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News to Help You Save Time And Money                         October 2002


A Kiss Calms Mom

You’ve probably heard of the book “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten”. Last week Benjamin, my three year old son, confirmed this premise.

I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about the fresh invigorating feeling of getting out of the bath tub that just sends my kids running around like playful puppies. They start running around, howling and dancing and bouncing on the bed. Then it goes from joy and happiness to whining and fussing when we insist that they get dressed.

Our normal routine is that I give the kids a bath and get them ready for bed, trying to give my wife a little break from the kids. Well, sometimes I have to get firm with them or else they’ll never get dressed for bed. When I do, they usually go crying to Mommy for some comfort. Rebecca, my 5 year old daughter, was giving my wife a hard time about getting her pajamas on. After a long day with the kids, Lori was in no mood. She told Rebecca in an angry tone to go let your father get you dressed because she was in no mood to put up with her whiny attitude. Then Lori turned and glared at Benjamin who was quietly standing naked waiting his turn to be dressed by Mommy.

In This Issue
A Kiss Calms Mom
Let Your Heart Fly
Is Your Child Ready for a Pet?
The 2002 Darwin Awards
Punk Rock Fans Can Teach Politicians
Neat Internet Sites
The Echo of Life
The Power of Optimism
Quotes of the Month
Is It Time to Refinance?
October Quiz Question
Tim's Book of the Month

I was ready for Benjamin to pick up where Rebecca left off and was ready to have to deal with his melt down. But much to my surprise, Benjamin, without saying a word, walked up to Lori, puckered his lips and motioned for a kiss. Then he rubbed noses with Lori and then said “ Mommy, will you please help me get dressed?” in the most nice and polite way a little boy can manage.

I wish I could have video taped it. Lori’s face went from anger and annoyance to just a big smile. It caught both of us by surprise. She gave him a big hug and got him dressed. Rebecca watched all this but I wasn’t certain whether or not she got the message. It was nice to see that the next night, Rebecca apparently learned the lesson well. She got out of the tub, kissed Lori and asked her “Mommy, will you please help me get dressed?”

Some day I’ll write a book “All I Really Need to Know I Learned from My Kids”.


My heart feels lighter every time I read this story. I hope yours will, too!


Let Your Heart Fly!

Recently, my two-year-old son and I were strolling down a sidewalk together. Both in our own little worlds, we hadn’t spoken until I felt a tugging at my hand. Looking up at me, he exclaimed, “Run, Mommy, run!” Gazing back down at him, I almost had to laugh.

At six and one-half months pregnant, I can barely manage a quick walk, let alone a full-fledged run. Activities I used to take for granted, such as getting up from a chair without a grunt of effort, are things of the past. Even my family is shocked at the enormity of my belly. A friend likes to tease me about twins.

My son tugs my hand more urgently and repeats, “Run, Mommy!” I start to shake my head no, but then I hesitate. How many times have I told him “no” lately?

“No, Nicholas. We can’t play that rough – it could hurt the baby. No, I can’t give you a horsy ride. You see, my back aches constantly now. No, Nicholas, I don’t want to color – I just want to rest.”

These months of pregnancy have been bittersweet. I deeply love this coming child and delight in every little nudge and kick. But it has occurred to me that this is the last time in Nicky’s childhood that it will be just the two of us. Soon enough he will have to learn to share… Mommy’s lap, Mommy’s hugs, Mommy’s attention.

Then I look, really look, at him. I study his outstretched hand, so pudgy and dimpled. I suddenly realize that one day it will be larger than my own. I look into his clear brown eyes, so free from our adult world of worries. They are lit up, in love with life and so excited. “Please don’t ever grow up,” I want to tell him. “Please always stay my little boy.” He is so beautiful at this moment it actually makes my heart physically hurt.

I kneel down to his level (difficult, I admit, but I manage). Then I take a moment to think at his level. We adults spend so much time worrying – about money, our careers, our responsibilities. None of this means anything to him. He is two, and he wants to run. With me, his Mommy. This means something to him. And now it means something to me.

I grab his little hand tightly in my own. “Yes, Nicholas,” I say. “I’ll run with you.” He waits for me to stand, and then we’re off! His sturdy legs pound the pavement fiercely as I do my best to keep up.

