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Note to a Friend

 
I read your posts last night before bed and when I awoke this was in my head:

REFLECTIONS

 
Please forgive us for the compliments, the things we say are true
You see yourself through our eyes when you hear what we say about you

It's hard for you to believe it, coming from such a tortured space,
The Ex, your Mother-in-law, even YOU now, trying to keep you "in your place"

The walls they built around you, weren't erected out of love
The chains they used to bind you, didn't come from up above

They say things to control you, get you to "tow the line"
"A good woman doesn't do that! You've REALLY blown it this time!"

"How can anyone love you, with all the mistakes you've made?"
You see the mess you've created and wish for an early grave

Over all the crit-i-cisms, the put-downs and the strife
One voice cries out the loudest and cuts you like a knife

That little voice inside you screams loud above the fray
"Look at the disaster you've made here! Surely you gotta pay!"
 
 
Your life it was so perfect when viewed from beyond the wall
We couldn't see THE HELL you kept so hidden from us all

Then one day things exploded. You couldn't take it anymore
You lay there alone and broken, sick of everyone keeping score

Of every thought and action, every word and every deed
You looked for once at your heart. What did it really need?

Was it so wrong to ask yourself to be cherished and shown you care
To live life without condemnation in your icy judgmental stare

"If only" is for losers who live only in the past
Seeing the worst in their reflection, why their relationships don't last

Keeping everyone at a distance is what you tried to do
Because how could anyone love you if they knew the real you?

...

So... Sick of all the bull****, the lies and all the pain
a glimpse you caught through our eyes sparked hope you'd love (yourself) again
 
 
This is my reply (with nary a compliment among all those words).

It is my intention that it help and not hurt. Think of it as a poetic hug from the universe, and my subconscious trying to say, "I understand".

>Rob

Getting Out of Debt - and Other New Years Resolutions

It's THAT time of year again... THE END.

A time when we reflect on the the things we did and did not get accomplished this past year. It is also a time when we look forward to the future with HOPE. We hope for a better life, more money, better health, a loving relationship.

MFP provides the foundation for a better life by providing an avenue towards better health because, let's face it... if you don't have your health, how can you enjoy your money? And if you have your health and lot's of money but don't have anyone to share it with... well that's just not much fun either.

So, looking at the top resolutions people make, you find things like: spending more time with family; losing weight; and getting out of debt. Since I'm the last person you want to go to for relationship advice (and since someone else asked me for information about getting out of debt) I thought I'd share a little bit on what I picked up over the years counselling families about their finances.

couple-deep-in-debt

There are many plans out there  for getting out of debt. The best concept for paying down debt is often referred to as a snowball or debt stacking! While there is some disagreement on how to go about it (ie. which debts to pay first), most experts agree with the following steps: 

  • Make a list of all your debts. Include contact information, account numbers, amounts owed, interest rates, due dates, penalties for early payments, and deferred interest situations. 
  • Rank them in the order of remaining balance smallest to largest. Then take into consideration monthly payment amounts, interest rates and deferred interest. The last thing you want to have happen is to not pay something off in time and have 18 months of deferred interest added to your bill retroactively thus undoing all your hard work towards paying it down.
  • Next add up all of your minimum payments to give you a "base payment" amount.
  • Now find an extra $150 to $300 per month. Get creative. If you were paying "extra" by rounding up or adding an extra $20 or more to a payment, STOP! Take every bit of extra money and pool it together to help you laser focus on paying down one bill at a time. The rest of the extra money can come from cutting expenses (ie. get rid of cable or satellite and watch Hulu.com for free; take your own coffee, lunch, snacks, and sodas to work rather than buying them out and about; prepare meals rather than eating pre-prepared or restaurant meals; sell stuff; or get an extra job. Whatever it take to consistently have that extra $150 to $300 per month.
  • enough
  • Selecting which bill you are going to focus on first. This is the part that causes the most disagreement among the "experts", because it depends on each individual situation. There is no "one size fits all" solution here. If there is not an impending deferred interest time bomb to worry about, I focus on the one with the smallest balance due first in order to get an immediate feeling of success by paying something off and being able to cross it off the list of debts. Next I focus on which ever one will free up the largest payment the quickest.
  • Begin by paying only the minimum payment each month on every bill with the exception of the one you are focusing on first. To that bill, you add the $150 to $300 per month on top of the minimum payment until it is paid in full.
  • As each debt is paid off, you roll (into the snowball) or add to the stack the original minimum payment amount and the $150 to $300 per month to the next bill targeted for elimination. CAUTION: As you pay down some debts, the company will lower your minimum monthly payment that is due. Don't fall for it. Continue to pay the full amount you started with, plus the $150 to $300 per month and anything else that has been rolled into that payment until it is paid in full.
  • Hero2
  • Another CAUTION: Some people make the mistake of closing credit accounts once they are paid off. Don't ever do that! It erases your credit history and that is worse than even a bad credit history!
  • Continue snowballing or debt stacking until all that remains are your vehicle payments and your mortgage. Then focus on the vehicles and finally the mortgage. The best way to knock out the mortgage is to change to a bi-weekly payment plan that applies all payments when they are made. Some will try and rip you off by "holding" your payments until the end of the month and then applying both at the same time. If they won't do a bi-weekly payment program then make your full payment as scheduled and then "after" the payment has cleared, go in and pay your snowball or debt stack amount and demand they apply it 100% against the principle. Here too they will try and rip you off by applying it towards the next month's payment (so that they can take interest out of it for themselves). 


