Wednesday, October 6, 2010

How about those Ducks?

Tailgating before the U of O / Stanford game. What a fun day, and a huge win!
Go Ducks!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Where's Cary?

I haven't posted here in forever. I've been super busy! Listing, writing offers and closing deals. (in spite of this hideous economy)

I've also had a lot on my plate with our rental in the college town, and getting five (reliable) new renters, and having the deck replaced, carpets cleaned, bathrooms painted, new fans, yard work, yadda yadda yadda. I spent an entire afternoon cleaning the kitchen. AN ENTIRE AFTERNOON.

Claire is coming home next week and we can't wait. Cam is around town and I'm being more of a mom, cooking more and going places with him. I'm planning a party. We've had two beach trips and I've read a lot of books. It's a great summer.

Boomer is getting old and can't hear anymore, so we are taking a different kind of care of him now - he is less grouchy and more needy. (and more adorable than ever) Having three dogs while Cam and Peter are here is quite the chore. Somebody always has to go outside.

We had an amazing trip to Wisconsin, and are planning another family trip to Mexico this fall. There's no Philly girls trip this year, but there is a book club one. A favorite friend and family have moved to Amsterdam. Whit is looking abroad for graduate school. There will always be travel, though we have scaled back, for sure.

New clients are coming on board, I'm trying to transition to a new web page, and consolidate all my online efforts. I have several blogs plus a web page and two facebook pages - that needs to be streamlined. I guess my daily thoughts make it on to my facebook page rather than into a blog anymore. If you are not on facebook, you should be!

A few pics to mark the summer...

Here comes fall, and with it, Duck Football.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Noon on Tuesday.....


I was touring houses on Council Crest this morning when I saw the perkiest coyote casually walking down the sidewalk. He was so adorable and acting very civilized - I almost wanted to hop out and pet him. The next moment he was gone - jumped into the bushes or scared by the car.
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Monday, June 7, 2010

Shop 'Til You Drop at Lord & Taylor

The small print:
You will receive 25% OFF (10% OFF cosmetics and fragrances) almost all regular & sale-price items when you use promo code: FRIENDS at checkout.

The following exclusions apply to this offer:

25% OFF (10% OFF cosmetics and fragrances) Regular & Sale-Price Promo Code: FRIENDS excludes: Lunch break!™
REGULAR & SALE-PRICE ITEMS from Allen Edmonds, Aquatalia, Ecco, Frye, Jeffrey Campbell, Kors Michael Kors shoes, Marc by Marc Jacobs shoes, Merrell, Tumi & Ugg; men’s Cole Haan shoes, men’s Lacoste shoes.
DEPARTMENTS: Smart Value items; diamond solitaire rings and special event promotions in Fine Jewelry; FEED bags, gift cards.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

College Graduate!

Special Friends Day at Ainsworth

Maybe not the best picture ever, but JoJo and I had a wonderful time. I'm so lucky to be her special friend!

She drew a wonderful portrait of me, which is now framed and hanging in my office. Next time you're in the neighborhood of 20th and Johnson, stop by and see it.

Back from Maui

Cam and I had a fun trip - got some sun, saw an Adam Sandler movie being made, enjoyed beverages and shopping, and took an unflattering picture of ourselves... but the memories are solid gold!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

2010 Cencus Good Sense

Be Cautious About Giving Info to Census Workers

With the 2010 U.S. Census process beginning, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises people to be cooperative, but cautious, so as not to become a victim of fraud or identity theft. The first phase of the 2010 U.S. Census is under way as workers have begun verifying the addresses of households across the country. Eventually, more than 140,000 U.S. Census workers will count every person in the United States and will gather information about every person living at each address including name, age, gender, race, and other relevant data.

The big question is - how do you tell the difference between a U.S. Census worker and a con artist? BBB offers the following advice:

** If a U.S. Census worker knocks on your door, they will have a badge, a handheld device, a Census Bureau canvas bag, and a confidentiality notice. Ask to see their identification and their badge before answering their questions. However, you should never invite anyone you don't know into your home.

** Census workers are currently only knocking on doors to verify address information.

Do not give your Social Security number, credit card or banking information to anyone, even if they claim they need it for the U.S. Census. You all probably know this!