It flashes through my mind that to other people we might look pretty ridiculous: a running toddler pulling his pregnant mother (who is by now huffing and puffing) along behind him. Nicholas looks at me with a huge grin. “Run, Mommy, run!” and laughs. Faster and faster we go. I am laughing out loud now, too. I forget about my aching back and my huge stomach. I forget about everything except how much I love my son. Though I lag behind, not once does he let go of my hand.

We finally do pass someone, a silver-haired lady. Instead of a strange look, she gives us a genuine smile. Maybe our joy is contagious, or maybe she remembers her own son at that age. Or maybe, just maybe, she sees what’s really happening. While Nick’s and my feet are busy running, our hearts are busy flying.

-Nicole Smith


Welcome New Clients

Here are some of the new clients who
became members of our “Real Estate
Family” the past few months. I’d like to
welcome you and wish you all the best!

Tom Courtney and his soon to be wife Lori (referred by David McCarthy)

RoNNy and Stacey Nussbaum (referred by Yuron and Lemore Zurr)

David and Amy Rose (friends of family)

Robert and Gloria Fasnacht (friends)

We love giving recognition to our new
friends and our wonderful existing
clients who are kind enough to refer
their friends and relatives to us



Is Your Child Ready To Get A Pet?

A six-year-old should be mature enough to understand the responsibility of pet ownership and will benefit greatly from the bond created by such a relationship. It’s best to start small – begin with a low-maintenance pet, such as a goldfish or hamster. You can work your way up to a cat or dog as soon as your child proves to be reliable and kind with the pet.

If you choose to jump right into cat or dog companions, keep in mind that a six-year-old may not be able to handle all of the necessary tasks. Feeding, sanitation and dog walks really need to be taken care of by an adult. The child can be responsible for grooming and daily play.

I suggest that parents tell their children the new pet is theirs on a trial basis only, just in case it must be returned due to health problems or allergic reactions among family members. It’s a good idea to bring a kitten or puppy to a veterinarian before bringing him home – it’s very hard to return a pet once you’ve given him a name and he’s slept all night in your six-year-old’s bed.

It’s the vet’s job to detect any congenital deformities, such as a heart murmur, patellar luxation (trick knee), patent foramen (soft spot on cranium) or retained testicles, to name just a few. I suggest bringing your child to this initial exam so that he or she can see the importance of the pet’s health and ask the vet questions about caring for the pet.Most breeders or pet shops will give you 48 hours to return the pet if he’s found unfit, although some state laws (lemon laws) allow a full 14 days.

You have to be careful to choose the right pet since you wouldn’t want what is probably your child’s first exposure to an animal to be a negative experience. If adopting a pet from a shelter, most workers can direct you to one they know to be child-friendly. If purchasing a dog or cat, choose a breed known to be good with children – golden retrievers, pugs or shih tzus are your best bet with dogs. If you’d prefer a cat, you’ll probably have the most luck with a Persian, Himalayan or Scottish Fold.

Remember to supervise your child with the pet to be sure that all is going well. Don’t assume that your child and the pet will treat each other respectfully. A dog or a cat will protect himself against a child who has decided to use him as target practice or a soccer goal post. Of course, it’s also up to you, the parent, to display to your child the appropriate way of treating animals.

It may not surprise you to learn that studies have linked abusing animals at a young age to criminal behavior as an adult. In some elementary schools, local policemen or firemen provide seminars on kindness to animals with the long-range goal of creating law-abiding citizens.

– By Dr. Peter Kross, DVM



Home Seller’s Marketing Kit

If you’re thinking of selling, now or in the future, get your free Home Seller’s Marketing Kit. This special kit has helped sellers save tens of thousands of dollars and countless headaches (and lawsuits!). The kit contains:


FSBO how to video

Blank purchase contracts

Sample purchase contracts

Seller checklists

List of Preferred Professionals

Seller Property Disclosure forms

Sources for signs

Call us at 404-845-0265

Try it yourself if you have the time and skill. We are flexible and have several levels of service to fit your special needs.

