I hope you enjoyed your January – it always goes by so fast! Getting the holidays packed away and working on New Year’s resolutions seems to fill the month! How are you doing with those?
This month’s newsletter is a nod to the theme of this month: love! So, I’ve included a few stories to help us remember the things that are important to us:
- A heart-warming story of a man and his beloved elephant.
- A simple recipe to make cookies to share with your Valentine.
- Two friends hiking illustrate the bonds of friendship.
In addition, you’ll find a fun personality test – I bet you can’t resist taking this test yourself! And as we put the busy holiday season behind us, there’s an article on the importance of rest (and how it improves our memory!)
The next time you’re in a conversation with a friend from work, church, your gym, or your country club and they mention that they are interested in selling their home please don’t keep me a secret. All you have to do is give me a call (650) 346-7366. When you call we can talk about what would be the best way for you to introduce them to me. You want them to have the best advise possible don’t you?
Thank you. And, don’t forget to enter This Month’s Quiz, you could be drinking FREE coffee soon!
Your friend in the real estate business,
A Lesson To Remember
A circus owner had become disenchanted with his star performer: a trained elephant who was starting to show his age. The circus owner accepted the fact that the elephant was no longer drawing the same large audiences, and he made the hard decision to take the elephant to auction, where he hoped that a zoo or sanctuary would purchase the beloved star and house him in his old age.
Word got out that the circus owner was going to sell the elephant. An auctioneer, recognizing his chance to turn a profit, offered the circus owner two thousand dollars in advance.
A few days later, the circus owner went to auction in the hopes of finding a young, new elephant to train and saw that the auctioneer was now taking bids for his old elephant. The auctioneer began to pitch the elephant: “Look at the strength in his muscles! This handsome beast will work tirelessly!” Upon hearing this, a man bid two thousand dollars.
The auctioneer continued his patter: “See the compassion in this animal’s eyes? He would be perfect in a petting zoo, gentle with children and able to entertain people for hours!” Another man bid three thousand dollars.
The auctioneer continued with his praise and the bids started going higher and higher until, finally, a man bid ten thousand dollars. The auctioneer announced that the animal was “Sold!”
With tears in his eyes, the winning man— the same circus owner who’d earlier sold the elephant for two thousand dollars— walked up, gently stroked the elephant, and whispered to him: “I am going to take care of you for the rest of your life!”
As he led his old pal out of the auction, the circus owner stopped to thank the auctioneer for reminding him of an old lesson: true friendship and loyalty are priceless.
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE
|• A Lesson To Remember
• Sugar Cookies For Your Valentine
• February Quiz Question
• Save At the Store
• Some Words Should Last Forever
• Restfulness: The Secret to a Good Memory
• A Fun Personality Test
• Think Like An Entrepreneur
• A History Of the Bank Note
• The Science Of Spring Fever
• Clever Jokes To Share
Sugar Cookies For Your Valentine
- 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Beat the butter and sugar together until smooth. Add the egg and beat until fluffy, then add the vanilla. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, then slowly add to the butter mixture, mixing until they’re just combined. Shape into a flat 1-inch-thick disk, wrap it up and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
When chilled, roll out the dough on a floured surface to 1/4 inch thick. Cut into shapes and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the edges are a light golden brown. Cool slightly on the baking sheets before transferring to cooling racks. Keep rolling out the scraps for more cookies.
Finally, pour a large glass of milk and enjoy some cookies with your valentine!
February Quiz Question
Q: How many bones are in the adult, human body?
Everyone who texts, emails or calls in the correct answer by the last day of this month will be entered a drawing for a $30 gift certificate to Starbucks
Q: What nationality was Julius Caesar?
Congratulations to Beth C. of Redwood City, January Quiz Winner!
Anyone can count the seeds in an apple, but only God can count the number of apples in a seed. —Robert H. Schuller
Save At the Store
You’ve got to buy food, but you don’t have to spend wildly on it. Smart shopping can save you a bundle. For instance, if you save just $20 a month on groceries, you’ve banked more than $200 over the year. Here are some strategies to save on your food bill:
- Plan your shopping carefully. Look through your refrigerator and pantry to see what you need on a regular basis. This lets you look for sales and buy those products in
- Cut back on convenience foods. Don’t buy things like packaged salads or pre-cut You’re paying big for a small convenience.
