Archive for November, 2007

Digging Out of Debt

Posted By Misty Mountain on November 17, 2007 @ 6:49 pm

For some of you being in debt is something you can handle.  You bought your house, you bought your toys and you can handle the monthly payments.  For those of you that are like that – you don’t need to read any further.

But if you are someone that is struggling with the amount of debt you have, or maybe even falling behind, you probably need a solution, and need one fast.  Sure you could go bankrupt (if things are that bad) but the effects of that bankruptcy will be felt for years to come. 

Instead of destroying your ability to get credit in the future (as you would with bankruptcy), you could and should explore other alternatives.  Some examples would be taking part in a debt negotiation program or credit card negotiation services.

For those of you who are in really big trouble, and behind on your debt and bill payments, you can get some credit and bill consolidation help to reduce your monthly payments and your debt load.

If you are in debt – I mean in trouble – talk to someone that can help.  It is better to deal with it before bankruptcy is your only option – get the help you need before it is too late.

How to Avoid Repossession

Posted By Misty Mountain on November 15, 2007 @ 7:52 pm

Now let me open this up saying that having your home repossessed is never a good thing.  It can mean that you are homeless and stuck with bad credit.  To be honest, it won’t look good to any landlord that you submit an application to – if you couldn’t make your mortgage payments, then how will you pay rent?

Instead of heading down this road, there is a way to avoid becoming another one of your bank’s repossessed properties – and not have to move.

You see, there are companies that have a sell and rent back program.  Now, I am sure that you have never heard of this before, but the way it works is easy: they buy your house from you (which solves your current money crisis) and you can rent it from them.  That way, you do not have to move and can still have a roof over your head.  In fact, many of these programs also allow you to buy your house back at a later date when your finances are in order.

Freelance Writer: Writing Wedding Toasts

Posted By Twyla on @ 7:42 am

Sometimes I work as a freelance writer.  I have written articles, short stories, books, and wedding speeches.  Of all the types of writing I do, I find writing wedding toasts and speeches the most rewarding.

Weddings for me are a magical moment, a place where love and people collide.  It is in these moments that we remember why we are here and how our lives matter to others.  When I hear a one of those truly great wedding speeches, my heart just skips a beat – what can I say, I am a hopeless romantic.

So when I write wedding toasts for my clients, I try to capture the same magic I feel when I am at a wedding.  I like to think that if I can do that, then I have succeeded at my job.

Well, I do have a few toasts to write for next week – so I need to get to it right away.  Whether you write your own toast, or get someone to do it for you try and do one thing – capture the magic of the wedding day.

Some Eulogy Writing Advice

Posted By Twyla on @ 5:35 am

Now, I should tell you right off the bat that I have not written a lot of eulogies – not too many of my friends have passed away.  Most of that has to do with the fact that I am really not that old – but as time goes on, things will change.

But I am also sad to say that I have had a few friends that have passed on over the last few years.  For all but one of my friends who passed away, I was the one who wrote and read the eulogies for them.

I can thank my success at writing good eulogies from two things: a book, and sample eulogies.  When I first started writing my first eulogy, I had no idea on what to do.  I just went to the book store and bought a "how to write a eulogy" book.  The book gave me ideas and the outline I needed to write a good eulogy and I still use the same methods today.

My second "helper" was some eulogy samples that I printed off from the Internet.  I used these as a guideline to help me get a feel for what was in a real eulogy and to give me an idea of what they sounded like.  I have made a little folder to keep all my samples in so I can look at them for reference.

So, am I good at writing eulogies?  Yes.  Do I like to write them?  No – that means that one of my friends died.  But, if you are in the situation where you need to write a eulogy, follow my advice:  it worked for me, and I am sure it will work for you.

Grandma Made a MySpace Page?

Posted By Twyla on November 14, 2007 @ 11:37 pm

Well I had a big shock the other day when I went to my grandmother’s house.  When I walked in the door she was so excited and she wanted to show me something.  Happy to oblige, I followed her over to her computer.

She opened up her web browser and showed me what she had done… My grandmother had her own MySpace page!

I gave my head a shake as grandma showed me how she did it.  Obviously her first step was to sign up for MySpace and setup her profile information.  She told me how she didn’t care for the default look and looked through a lot of different MySpace layouts.

She showed me some of the free MySpace layouts that she had considered before picking the one she had.  All in all her finished product looked great.

I had to ask her how she did it though – we just bought her a computer six months ago, so she shouldn’t be to tech savvy.  She simply told me that she looked for MySpace tutorials and followed the instructions like a recipe.