2002 Darwin Awards

Yes, the one we've all been waiting for ...  the Darwin Award 2002. The candidates have finally been released! For those not familiar with the Darwin Award, It's an annual honor given to the person who provided The Universal human gene pool the biggest service by getting KILLED in the most extraordinarily stupid way. As always, competition this year has been keen again. Some candidates appear to have trained their whole lives for this event!

1. In September in Detroit, a 41-year-old man got stuck and drowned in two feet of water after squeezing head first through an 18-inch-wide sewer grate to retrieve his car keys.

2. In October, a 49-year-old San Francisco stockbroker, who "totally zoned when he ran," accidentally jogged off a 100-foot-high cliff on his daily run.

3. Buxton, NC: A man died on a beach when an 8-foot-deep hole he had dug into the sand caved in as he sat inside it. Beach goers said Daniel Jones, 21, dug the hole for fun, or protection from the wind, and had been sitting in a beach chair at the bottom Thursday afternoon when it collapsed, burying him beneath 5 feet of sand. People on the beach, on the outer banks, used their hands and shovels, trying to claw their way to Jones, a resident of Woodbridge, VA, but could not reach him. It took rescue workers using heavy equipment almost an hour to free him while about 200 people looked on. Jones was pronounced dead at a hospital.

4. In February, Santiago Alvarado, 24, was killed in Lompoc, CA, as he fell face-first through the ceiling of bicycle shop he was burglarizing. Death was caused when the long flashlight he had placed in his mouth (to keep his hands free) rammed into the base of his skull as he hit the floor.

5. According to police in Dahlonega, GA, ROTC cadet Nick Berrena, 20, was
stabbed to death in January by fellow cadet Jeffrey Hoffman, 23, who was trying to prove that a knife could not penetrate the flak vest Berrena was wearing.

TACOMA, WA - Kerry Bingham, had been drinking with several friends when one of them said they knew a person who had bungee-jumped from the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in the middle of traffic. The conversation grew more heated and at least 10 men trooped along the walkway of the bridge at 4:30 am. Upon arrival at the midpoint of the bridge they discovered that no one had brought a bungee rope. Bingham, who had continued drinking, volunteered and pointed out that a coil of lineman's cable lay nearby. One end of the cable was secured around Bingham's leg and the other end was tied to the bridge. His fall lasted 40 feet before the cable tightened and tore his foot off at the ankle. He miraculously survived his fall into the icy river water and was rescued by two nearby fishermen. "All I can say," said Bingham, "is that God was watching out for me on that night. There's just no other explanation for it." Bingham's foot was never located.


Overzealous zookeeper Friedrich Riesfeldt fed his constipated elephant Stefan 22 doses of animal laxative and more than a bushel of berries, figs and prunes before the plugged-up pachyderm finally let it fly, and suffocated the keeper under 200 pounds of poop! Investigators say ill-fated Friedrich, 46, was attempting to give the wailing elephant an olive oil enema when the relieved beast unloaded on him.

"The sheer force of the elephant's unexpected defecation knocked Mr. Riesfeldt to the ground, where he struck his head on a rock and lay unconscious as the elephant continued to evacuate his bowels on top of him," said flabbergasted Paderborn police detective Erik Dern. "With no one there to help him, he lay under all that dung for at least an hour before a watchman came along, and during that time he suffocated. It seems to be just one of those freak accidents that happen."


Punk Rock Fans Can Teach Our Politicians

The Weekly Standard's "contributing humorist," Larry Miller, tells the following heartening story, related to him by a friend who went to a Southern California punk-rock festival:

"Blink 182" came on, played their first song, and the lead singer stepped forward and shouted this (verbatim from Jack, he wrote it down) into the mike: "F--- GEORGE BUSH! DON'T LISTEN TO HIM. WE HAVE NO BUSINESS BEING IN IRAQ, NO MATTER WHAT HE SAYS." And here comes the good news.

There was a long pause, complete silence. And then they started. The boos. One here, one there. Then everyone. Everyone. Louder and louder. Jack told me how the puzzled singer blinked in surprise, looked at the rest of his band, and then stepped forward again to try to save the moment. "NO, NO, YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND. I SAID F--- GEORGE BUSH. F--- HIM." The boos grew even louder, and then people began shouting back up to the stage, "NO, MAN, F--- YOU!" "YEAH, F--- YOU, A-----E!" More and more, ceaselessly rising, until the shaken band caucused quickly and just blasted into their next song.