- Use coupons. If you find that you buy some name- brand foods regularly, then start clipping the coupons for them. Otherwise, generic foods are comparable in quality and content, and usually less
- Check out different stores. You may find as much as a 10-15% difference on identical products at different stores, depending on the neighborhood and demographic factors. Shop at the store that is the cheapest
“Sleep is the best meditation.” ~ Dalai Lama
Some Words Should Last Forever
One summer, two best friends, Patrick and Peter, took a long hiking trip through the mountains. Because they were constantly together, they naturally got on each other’s nerves from time to time. On the second afternoon, they started bickering over which direction to take, and soon tempers flared.
Finally, Patrick knocked Peter to the ground. But instead of retaliating, Peter picked up a stick and wrote in the dirt: “Today my best friend pushed me.” Soon they both calmed down and continued walking.
The next day, the friends were rock climbing when Peter’s harness broke, leaving him clinging to the side of a steep slope over a 100-ft drop. With great effort, Patrick got him to safety. Back on solid ground an hour later, Peter took out a pocketknife and carved on the rock: “Today my best friend saved my life.”
When people hurt you, it’s best to let the injury blow away like words in the sand. But when someone helps you, preserve the memory so it will never fade.
Restfulness: The Secret To a Good Memory
One key to success is your memory. Being able to pick up and remember the fine details of what you’ve learned can help you move forward quickly. What’s the best strategy for using your memory effectively? Sleep.
As an article on the Medical News Today website explains, sleep is essential for consolidating memories. Insufficient or poor sleep makes the synapses in your brain less effective, which interferes with your ability to learn new information.
Moreover, recent studies suggest that taking a quick nap, or even just resting quietly for 10 minutes or so, can help new information settle into your memory so you can access it more readily later.
After a training session or an important conversation, take a few minutes to sit back, close your eyes, and think of nothing. Even if you don’t fall asleep, you’ll have a better grasp of the information when you go back to work.
A Fun Personality Test
The question “What’s your spirit animal?” may sound like psychobabble, but the Ying Ying Shi blog offers a fun “animal” quiz that may uncover some creative insights about your personality and approach to life.
A quick test given to youngsters asks them to fill in these three simple questions:
My favorite animal is …
Second favorite animal is …
My third favorite animal is .
For each animal, list the characteristic that attracts you. Interpret the results like this:
The first animal represents your aspirations as a person.
The second is a portrait of how other people view your personality. The third animal depicts your true personality.
Accurate or not, the quiz can start you thinking about who you are and who you want to become.
Worth the Paper It’s Printed On
A History Of the Banknote
Governments print it, misers hoard it under their mattresses, rich people light their cigars with it— but where does the idea of paper money come from, anyway?
China, actually. The banknote apparently originated during the Tang Dynasty (7th century), to replace bulky copper coins carried by merchants. The coins were minted with rectangular holes in their center so they could be strung together on cords, but wealthy merchants found that lugging their coins around was difficult.
A system was born in which merchants left their coins with a trusted agent in exchange for a note stating exactly how much money was being held. The merchant could return the note at any time to redeem his or her coins, and in time, paper money called “jiaozi” evolved.
In Europe, banknotes first came into use in the 14th century. The term “banknote” derives from nota di banco. The holder of a note could redeem it for an amount of silver or gold held on deposit with a bank.
In the New World, the Massachusetts Bay Colony was the first of the American colonies to circulate its own banknotes in the early 1690s, but all 13 colonies were issuing their own notes by the early 1700s.
The First Bank of the United States, chartered by Congress in 1789 shortly after the signing of the Constitution, was authorized to issue banknotes, but the U.S. federal government didn’t start printing its own paper money until 1862.
