time, Energy And Money, as well as a good team of people: Realtor, lender, closer, etc.), foreclosures and short sales represent a potential opportunity to make money. Easy money? It all depends on your definition of easy.

Back to the average homeowner, the one who is primarily looking for a place to live. What else does a homeowner get when they buy a home besides a place to live? They get greater freedom. They can make changes when and how they like. Paint the walls any color. Update the kitchen and baths to your taste. Plant a garden in the yard. Add a porch or deck. Change the carpeting. Add wood floors.

Maybe, just maybe, the idea of home ownership as the American dream is really about a larger dream: The dream of freedom and independence. We all appreciate freedom and independence. Maybe would-be and future home owners are seeking this type of appreciation. Who can put a price tag on that?

Home, the spot of earth supremely blest, A dearer, sweeter spot than all the rest. —Robert Montgomery
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Need help with your American dream of home and freedom?
Call or write me.

Kate Walsh, Realtor
Lakes Area Realty
612.220.3309
info@designhouse9.com
Twitter: designhouse9


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Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in,
where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.”
—John Muir

Flowers next to a window in a restaurant

The photo above was taken at Forepaugh’s Restaurant in Saint Paul, Minnesota. They served us a potato bread that was delicious. You can always taste the difference between homemade bread and store-bought bread. If you like homemade bread, here’s a recipe for a quick bread that is flavored with savory herbs. Bon appetit!
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Herb and Onion Quick Bread Recipe

Ingredients:

1/2 cup milk
1-1/2 T sugar
1 t salt
1 T butter
1 package yeast
1/2 cup warm water
2-1/2 cups white or whole wheat flour
1/2 small onion, minced
1/2 t dried dill weed
1 t crushed, dried rosemary

Directions:

  1. Scald the milk and dissolve in it the sugar, salt, and butter; cool to lukewarm.
  2. In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Add the cooled milk, minced onions and herbs. Stir well with a large wooden spoon.
  3. When the batter is smooth, cover the bowl with a towel and let the dough rise in a warm place until triple in bulk—about 45 minutes.
  4. Stir down and beat vigorously for a few minutes, then turn into a greased, small loaf pan (or a couple of smaller loaf pans). Let stand in a warm place about ten (10) minutes before putting in a preheated, 350 degree oven.
  5. Bake for about an hour. Smaller loaf pans make bake faster so check accordingly.

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“When you have only two pennies left in the world,
buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other.”
—Chinese Proverb

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Where there’s art, there’s beauty.

Where there’s beauty, there’s contemplation.
Where there’s contemplation, there’s inner knowing.
—Kate Walsh

"Contemplation Man"

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Sunday morning seems quieter than the other days of the week. Perhaps it’s all the sipping of coffee and tea and reading the Sunday papers that creates this peaceful tranquility that extends beyond daybreak.

Here’s a man who finds time to contemplate each and every day, Sunday and otherwise. There’s something calming about seeing him, sitting perched up above the stone retaining walls in a grove of trees. What are you contemplating today? What inner knowing is taking place for you?

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Minneapolis sculpture is of a man sitting in quiet contemplation.

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“The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it intuition or what you will, and the solution comes to you and you don’t know how or why.”
— Albert Einstein

“That pleasure which is at once the most pure, the most elevating and the most intense, is derived, I maintain, from the contemplation of the beautiful.” —Edgar Allan Poe

“Art is contemplation. It is the pleasure of the mind which searches into nature and which there divines the spirit of which nature herself is animated.” —Auguste Rodin

“Contemplation seems to be about the only luxury that costs nothing.” —Dodie Smith

“I feel like I’m stepping into a place of spiritual contemplation every time I enter a studio; it’s always had a certain magic to me that has never worn off with familiarity.” —David Knopfler

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Como's Japanese Garden in Saint Paul Minnesota

Como’s Japanese Garden Opens for Summer Season

This garden, on the grounds of St. Paul’s Como Park, was created by renowned landscape designer Masami Matsuda from Nagasaki, Japan. The garden opens today, May 1st, and remains open through September 30th. It is a blend of East and West with its ancient Japanese design principles and its hardy Minnesota plants, trees and shrubs. (For more on the blending of East and West, see the bottom of this post.)

Taking a little time out from our busy lives is both healthy and inspiring. Could you use a little more Zen in your life? Here are some definitions of Zen:

Zen, also known as Zen Buddhism:

  1. A school of Mahayana Buddhism that asserts that enlightenment can be attained through meditation, self-contemplation, and intuition rather than through faith and devotion and that is practiced mainly in China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. 
  2. a Japanese school, of 12th-century Chinese origin, teaching that contemplation of one’s essential nature to the exclusion of all else is the only way of achieving pure enlightenment.
  3. a Buddhist doctrine that enlightenment can be attained through direct intuitive insight.
  4. a state of sudden spiritual enlightenment.

These quotes strike me as appropriate for the topic of gardens:

We cannot see our reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see.  —Taoist Proverb

We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.   —Buddha

If you’ve never visited Como Park, I do recommend making the trip to see it. This Japanese Garden is just one part of an extensive park that includes a conservatory, a zoo, an orchid house, a bonsai garden, art sculptures, a restored antique carousel, a miniature golf course, a lakeside pavilion with music and food, and more.  As one Chinese proverb says:

To know the road ahead, ask those coming back.

Como Park Japanese Garden

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Venture forth, find a little zen and experience joy. For more information on Como Park, click the link below:

Como Ordway Memorial Japanese Garden

Lantern at Japanese Garden at Como Park in St. Paul, MN

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Question: What is the True Definition of Zen?
Answer: I Don’t Know.

Zen Meditation Stories
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Constellation Earth, Statue by Paul T. Granlund

Constellation Earth, Statue by Paul T. Granlund

This sculpture at Nagasaki Peace Park commemorates Nagasaki’s sister-city relationship with Saint Paul, Minnesota. Saint Paul is the oldest sister city in Japan, dating back to 1955. Perhaps if we all find a little more Zen in our lives, the world at large and our own little worlds at home can experience more peace.

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“When you have shut your doors and darkened your room, remember never to say that you are alone…your genius is within.” —EPICTETUS
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As a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, I like to raise awareness of the benefits of repairing windows rather than replacing them. Often times people think they are improving the energy efficiency by replacing the windows. Perhaps not.

“More heat is typically lost though your roof and un-insulated walls than through your windows. Adding just 3 and 1/2 inches of insulation in your attic can save more energy than replacing your windows.”

Has this quote caught your attention? It’s pulled from an article published by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Read it for information about the benefits of keeping your old windows (they’ll last far longer). It also covers wood window basics, maintenance of wood windows, lead-based paint safety, and winter tips (including the most important job of a window lock. Hint: it’s not for security).

Windows Tip Sheet (National Trust for Historic Preservation-July 2008)

If you’d like to read more, go here:  Historic windows and energy efficiency

And here’s another blog entry regarding Help for Historic Windows

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“A man looking out of an open window never sees as much as the same man looking directly at a closed window.”

–Charles Baudelaire

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