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Thank You For Your Service and Sacrifice!

by Desi Sowers

"To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…"--President Woodrow Wilson

So began President Wilson in November 1919, when he dedicated Armistice Day, November 11, to the cause of world peace and to honor the sacrifice of the US military after World War I. Nineteen years later, a legal holiday was officially signed into being, and in 1954, the name was changed from Armistice Day to Veterans Day to honor all veterans. Veterans Day differs from Memorial Day in that it celebrates living and dead US Veterans, and pays tribute to their sacrifices for the freedoms in this country.

Ceremonies, parades, and special events dedicated to honoring our veterans happen all over the country, and what better way to pay tribute than to attend an event in our local area?  See the links for more information!

All National Parks admission is free on Veterans Day Weekend
Virginia Veterans Day Parade
Veterans Day Remembrance Ceremony at Va Tech

Putting Your House on the Market During the Holidays

by Desi Sowers

The idea of putting your home on the market during the holiday season may seem overwhelming at first, but it turns out there are several good reasons to do so. Don’t miss out on a great opportunity to get your house sold before the end of the year!

  1. If people are looking for a home during the holiday season, chances are they are serious buyers.
  2. Serious buyers have fewer properties to look at during this time of year, which means less competition and more money for you!
  3. Since the number of listings will increase dramatically in January, that means more competition and less money for you.
  4. Who doesn’t love a home delightfully decorated for the holidays?  Homes show better when festively dressed up!
  5. Buyers may have more time to look at houses during their holiday breaks.
  6. Some people want to buy before the end of the year for tax reasons.
  7. If you sell now, it may provide an opportunity for you to be a non-contingent buyer during the Spring, when many more houses are on the market for less money. This will allow you to sell high and buy low.

Tips for Selling a Home During the Holidays

If you would like to talk more about selling your home, give me a call at 540-320-1328 or visit my website to discover your new home!

Halloween Trends 2017

by Desi Sowers

Happy Halloween!

Courtesy of Desi Sowers

Happy 4th of July!

by Desi Sowers

Today we celebrate freedom
thanks to those who came before.
Those brave men who fought and died
in each and every war.
Freedom always comes at a price,
And while we celebrate
We should tip our hats to the heroes
who made our country great. 

Patriotic Produce!

by Desi Sowers

With July 4th approaching, I have red, white and blue on my mind.  Celebrate independence with patriotic, healthy fruits and veggies!

Eggplant

Not only is it tasty as vegetarian entree, it has also been proven that eggplant helps prevent age-related mental disorders and improves memory!

Bosc Pears

These sweet treats are fat-free and filled with nutrients. They make a great, sodium free snack on the go, but can also be used in yummy recipes.

Blood Oranges

This delectable, rouge infused fruit has a lot to brag about! Packed with antioxidants and vitamin C, it also contains anthocyanins which help protect the body from cancer.  And that’s not all…they also make some unique and flavorful cocktails!

Beets

Beets can leave stains behind, but their benefits far outweigh that little inconvenience.  They serve as a pro-liver blood purifying agent, a high source of energy, and a natural toxin cleanser. And…they make amazing salads!

White Nectarines

The profusion of Vitamin C in white nectarines helps build a resistance against infections.  This luscious fruit tastes amazing too! Their delicate flavor compliments both savory and sweet recipes, so you can be really creative with them.

Radishes

This red, crunchy root vegetable does all the work for you: it eases digestive stress, keeps viral infections at bay, and has even been known to sooth a sore throat.  They are mostly eaten raw in salads, but they are a delicious addition to recipes as well.

Purple Asparagus

Ok…it’s not technically blue, but it is your #1 source of vitamin A, so we’re going to count it! Similar in appearance to other varieties of asparagus, it is actually less fibrous and therefore more tender.  It also has a sweeter taste and when cooked develops flavor notes of artichoke, barley and almonds.

Plums

Again…a little more purple than blue, but plums have so many healthy benefits they have to be included here.  Plus, they taste heavenly! Plums are the bowel regulator of the fruit community.  They also boost bone health and neutralize cell-damaging free radicals, providing you with sharper memory.  They are convenient to carry as a quick, fresh snack…but you will really love them in a delicious dessert!

Parsnips

This pale cousin to the carrot is a root vegetable that contains a treasure trove of dietary fiber which helps to reduce obesity and blood cholesterol levels.  They are sweet like the carrot, but contain more starch and have and earthier, nutty taste.  High in vitamins and minerals (especially potassium), they also contain antioxidants.  They can be eaten raw, but are especially appetizing cooked in recipes.

 

http://www.desisowers.com/Blog/Creative-raised-bed-and-planter-gardening

http://www.desisowers.com/Blog/Lake-Swimming-Safety-Tips

 

Happy Father's Day!

by Desi Sowers

Dad

He never looks for praises
He’s never one to boast
He just goes on quietly working
For those he loves the most
His dreams are seldom spoken
His wants are very few
And most of the time his worries
Will go unspoken too
He’s there…a firm foundation
Through all our storms of life
A sturdy hand to hold to
In times of stress and strife
A true friend we can turn to
When times are good or bad
One of our greatest blessings,
The man that we call Dad

Thank You For Your Service - Happy Memorial Day!

by Desi Sowers

Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) — established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers.Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.

Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season.