While the Census Bureau might ask for basic financial information, such as a salary range, YOU DON'T HAVE TO ANSWER ANYTHING AT ALL ABOUT YOUR FINANCIAL SITUATION.

The Census Bureau will not ask for Social Security, bank account, or credit card numbers, nor will employees solicit donations. Any one asking for that information is NOT with the Census Bureau. AND REMEMBER, THE CENSUS BUREAU HAS DECIDED NOT TO WORK WITH ACORN ON GATHERING THIS INFORMATION.. No Acorn worker should approach you saying he/she is with the Census Bureau.

Eventually, Census workers may contact you by telephone, mail, or in person at
home. However, the Census Bureau will not contact you by Email, so be on the
lookout for Email scams impersonating the Census.

NEVER click on a link or open any attachments in an Email that are supposedly from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Beautiful Trip Down Memory Lane

*and since it's been such a long time, here are the performers as well as a little bit of history on the development*

Harry Belafonte originally wanted to put together a benefit concert featuring black musicians to raise money for Africa. Ken Kragen (who became president of the originization United Support of Artists for Afica) thought an American version of "Band Aid" would be a better idea. Ken Kragen is an owner of a personal management and television production company. One of his clients was Lionel Ritchie, so he called him with the idea. Lionel's wife talked to Steve Wonder's wife and arranged to line him up for the song.

Quicy Jones was lined up as the producer, and Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie were the song writers. The recording took place on the night of the American Music Awards, January 28th, 1985. This was the perfect way to assure that most of the artists would all be free on a single date.

The instrumental tracks were recorded ahead of time and sent out to the interested musicians. With each tape, he sent a letter that stated they should "check their ego at the door." When they arrived in the studio, there was a piece of tape on the floor for each person to stand on, arranged around six microphones in a semi-circle.

800,000 copies arrived in stores on Tuesday, March 7th 1985. There were sold out by the first weekend. It entered the Billboard Hot 100 on March 23rd, at number 21. At the time it was the highest debuting single since John Lennon's "Imagine" and was number one in three weeks, which at the time was the fastest rising chart-topper since Elton John's "Island Girl" in 1975. It was the eighth consecutive year the Lionel Ritchie had written a number one song. It won Grammys in 1985 for Song of the Year and Record of the Year.

Dan Aykroyd also sings on We Are the World. You can see him in the top row in the video. Dan Aykroyd was in the Blues Brothers, a band before it was a SNL sketch (and then a movie), hence he was a musician. VH-1's "Pop-Up Video" states he's there to represent the American film industry,


Dan Aykroyd
Harry Belafonte
Lindsey Buckingham
Kim Carnes
Ray Charles
Bob Dylan
Sheila E.
Bob Geldof
Hall and Oates
James Ingram
Jackie Jackson
LaToya Jackson
Marlon Jackson
Michael Jackson
Randy Jackson
Tito Jackson
Al Jarreau
Waylon Jennings
"Pop-Up Video" stated that he left the recording session due to a dispute over the lyrics.
Billy Joel
Cyndi Lauper
Huey Lewis and the News
Kenny Logins
Bette Midler
Willie Nelson
Jeffery Osborne
Steve Perry
The Pointer Sisters
Lionel Richie
Smokey Robinson
Kenny Rogers
Diana Ross
Paul Simon
Bruce Springsteen
Tina Turner
Dionne Warwick
Stevie Wonder
Michael Boddicker - Synthesizers, Programming
Paulinho da Costa - Percussion
Louis Johnson - Bass
Quincy Jones - Producer
Michael Omartian - Keyboards, Producer
Greg Phillinganes - Keyboards
John Robinson - Drums

and the lyrics...

