Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's: Traditions, Food & Song, Resolutions

New Year's: Traditions, Food & Song, Resolutions

Traditions of the season include the making of New Year's resolutions. That tradition also dates back to the early Babylonians. Popular modern resolutions might include the promise to lose weight or quit smoking. The early Babylonian's most popular resolution was to return borrowed farm equipment.


Traditionally, it was thought that one could affect the luck they would have throughout the coming year by what they did or ate on the first day of the year. For that reason, it has become common for folks to celebrate the first few minutes of a brand new year in the company of family and friends. Parties often last into the middle of the night after the ringing in of a new year (you don't say). It was once believed that the first visitor on New Year's Day would bring either good luck or bad luck the rest of the year. It was particularly lucky if that visitor happened to be a tall dark-haired man.

Traditional New Year foods are also thought to bring luck. Many cultures believe that anything in the shape of a ring is good luck, because it symbolizes "coming full circle," completing a year's cycle. For that reason, the Dutch believe that eating donuts on New Year's Day will bring good fortune.
Many parts of the U.S. celebrate the new year by consuming black-eyed peas. These legumes are typically accompanied by either hog jowls or ham. Black-eyed peas and other legumes have been considered good luck in many cultures. The hog, and thus its meat, is considered lucky because it symbolizes prosperity. Cabbage is another "good luck" vegetable that is consumed on New Year's Day by many. Cabbage leaves are also considered a sign of prosperity, being representative of paper currency. In some regions, rice is a lucky food that is eaten on New Year's Day.


The song, "Auld Lang Syne," playing in the background, is sung at the stroke of midnight in almost every English-speaking country in the world to bring in the new year. At least partially written by Robert Burns in the 1700's, it was first published in 1796 after Burns' death. Early variations of the song were sung prior to 1700 and inspired Burns to produce the modern rendition. An old Scotch tune, "Auld Lang Syne" literally means "old long ago," or simply, "the good old days."

Auld Lang Syne Lyrics

Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot and days of auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot and days of auld lang syne?
And here's a hand, my trusty friend
And gie's a hand o' thine
We'll tak' a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne

Below is a list of the most popular New Year's resolutions:

  • Lose Weight
  • Managing Debt
  • Save Money
  • Get a Better Job
  • Get Fit
  • Eat Right
  • Get a Better Education
  • Drink Less Alcohol
  • Quit Smoking Now
  • Reduce Stress Overall
  • Reduce Stress at Work
  • Take a Trip
  • Volunteer to Help Others
Happy New Year from all of us @ Chinowth & Cohen REALTORS!

Lori Cain is a residential Realtor with Chinowth & Cohen Realtors serving the greater Tulsa Oklahoma area, including midtown Tulsa, Owasso, Broken Arrow, Bixby, Sand Springs and Jenks. Please visit Lori’s web site, or call 918-852-5036.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Our Christmas gift to each other: food, fellowship, laughter, joy

I've never been too keen on purchasing Christmas gifts for adults. Christmas and Santa seem to me to be important for the kids, but do adults really need more stuff?

All I want for Christmas is to have healthy and happy friends and family surround me. Oh, and food. And wine.

This Christmas, my husband's and my gift to each other is a holiday buffet for friends. We open our home to friends who may be unable to travel to be with family, the divorced parent who doesn't have visitation this year, single individuals who don't want to be alone and/or cook for themselves. It's a hodge-podge of guests, for sure, but we have a great time. Everyone can come and go throughout the day - no schedule, no dress code.

This year, Demetrius is brining his first turkey - a tip he learned from Alton's Brown's cooking show, Good Eats. In fact, he purchased two turkeys from the butcher so that he could experiment the brining process on one. (But his butcher did recommend brining also.)

My fav holiday recipe is Barefoot Contessa's sweet potato casserole with heavy cream, orange juice, nutmeg, cinnamon, apples and more (thank you Janice & Andrew for that fabulous cookbook). Also, it wouldn't seem like a holiday dinner if I didn't make roasted butternut squash with red grapes, onions and fresh sage - a favorite recipe from Yes, I'm making the holiday regulars: mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans cooked in bacon.

Demetrius will likely prepare his signature dish, spanakopita, because nothing says "Christmas dinner" like Greek spinach pie!