National Moment of Remembrance

To ensure the sacrifices of America ’s fallen heroes are never forgotten, in December 2000, the U.S. Congress passed and the president signed into law “The National Moment of Remembrance Act,” P.L. 106-579, creating the White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance. The commission’s charter is to “encourage the people of the United States to give something back to their country, which provides them so much freedom and opportunity” by encouraging and coordinating commemorations in the United States of Memorial Day and the National Moment of Remembrance.

The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation. As Moment of Remembrance founder Carmella LaSpada states: “It’s a way we can all help put the memorial back in Memorial Day.”

Juggling real estate responsibilities with carpools, school schedules and extra-curricular activities can be challenging.  But it is possible to do so successfully.  While a career in real estate offers flexibility that can’t be found in other industries, it is still demanding with you being on call 24/7. It is important to find a balance between work and life that enables you to enjoy both. Time management is the key to finding the balance that works for you.  Here are some strategies to help:

  1. IDENTIFY YOUR PRIORITIES - Make a list of what is most important in your life. Divide the list into categories such as business, family, health, and spirit.  Then think about how much time and energy you spend on each of these areas.  Try to write down what percentage of your time is being used for each.  If you find that the majority of your time and energy is going to one area, that means the others are likely suffering.
  2. ORGANIZE YOUR PHYSICAL WORK SPACE - A cluttered work space can be detrimental to decision making. Set your work space up to promote focus, especially if you work from home.  Make sure you have a dedicated space for your work that is separate from your personal living space. 
  3. CREATE MORE THAN ONE TO DO LIST - Three different types of  to do lists will help keep you organized.  The first should be what you need to do TODAY.  The second should be what needs to be done THIS WEEK. Finally, you should have a master to do list of things that are coming in the future. When a task comes at you, you can plug it into whichever list is appropriate.  Make sure to include family activities in your list as well so that you don’t have conflicts.
  4. UNPLUG AND UNWIND - Sometimes you need to unplug from technology to work at a deeper level.  You will be amazed at how much you can get done when you slow down and let your creative juices flow.  Set aside an hour here and there during your week to break away from email, social networks and texting.
  5. PLAN AHEAD - Take time at the end of each day to look ahead at what is in store for tomorrow. Tie up loose ends so you can make a clear break while transitioning from your work life to your personal life.   It is in your best interest to control your own time and how you use it rather than letting clients dictate it.

The truth is, nobody can do it all.  When you allow yourself to become overwhelmed with tasks and to do lists, everyone suffers; your clients, your family, and especially you.  Finding your work-life balance is the most important step you will take toward finding success and fulfillment in all areas of your life.

A Brief History of Easter Eggs

by Desi Sowers

When you think of Easter, certain things come to mind. This Christian holiday evokes thoughts of sunny spring days, rebirth, bunnies and eggs.  Decorated eggs, egg rolling and egg hunts have all become a vital part of the Easter celebration as we know it today. Yet the custom of painting hard-boiled eggs during spring time pre-dates Christianity. In many cultures around the world, the egg is a symbol of new life, fertility and rebirth. For thousands of years, Iranians and others have decorated eggs on Nowruz, the Iranian New Year that falls on the spring equinox.

Many people believe that the Easter has pagan roots.  While Christians celebrate it as the resurrection of Jesus Christ, during ancient times in Europe pagans revered the Spring Equinox as the return of the sun God — a rebirth of light and an emergence from the lean winter. Venerable Bede, an English monk who wrote the first history of Christianity in England, argued that the word Easter is derived from the goddess Eostre.  English and Germanic cultures believed Eostre to be a pagan fertility goddess, but there is no evidence of her outside of Bede’s writings.  In fact, in most other languages, the word for Easter (Pascua in Spanish and Pasques in French for example) derives from the Greek and Latin “Pascha” or “Pasch” for Passover.

The painting of Easter eggs is a beloved tradition, especially among the people of the Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches who dye eggs red to symbolize the blood that Jesus shed on the cross.   The priest blesses the eggs at the end of the Easter service and distributes them to the congregants. The hard shell of the egg represents the sealed Tomb of Christ, and cracking the shell symbolizes Jesus rising from the dead.

Fun and games with Easter eggs have become popular ways to celebrate the holiday over the years. Hiding eggs outdoors provides a fun activity for children as they search for them and fill their baskets on Easter morning. The Easter egg roll represents a re-enactment of rolling away the stone from the front of Jesus’ tomb. The White House Easter Egg Roll is an annual event held on the lawn of the President’s residence on the Monday after Easter. 

Spring Forward.... Into A New Home!

by Desi Sowers

“With rushing winds and gloomy skies

The dark and stubborn Winter dies;

Far off, unseen, Spring faintly cries,

Bidding her earliest child rise;

MARCH!”

~Bayard Taylor

 

Get ready to spring forward this weekend!  Daylight Saving Time is upon us again and this Sunday, March 12 at 2 AM it will be time to move our clocks ahead one hour.  While losing an hour of sleep is never fun, it does come with a perk…the end to dark winter nights as evenings see more light.  This springtime clock change continues the long tradition started by Benjamin Franklin to conserve energy.

Have you ever wondered why we change the clocks at 2 AM?  Most people aren’t awake at that time, but there are good reasons why we do it then. One reason is that it is late enough that most people will be at home, with few bars and restaurants being affected.  Also, it prevents the date from switching to yesterday; imagine the confusion if we changed the clocks at midnight back to 11 p.m.!  Finally, it’s early enough to decrease the impact on early shift workers and early churchgoers.

With today’s technology, many of our clocks change themselves (our phones, cable boxes etc.), but nonetheless, don’t forget to SPRING FORWARD this weekend!

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 22

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