“If you try to fail but succeed, which have you done?” ~ George Carlin
A teacher asked her students to use the word “beans” in a sentence. “My father grows beans,” said one eager girl. “My mother cooks beans,” said the boy sitting next to her. A third student calmly offered his view: “We are all human beans.”
Think Like An Entrepreneur
You may not dream of starting your own business, but thinking like an entrepreneur can help develop your creative talents in any career. Successful entrepreneurs consistently do a few things to keep their businesses running smoothly:
- They think about their customers: people who depend on us, and whose support we
- Get into the habit of analyzing demands and anticipating workplace needs to find new ways of satisfying them.
- They measure results. Decide how you can best track progress and identify Don’t waste time on ideas that aren’t going anywhere!
- Entrepreneurs try new ideas, starting incrementally instead of all at You’ll do a better job of identifying what works when the stakes aren’t overwhelming.
- They use their Tap the people you know— co-
workers, friends, mentors, and the like— when you’re looking for new projects or innovative solutions. Few entrepreneurs succeed totally on their own; they rely on the people around them for original thinking and support.
They learn from failure. Analyze what went wrong— was the idea itself flawed, for example, or did it fall apart somewhere in your execution? You’ll probably uncover some new ways of attacking problems and finding solutions
Money cannot buy health, but I’d settle for a diamond-studded wheelchair. —Dorothy Parker
The Science Of Spring Fever
When the weather gets warmer, you might try blaming your spring fever on physiology. Spring fever’s symptoms usually appear during the onset of the vernal equinox. In the northern hemisphere, people begin to feel more energetic and enthusiastic because of chemical changes in the body, produced in part by increased exposure to daylight. Scientists cite a number of factors that contribute to spring fever:
- As the days grow longer, increased light sends signals to the brain’s pineal gland, which then reduces its production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates our body clock and controls our mood and energy
- Increased light also affects the hypothalamus, the section of the brain that regulates eating and
- Our other senses— sight, smell, and hearing— also wake up as blossoms and spring breezes assault them. Such stimuli can trigger strong emotions, from euphoria to sadness.
Talk The Way Kids Listen
Most parents complain, at least from time to time, that their children don’t listen to them. Shouting doesn’t help, and chances are it will only aggravate the problem. Try these tips for forging better communication with your kids:
- Get their attention. Don’t start talking if they’re focused on something else. You may have to do something unusual—to reach a toddler having a tantrum, for example, trying giving a few pats on the back or a tickle. For older children, singing a song may break through their wall of boredom or inattention.
- Be brief. Most kids don’t want to listen to long lectures. When you have something to say, get right to the point. They’ll get the message without feeling patronized or growing bored.
- Write a note instead. If your message isn’t time sensitive, try writing a note to your kids. They can read it at their convenience, and you’ll be able to put more detail into it than you would in a brief conversation.
- Stay positive. Don’t just assign chores and tell kids what they’re doing wrong. Praise them and thank them so they won’t automatically tense up when you ask, “Can I talk to you for a few minutes?”
- Set the right example. When kids have something to say, give them your full attention. If you ignore them when they’re trying to talk,
they may do the same.
Unused Space Could Mean Extra Dollars
A survey of organizations with 1,000+ employees found that 8% have fired an employee for misbehavior related to social networks like Facebook or LinkedIn. How can you avoid joining them? Steer clear of these obvious online mistakes:
- Complaining about your boss or organization
- Posting that you’re looking for a new job
- Sharing confidential information about your organization
- Criticizing your co-workers online
- Posting inappropriate (or stupid) photos of yourself
- Sharing workplace rumors online
- Spending too much time on social networking sites when you should be working
This newsletter is intended for entertainment purposes only. Credit is given to the authors of various articles that are reprinted when the original author is known. Any omission of credit to an author is purely unintentional and should not be construed as plagiarism or literary theft.
Copyright 2018 Cliff Keith dba SF Bay Homes with Today | Sotheby’s International Realty. This information is solely advisory, and should not be substituted for medical, legal, financial or tax advice. Any and all decisions and actions must be done through the advice and counsel of a qualified physician, attorney, financial advisor
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