Not bad, eh? I know, I know, it's not exactly parliament shouting down Clement Atlee, but, all in all, not bad.

And here we have some politicians going over to Iraq and doing the same thing to our president. I hope I wasn’t the only one shouting at the TV at these clowns. I hope they get booted out at the polls on election night.


Neat Internet Sites They have a neat free download at their site. It’s an online glossary, dictionary, thesaurus, and encyclopedia combined on steroids! It’s pretty neat. If you come across a word you’re not sure of, just click on it and it will pull up the definition in the dictionary, give you similar words from the Thesaurus and let you do a quick Internet search. It usually gives a button that actually says the word and sometimes gives you translations in a dozen languages. It’s always on so you use it in any program you are running. : Do you really want to know detailed information about a particular neighborhood? The U.S. census collects a ton of data and I finally found out how to access it. The first problem to overcome is to figure out what census tract or block you’re interested in. Go to the above web site and type in the address you’re interested in. It will give you detailed maps of census blocks, census tracts, voting districts etc. I was amazed at the small size of a census block. My census block contains only about 50 homes. Once you know the census block, then you can get all the detailed census information that has been collected during the last census. I don’t know what one would do with all this data but it’s just amazing what’s available. Yes, a lot of people use this site. It’s nothing new. But did you ever check out the satellite photos they have. You type in your address and the normal map comes up. But up at the top there’s a tab that says “aerial photo” and it will pull up the GlobeXplorer satellite photo for that address. You can make out drive ways and homes and trees pretty well. I had gone to the Terra Server site but it was always difficult to navigate it to the area of interest. Without map lines, it’s hard to know where you are. Just like when you’re flying. The state lines aren’t very clear from up there. Searching for a specific address on Mapquest makes it a lot easier.

The Echo Of Life

A son and his father were walking in the mountains. Suddenly, the son falls, hurts himself and screams, “AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!” To his surprise, he hears the voice repeating, somewhere in the mountains, “AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!”

Curious, he yells, “Who are you?”

He receives the answer, “Who are you?”

Angered at the response, he screams, “Coward!”

He receives the answer, “Coward!”

He looks to his father. “What’s going on?”

The father smiles, “My son, pay attention.” And then he screams to the mountain, “I admire you!” The voice answers, “I admire you!”

Again the man screams, “You are a champion!” The voice answers, “You are a champion!”

The boy is surprised, but does not understand. Then the father explains. “People call this ECHO, but really this is LIFE. It gives you back everything you say or do. Our lives are simply a reflection of our actions. If you want more love in the world, create more love in your heart.

“This relationship applies to everything. Life will give you back everything you have given to it.”

The Power of Optimism

While I don’t know who wrote this story, I thought I’d share it to help remind all of us of the power of optimism.

There were two boys who were identical twins. One was a hope-filled optimist. He always seemed happy, no matter what was happening around him. The other boy was easily depressed and moody. He seemed hopelessly negative most of the time. The worried parents of the boys brought them to the local psychologist.

He suggested to the parents a plan to balance the twins’ personalities. “On their next birthday, put them in separate rooms to open their gifts. Give the pessimist the best toys you can afford, and give the optimist a box full of manure.” The parents followed these instructions and carefully observed the results.

When they peeked in on the pessimist, they heard him audibly complaining, “I don’t like the color of this computer…I’ll bet this calculator will break…I don’t like this game…I know someone who’s got a bigger toy car than this…”

Tiptoeing across the corridor, the parents peeked in and saw their little optimist gleefully throwing the manure up in the air. He was giggling. When he saw his parents looking in on him, he said, “You can’t fool me! Where there’s this much manure, there’s gotta be a pony!”


Quotes of the Month:

Vegetarian is an old Indian word for bad hunter.

-Heard it on Paul Harvey

Honesty is the cornerstone of all success, without which confidence and ability to perform shall cease to exist.

Mary Kay Ash

I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.

Laura Ingalls Wilder

The man who has no imagination has no wings.