As far as the budget goes... all you need is a tablet of graph paper and a pencil, or a computer and a spreadsheet program. The best free office suite of software is downloadable at www.openoffice.org and it works on any operating system (Windows, Mac or Linux). It is 100% compatible with Microsoft Office and is FREE. 

envelopes
Use the spreadsheet software to lay out and customize your worksheets. You can use practically any system. The best one I found is based on the old envelope method of accounting that grandma used her whole life. To see an example, check out the demo video at www.mvelopes.com scroll down and click on the link that says "Watch the Quick Tour." Another great resource is anything by Dave Ramsey (check your local library for free, or look at the local used book place and they can be found for $0.25 up to a couple dollars at the most). My favorite is this video "Drive Free, Retire Rich" which you can see here: ==> http://www.daveramsey.com/media/flash/elearning/drive-free/player.html 

Another resource similar to mvelopes.com but that is FREE is mint.com 

Go to https://www.mint.com/what-is-mint/ and scroll to the very bottom and click the small blue "watch the short video" link. 

HeroFinally, I leave you with this enlightening clip from YouTube called "Quest for Credit" ==> http://youtu.be/a8BYVLc8Ev4 

It is almost 8 minutes long and slow to load but worth watching in HD 1080p 

Enjoy.

Have a Happy New Year and may all your resolutions for 2013 be successfull!


Wizard

>Rob 

DISCLAIMER: I am no longer in the financial services industry. I do not represent nor do I gain anything from any of the aforementioned resources or companies. 

The Right Words make ALL the Difference

It's been a while since I've posted anything here. My mom sent me this in an email and I still haven't stopped laughing. Thought I'd share it with my mfp  friends. 

QUOTE: 

The Difference between Complete and Finished 

No English dictionary has been able to adequately explain the difference between the two words, COMPLETE and FINISHED. 

In a recently held linguistic competition (held in London, England and attended by the best in the world) Samsundar Balgobin, a Guyanese man from Bachelors Adventure was the clear winner with a standing ovation lasting over 5 minutes. 

His final question was this:

 Some people say there is no difference between COMPLETE and FINISHED. "How do you explain the difference between COMPLETE and FINISHED in a way that is easy to understand?" 

His answer earned him an invitation to dine with the Queen who decided to call him after the contest. He won a trip to travel the world in style and a case of 25 year old Eldorado rum for his answer. 

Here is his astute answer: 

"When you marry the right woman, you are COMPLETE. When you marry the wrong woman, you are FINISHED."

"And when the right one catches you with the wrong one, you are COMPLETELY FINISHED!" 

 

See, you're smiling. I knew you would be! 

>Rob  

Drop the Baby!

When my boys were little and fussy, I would sing to them to get them as I carried them to get them to quiet down.