Good job Grandma!

Become a Better Parent: Get Involved

Posted By Misty Mountain on @ 6:16 am

If you are a parent, I am sure that you know the one thing your child didn’t come included with: an instruction book.  Now, that can make it kind of tricky to figure out what to do or how to do it.  If you were to read many parenting books, you would come across the one most important nugget of advice: parent involvement is key in your success as a parent and the success of your child in life.

The easiest place to start is to help them with their learning.  Parent involvement in education starts at an early age when you teach them language and the meaning of things.  This carries through their life: whether it is helping them to learn shapes as a child, reading a book to them, or helping them with a school project.

Speaking of school, parent involvement in schools can help children understand the value of learning – not only will your involvement help your child, but it will help the other children in the class.  Most parents help out in elementary school, but there are plenty of opportunities in high school to help as well.

What is the real return on your involvement?

A better relationship with your child, a well adjusted child, and plenty of memories of good times with their parents – that alone is priceless.

Participation in Geology Study

Posted By Misty Mountain on @ 5:43 am

Now, this may seem a little weird – but I was invited to participate in a Geology study at the local university.  Now, the reason that I was picked is that I actually volunteered a few years ago to be a participant.  So, usually twice a year, I am called to come participate in a study.

When I arrived at the college, they gave me very little information.  This has happened before – they want to make sure that you have no time to have a predetermined response – rather they want your answers to be spontaneous.

I was let into the classroom where the study was taking place and I was greeted with ten loose diamonds sitting on a table.  I was told that the sample before me was Houston diamonds.  My first task was to line up the diamonds in terms of color. 

Now this was pretty easy.  Though I didn’t know a whole lot about diamonds, I did know that the less color in the diamond, the better quality it was.  So I lined them up in about two minutes.  I then went onto the next task.

Now, the second task was a little harder.  I was given a loupe and told to sort the San Antonio diamonds that were in front of my by clarity.  I was unsure of what that meant, and they explained that it was how clear the diamond was – the cloudier the diamond, the poorer quality it was.

I completed that task in about ten minutes.  We were then given some cotton candy as payment for our participation.  All I can say is that I had fun and cannot wait until I get a chance to do it again – it reminds me of my days in college.

A Painless Resume

Posted By Twyla on November 12, 2007 @ 12:09 am

I am sure I am not the only one, but I really hate writing resumes.  For me, it is really tedious trying to write out what I am good at and where I worked.  To be honest too, I have good skills, but resume writing is not one of them.

With that in mind, I have been trying to find a better way to get my resume done.  I found a resume writing service posted on the bulletin board at school that I tried out, but their prices were high and their quality was poor.  I just really needed something that would work for me – and not hurt to do it.

Luckily for me, a friend of mine recommended an online resume writer he had used in the past.  Price wise, it was very reasonable – I just supplied my original resume and they did the rest. 

I received my completed resume in just a couple of days and I am impressed.  A couple of friends that I showed it to thought it was excellent.  Do you know what the best part is?  It was painless.

Upgrading My Mother’s Stair Lift

Posted By Misty Mountain on November 10, 2007 @ 11:07 pm

We have had a stair lift in our home for many years.  My mother, who had severe arthritis could not handle stairs at all, and when she moved in twenty years ago, we had one installed.

She passed away eight years ago and the stair lift was not used.  However, thanks to genetics, my knees have started giving out – and now I have troubles with stairs.  We decided since that since my bedroom is on the second floor, we would need two electric stair lifts – since the first one was twenty years old, we would need an upgrade.

Out of all the models we looked at, we decided on Acorn stair lifts.  They are simple to install and very easy to use – which is good at my age.  They have improved my life considerably – I no longer have to sleep on the couch, for fear that I might not make it all the way up the stairs.  What a sense of relief.

Promoting My Sites

Posted By Misty Mountain on @ 3:52 pm

I have setup a schedule for what I do on each day for each of my sites.  Most of the weekdays I create content for my blogs and other sites I am working on.  I decided early on that I was going to take the weekends off from writing and focus on promoting my sites.

This weekend I started off my day reading some marketing articles – not only do they give me inspiration, but they also keep me informed of new marketing avenues.  After my daily read, I continued to submit my sites to web directories.

To speed up the submission of my sites to a web directory, I have been using some form filling software.  This speeds up the process immensely as I don’t have to re-type everything each time.

Well, I should get back to it.  I have quite a few websites to promote and I try to submit each one to about 20 directories – I have a long day ahead of me.

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