There comes a time when we heed a certain call (Lionel Richie)
When the world must come together as one (Lionel Richie & Stevie Wonder)
There are people dying (Stevie Wonder)
Oh, and it's time to lend a hand to life (Paul Simon)
The greatest gift of all (Paul Simon/Kenny Rogers)

We can't go on pretending day by day (Kenny Rogers)
That someone, somehow will soon make a change (James Ingram)
We're all a part of God's great big family (Tina Turner)
And the truth (Billy Joel)
You know love is all we need (Tina Turner/Billy Joel)

We are the world, we are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day so let's start giving (Michael Jackson)
There's a choice we're making we're saving our own lives (Diana Ross)
It's true we'll make a better day just you and me (Michael Jackson/Diana Ross)

Well, send'em you your heart so they know that someone cares (Dionne Warwick)
And their lives will be stronger and free (Dionne Warwick/Willie Nelson)
As God has shown us by turning stone to bread (Willie Nelson)
And so we all must lend a helping hand (Al Jurreau)

We are the world, we are the children (Bruce Springsteen)
We are the ones who make a brighter day so let's start giving (Kenny Logins)
There's a choice we're making we're saving our own lives (Steve Perry)
It's true we'll make a better day just you and me (Daryl Hall)

When you're down and out there seems no hope at all (Michael Jackson)
But if you just believe there's no way we can fall (Huey Lewis)
Well, well, well, let's realize that a change can only come (Cyndi Lauper)
When we (Kim Carnes)
stand together as one (Kim Carnes/Cyndi Lauper/Huey Lewis)


(additional ad-lib vox by Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, James Ingram)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Where have you been?

My mom used to say that with such frequency...and it usually meant I was in trouble for being gone so long.

I'm always off somewhere, and since January 3, when we returned from Palm Springs, I've been all over the place. I did a TON of Real Estate this month. I've been showing lots and lots of property, writing up contracts, doing lots of home inspections and sewer scopes and meeting electricians and furnace technicians, and also listing an amazing house and hosting events and touring and previewing.... a BIG January. Wanna see?

We (Norris and I) bought a vacant lot! Right aross the street from our house...and now we're dreaming of the house we'd like to build. We love that there's a pool in the neighborhood, so we don't actually have to have a pool. I want a sun deck on the roof! And lots of glass, but not too big a house. It's so fun to dream. (this picture is bad, but it's a nice, level lot with some large trees, and a little bit of neighborhood greenspace along the back) You'd think I'd take my camera out and get some good shots, but I'm just lazy/busy enough right now to use the picture from the RMLS.

We flew to Arizona to look at condos with Claire and TJ. Look how happy she is contemplating her first huge purchase! (aside from some of her shoes) This complex is small, it looks like a movie set, with its palm trees, pool, and lush green lawn. The desert at its best. Claire is working with an amazing Realtor, and she, TJ and Lucy are going to love living here!

This adorable cottage was one of my listings that received an awesome offer in January.

I had a party to celebrate the Premiere of LOST. Check out Dave & Stacy's costumes!

Buyers fell in love with this little walled house - you can lock up and leave on your travels!

A cool young doctor bought this darling bungalow in Westmoreland... so cute!

This gorgeous condo was my first sale of the year. Check out the view. The cutest 23 year old is going to rock this joint!

This beautiful building is right around the corner from my office. Halfway between The Pearl district and Northwest 23rd, this location is absolutely the best in town. My new client from Boise closed on this property yesterday and is certainly going to love living here. And now I have a new buddy to grab coffee with.

This was a hot house! (You really can't tell how nice by any of the pictures on the web, but I knew the neighborhood) We were lucky, and were the second people to see it - I was watching the RMLS when it popped up and we went that quickly. We were the successful bidder, but, alas, my clients changed their minds. Lucky for the back-up people - they swooped right in and got the house. So all's well that ends well. Now my clients are looking at everything on the market, and may have just found a better one for them... fingers crossed. But this was a beautiful traditional with all the right spaces and beautiful gardens. And a wonderful seller - she was just lovely, in spite of the fact that we left the table...

Friends are going to sell this home in Hillsboro. It's my favorite floor plan of all time! Great room with office, studio and master suite, beautiful outdoor spaces and covered patio with fireplace... and upstairs, a wing for kids or visitors - two suites and a big family room with little kitchenette. Perfect. For lots of photos, please visit the website.

So.... it's been a busy month. There's more to tell. But this has gone on long enough!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Top Ten Cities to Go From Renting To Buying

Quality of Life, at a Discount!

In these metro areas, now is a good time to make the jump to homeownership.

10 Cities To Go From Renting To Buying

The U.S. government has pushed hard to make homeowners out of one-third of Americans who still rent their homes. It introduced and later extended a tax credit for first-time home buyers, and has kept federal interest rates at their lowest levels since the 1940s.