 I don't claim I was any good at it, but my boys found it soothing enough to stop crying and go to sleep... except for the one time we were attacked by a mean, cantankorous old biddy in the supermarket! She attacked me with her oversized purse (showing no regard for my child's safety because she was so incensed) and screaming how I was unfit to be a father. LOL

It might have had something to do with the song lyrics:

[To The Tune of Clementine (Chorus) ] 

*** Singing badly - "Drop the baby, drop the baby, drop the baaaaaaby on the floor. Hear him scream, and hear him haaaawwwller, pick him up, and drop'm some more!" *** 

She gave me a black eye and put a knot on my head with that dang-blasted purse of hers, while screamin' about how un-fit I was to be a father! The whole time I was just trying to protect my son from this mad-woman.

I'm NOT PREGNANT!!!

I took my wife to lunch today because she always hates the crowds on Mother's Day. We went to a local all you can eat buffet and it was wonderful.

 We used to go eat at buffets to get the most bang for our buck. You know the type... go early, stay late, bring an iPad. That was us.

 I began losing weight here with the help of my great friends on mfp. My wife decided she would rather work out at a gym and track her own progress with her friends there. We've both been fairly successful. I've lost 50 lbs. so far and never one to be outdone she's lost almost 120 lbs.

 The thing about losing weight though, is that even with the smaller clothes, lower numbers on the scale and even photographs as proof of our successes, our brains don't seem to keep up with the changes and stubbornly hang on to their old mental images of ourselves for way too long.

 As we were leaving the buffet, a very nice and helpful server approached and welcomed us to his section. I thanked him for his thoughtfulness and jokingly asked if he couldn't tell by our "waddle" that we had already eaten and were headed for the door.

He apologized, thanked us for coming and realizing it was mother's day tomorrow asked my wife, "Are you a mother?" only wanting to wish her a happy mother's day. My wife and her old mental self image immediately thought he was implying she was pregnant and was flatly stated she was not!

 I began laughing and trying to explain that he only wanted to know if she was a mother so he could wish her a happy mother's day. Realizing how she had taken his comment he was at first confused (because she definitely does not look pregnant!), and then just embarrased and wanted to go crawl into a hole.

We left the restaurant laughing so hard we almost peed ourselves with the newly arriving patrons wondering what the hell they were serving inside. 

 

Jamaican Jerk Chicken-265 Calories & YUMMY!

Thanks  to: 

 NiciS72

 9952580_9263_thumb

For posting this recipe. I'm reposting it here so I can find it later. :)

Picture of Chicken with Jerk Sauce and Cool Pineapple Salsa Recipe 

Another excellent recipe by Ellie Krieger. 

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ellie-krieger/chicken-with-jerk-sauce-and-cool-pineapple-salsa-recipe/index.html

Ingredients 
For the salsa: 

1 tablespoon honey 
1 tablespoon lime juice 
1 cup finely diced pineapple 
1/3 cup finely diced, seeded English cucumber 
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves 

For the chicken: 

4 teaspoons olive oil, divided 
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, about 5 ounces each, pounded to 1/2-inch thick 
1 cup chopped scallions (about 6 scallions) 
1/2 Scotch bonnet or habanero chile pepper, seeded and finely minced (wear gloves when handling) 
1 clove garlic, minced 
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger, or 1/4 teaspoon ground 
1 teaspoon allspice 
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried 
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth 
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce 
2 tablespoons lime juice 

Directions 

For the salsa: 

In a small bowl whisk together the honey and the lime juice. Combine the pineapple, cucumber and mint in a medium bowl, pour the dressing over and toss to combine. Set aside. 

For the chicken: 

Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large skillet over a medium-high heat. Add the chicken breasts and cook for about 4 minutes on each side, or until browned and cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. 

Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil to the pan. Stir in the scallions, pepper, garlic, ginger, allspice, and thyme. Cook for 30 seconds over a medium heat. Add the chicken broth and soy sauce and cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Stir in the lime juice. Put the chicken back in the pan and coat well with the sauce. 

Serve with the pineapple salsa. 