Muhammad Ali

The world will never starve for want of wonders, but for want of wander.

G.K. Chesterton

Politicians never accuse you of 'greed' for wanting other people's money --- only for wanting to keep your own money.
Joseph Sobran

Live out of your imagination, not your history.

Stephen Covey


See An Interesting Home?

No need to wonder about the price. No need to call a high-pressure sales agent who will just make you feel obligated. My computers can send you the information quickly and easily, for any house, listed or sold, anywhere in town.

Just ask me! It’s all part of my free, no-obligation HomeFinder Service.

Leave the address on my voicemail, 404-845-0265 anytime, 24 hours a day, and I’ll fax or mail you all the information on that listing within 24 hours.


30 year fixed under 6%!!!

Is It Time to Refinance?

We just refinanced our 6 3/4% mortagage to 5 7/8%. This allowed us to cash out $23,000 while keeping our payment exactly the same. We plan on staying in our home for quite some time and plan to use the money to remodel our kitchen. Now’s a great time to lock in to historically low interest rates.

I used Cameron Stevens of the Bank of North Georgia to refinance. I highly recommend giving him a call to at least discuss the possibilities. He’ll analyze you situation and show you all of your options. We’ve been recommending him for the past year and he has been doing a great job helping our clients get good loans.

His number is 770-751-4732. Tell him Tim sent you. He’ll take good care of you.


October Quiz Question

What is the smallest populated nation?

Everyone who faxes, e-mails or calls in the correct answer by the last day of November will be entered into a drawing for a $50 gift certificate to Home Depot. Everyone who responds correctly but doesn’t win the drawing will get a $5 gift card to Blockbuster Video.

August Quiz Answer

Question: What are the four main characters in Scoobee Doo?.

Answer: Daphne, Shaggy, Fred, Daphne

Nancy Record and Pat Consolo, John and Ellen Gartland, Dianne Ward and Kathy Barnett had the correct answer. We had a drawing and John and Ellen Gartland’s name was picked. They’ll receive a $50 gift certificate to Home Depot. All others will get a $5 gift certificate to Blockbuster’s.


Tim’s Book of the Month

The Holotropic Mind

By Stanislav Grof, M.D.

Are you a scientifically minded person willing to follow solid research wherever it goes? Are you open to exploring a radical theory which seeks to explain a wide range of occult phenomenon, from pre-birth memories to ESP to life-after-death? If you are, you have to read this book.

Dr. Grof is a skilled psychiatrist and researcher with solid academic credentials in the US and Europe. He was one of the first to experiment with LSD in the laboratory before Timothy Leary even got started. His decades of research with thousands of subjects, including himself, has convinced the doctor that altered states of consciousness are the gateway to understanding the nature of the human experience.

I know, mention LSD or ESP and many minds will snap shut. But I challenge you to have an open mind and read this book. But don’t read it if you’re happy with your current concepts of reality and believe that there is nothing more than what you see with your eyes.

Western science treats the mind as a machine. Thoughts are claimed to be nothing more than chemicals and neurons creating our experiences. Sometimes claiming proof by probing the brain here or there to create a specific experience. If a TV repairman gets a picture to appear by jiggling a tube or two does that mean that the tube is responsible for the TV program that shows up on the TV? But, if the mind doesn’t produce it’s thoughts, and only processes the signals like a TV, where do the thoughts come from? What is the source of our original ideas? Can a thought actually have an effect on the physical world? Is our physical reality shaped by our thoughts or vice versa? Do you want to explore these questions?

This book is an easy read because it is filled with compelling case histories. Grof presents his data, places it in the context of other's theories, for example, Jung, William James and Maslow, then leaves the reader free for his own explorations and meaning-making.



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Atlanta Home Buyer Rebate

All information about homes from the Atlanta MLS home search engine is input by thousands of individual real estate agents throughout Atlanta and is made available through a service called Listingware. We provide access to this data for the convenience of our clients.  We have no control over this database.  All information on this web site is copyrighted and intellectual property of It is deemed to be current and accurate, but is not warranted.© 2002. Tim and Sandie are licensed Realtors with Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage.

Sandie and  Tim are members of the Atlanta Board of Realtors