Market conditions are such that now is a particularly good time for some renters to take the hint.

In Portland, San Francisco, Minneapolis and Washington, D.C., the premium to buy--the spread between what you'd spend on renting and what you'd pay each month for a mortgage--is far narrower now than its 15-year average. And economists predict a significant home-price hike in five years. So upgrading will cost much less than usual, and home buyers are likely to get a good return on their investment.

Note that buying isn't necessarily cheaper than renting in these metro areas. In fact, it often remains a more expensive proposition. But for those determined to own, that investment is a better one now than it normally is.

Portland, Ore. makes our list for much the same reason that San Francisco does: It's a picturesque, culture-driven city with good local services and amenities. The city is still not particularly cheap for buyers--but it's cheaper than normal.

A family hoping to put down roots there would normally pay a 62% premium to go from renting to buying. In the third quarter of 2009, however, that premium shrank by 16 percentage points. At the same time, Moody's anticipates that home prices will jump 19% over the next five years. That's partly because, like San Francisco, Portland has strict government limitations on building and a coastal location that keep sprawl in check.

"Portland has one of the most controlled environments in the country in terms of development rights," says Stuart Gabriel, director of the Ziman Center for Real Estate at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. "Those supply constraints will push prices up."

The ten cities are:
San Francisco
Washington, DC

(picture and full story thanks to

Saturday, February 6, 2010

For My Shopping Friends

photo courtesy of

From now until Feb. 28, 2010, is offering 20% off a purchase of $50 or more (is there any other kind?) with the use of the code DONTFRET.

I just ordered up a few nice birthday presents. (I would have bought them even without the discount, so the 20% savings lets me keep shopping for more... as Laura and I say, "you qualify for more.")

Have fun with this one! There are a lot of Spring goodies that are hard to pass up!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Donna's pretzel recipe for Superbowl Sunday

Bag of Herrs sourdough pretzel nuggets
2/3 cup canola oil,
1/3 cup
2 tsps cinnamon.

Mix oil , sugar and cinnamon in bowl & coat pretzels well. Bake at 250 degrees on cookie sheet for10 min. Turn & bake 10 more minutes. Drain on brown paper bag.

They're fun to have around the house when you have company. (I also have a ranch dressing version) I think these are amazing when they're warm.... maybe a good way to start Superbowl Sunday, the quintessential snacking day!

The infamous Donna, dancing with me in the rain at a party last summer.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Just a Reminder....Repeat Buyers Need to Act Fast to Capitalize on Expanded Tax Credit

By now it is well documented that today’s affordable housing prices, historically low interest rates and federal home buyer tax credit have combined to create one of the most attractive first-time buyer markets in recent memory. What many Americans might not realize is that a recent expansion of the buyer tax credit has created an equally desirable opportunity for existing homeowners.

This past November, Congress elected to expand the home buyer tax credit to repeat buyers after seeing the success the temporary financial incentive had on the housing market and overall economy. As a result, current homeowners who will have lived in their home for 5 consecutive years out of the last 8 may now be eligible to receive a $6,500 tax credit.

“The expanded tax credit offers a great financial opportunity for existing homeowners, particularly those looking to trade up,” said James M. Weichert, president and founder of Weichert, Realtors, one of the nation’s largest independent real estate companies. “Not only can you receive a large sum of money from the government, you’ll also likely purchase your next home for less money and at a lower interest rate than you could have in years past or years to come.”

To qualify for the tax credit, the repeat buyer must have signed a binding contract by April 30, 2010 and close on the home by June 30, 2010. Tax credit eligibility is subject to income limits, $125,000 for single buyers and $225,000 for couples. In addition, the sale price of the home being purchased can not exceed $800,000.

There is no requirement that existing homeowners must have sold their home to be eligible for the $6,500 tax credit. However, Weichert encourages existing homeowners who want to benefit from this incentive to move quickly, particularly those who prefer to first sell their current home before purchasing a new one.

“Typically, it takes three months or longer to sell a home. That’s why it is critical repeat buyers put their home on the market right away. Otherwise they might not leave themselves enough time to both secure a buyer for their current house and find a new home by the April 30 deadline,” added Weichert.

RISMedia 1/23/10