Yield: 4 servings (1 serving is 1 chicken breast, 2 tablespoons of sauce and 1/3 cup of salsa)

"ROCK YOU LIKE A HURRICANE"

SCORPIONS

"ROCK YOU LIKE A HURRICANE" 

 It’s early morning
The sun comes out
Last night was shaking
And pretty loud
My cat is purring
And scratches my skin
So what is wrong
With another sin
The bitch is hungry
She needs to tell
So give her inches
And feed her well
More days to come
New places to go
I’ve got to leave
It’s time for a show

 

Here I am, rock you like a hurricane

Here I am, rock you like a hurricane

 

My body is burning
It starts to shout
Desire is coming
It breaks out loud
Lust is in cages
Till storm breaks loose
Just have to make it
With someone I choose
The night is calling
I have to go
The wolf is hungry
He runs the show
He’s licking his lips
He’s ready to win
On the hunt tonight
For love at first sting

Here I am, rock you like a hurricane
Here I am, rock you like a hurricane
Here I am, rock you like a hurricane
Here I am, rock you like a hurricane
Rocked you like a hurricane

 

 

Doctor Doctor Give Me the News

 

Doctor Doctor Give Me the News

(I've Got a Bad Case of Loving You)

Robert Palmer (1979) 

Whooaaaaa
The hot summer night fell like a net
I've got to find my baby yet
I need you to soothe my head
Turn my blue heart to red

Doctor, doctor, give me the news
I've got a bad case of lovin' you
No pill's gonna cure my ill
I've got a bad case of lovin' you

A pretty face don't make no pretty heart
I learned that, buddy, from the start
You think I'm cute, a little bit shy
Momma, I ain't that kind of guy

Doctor, doctor, give me the news
I got a bad case of lovin' you
No pill's gonna cure my ill
I got a bad case of lovin' you
Whooaaa

I know you like it, you like it on top
Tell me, momma, are you gonna stop?

You had me down, 21 to zip
Smile of Judas on your lip
Shake my fist, knock on wood
I've got it bad, and I've got it good

Doctor, doctor, gimme the news
I got a bad case of lovin' you
No pill's gonna cure my ill
I got a bad case of lovin' you

 http://youtu.be/jQdaSpEeBvQ

MY IN-LAWS ARE OUTLAWS

(Jeff Bates/Byron Hill)

My in-laws are outlaws
So I stay on my toes
'Cause anything can happen
Yeah, anything could go
I have to lock up my ol' tool box
And hide all my fishin' gear
'Cause my in-laws are outlaws
But they ain't wanted here

She may not be like Bonnie
ANd he ain't exactly Clyde
They don't carry tommy-guns
But they tote big pocket knives
I don't turn my back for nothin'
Though there's nothin' for me to fear
My in-laws are outlaws
But they ain't wanted here

I call 'em Mom and Dad
And they both call me son
I'd like to call 'em lots of things
But I just bite my tongue
We say we love each other
But Lord knows we ain't sincere
'Cause my in-laws are outlaws
But they ain't wanted here

'Cause he drinks all my whiskey
And she drinks all the wine
They tell us how to raise our kids
While theirs are doing time
They've worn out their welcome
And my favorite easy chair
My in-laws are outlaws
But they ain't wanted here

Yeah, I bet no one would miss 'em
If they just happened to disappear
My in-laws are outlaws
But they ain't wanted here
Yeah, my in-laws are outlaws
But they ain't wanted here

Why So Serious?

 ***Singing -

"So raise your glass if you are wrong,

in all the right ways,

all my underdogs,

we will never be never be anything but loud

and nitty gritty dirty little freaks

won't you come on and come on and raise your glass,

just come on and come on and raise your glass

won't you come on and come on and raise your glass,

just come on and come on and raise your glass


(oh shit my glass is empty, that sucks) 


So if you're too school for cool,

and you're treated like a fool,

you can choose to let it go

we can always, we can always, 

party on our own


(so raise your) So raise your glass if you are wrong,

in all the right ways,

all my underdogs,

we will never be never be anything but loud

and nitty gritty, dirty little freaks

So raise your glass if you are wrong,

in all the right ways,

all my underdogs,

we will never be never be anything but loud

and nitty gritty, dirty little freaks

won't you come on and come on and raise your glass,

just come on and come on and raise your glass

won't you come on and come on and raise your glass,(for me)

just come on and come on and raise your glass (for me)" - Pink "Raise Your Glass" ****

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