Should you find yourself in Tulsa on Christmas Day and would enjoy some fun friends, fellowship, food and laughter, call for directions to our casa. We wish all a safe, joyous and merry Christmas!

Lori Cain is a residential Realtor with Chinowth & Cohen Realtors serving the greater Tulsa Oklahoma area, including midtown Tulsa, Owasso, Broken Arrow, Bixby, Sand Springs and Jenks. Please visit Lori’s web site, or call 918-852-5036.
Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Santa's about to make his yearly stop at many houses this season. And, I don't know about you, but I for one already have an over abundance of toys at our house. With an 8 year old girl, I have more Tiny PetShops, Crayons, Barbie dolls, and stuffed animals than we know what to do with!

What I'm looking for is organization tips! And, Barbara Myers has just the right recommendations:

5 Steps to Organize Kids' Toys
1. Separate all your kids' toys into categories. Building blocks, tools, dolls, reading materials, action figures and cooking items are all toy categories.

2. Make a list of your categories. List in the broadest possible terms. For example, you'll likely keep Barbie dolls and accessories together.

3. Decide on the best container (box, basket, bin) to hold each category. Clear, plastic storage boxes are the best choice for most toys. Consider a rolling cart for toys that kids like to move throughout your home.

4. Gather each category and measure. For example, stack all the building blocks. Measure dimensions and find or buy appropriate containers.

5. Set it up. Each toy should be categorized and should have a home to make clean up quicker and easier. If children know exactly where things belong, they are more likely to put them away.

Now those are timely tips! Hope you can use them. I know I'm going to try!


Copyright© 2006, Barbara Myers. All right reserved. Barbara Myers is a professional organizer, author and speaker. When planning your next event or needing your personal coach on taking control of your time by organizing your life. For information about Barbara, contact the FrogPond at 800.704.FROG(3764) or email

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Chinowth & Cohen REALTORS: Family-Owned, Community Driven, Cutting Edge

Chinowth & Cohen REALTORS: Family-Owned, Community Driven, Cutting Edge

Chinowth & Cohen Realtors is proud and excited to offer a new service to our Tulsa area home buyers and sellers: text “CCTULSA” to 59559.

A holiday and year-end gift from Broker Owners, Sheryl Chinowth and Lee Cohen, to all their associates and our clients is our new text-messaging service for home information – a great gift, complete with a bow!

Text "CCTULSA" to 59559

Home Buyers can text CCTULSA and send to 59559 to receive immediate information about the home on which they’re inquiring, such as list price, number of bedrooms, and number of bathrooms. No worries if the flyer tube is empty – just text us and get your questions answered right away.

Home buyers benefit by receiving timely information and the customer service they’ve come to expect from Chinowth & Cohen REALTORS.

Home Sellers represented by Chinowth & Cohen REALTORS benefit by yet another method used to communicate with and advertise to home buyers. In addition to the most pristine printed publication, television show, and state-of-the-art web site, we can now advertise our Sellers’ homes via cell phones! Talk about “elite” service!

Always forward-thinking and providing the “best of the best” sales tools to our associates, it is thrilling to be the first and only real estate brokerage in Tulsa to offer this service.

Go ahead and program “59559” into your cell phone and when you drive past a home for which you’d like more information – just send us a text and enter ‘CCTULSA.’ Your questions will be answered promptly.

We hope in the next few days, you will see these sign-riders attached to our home listings “for sale” signs.

If you are shopping for a home in the greater Tulsa area, know that you will receive excellent representation and unprecedented communication from a Chinowth & Cohen REALTOR.

If you are considering selling your home in the greater Tulsa area, shouldn’t you be listed with the Brokerage using cutting-edge technology to market your home?
Call Chinowth & Cohen REALTORS today for more information, visit our web site, or – just send us a text!

Lori Cain is a residential Realtor with Chinowth & Cohen Realtors serving the greater Tulsa Oklahoma area, including midtown Tulsa, Owasso, Broken Arrow, Bixby, Sand Springs and Jenks. Please visit Lori's web site, or call 918-852-5036.
Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 14, 2009

A party appetizer that works EVERY time - Lori’s “ham roll” recipe

Everybody loves my recipes, although I rarely have amounts or quantity needed – “how much olive oil?” “I don’t know – it depends on how much pasta you make!” :-)

Here’s a recipe I make that’s great for holiday parties and will make people think you are a natural born chef. I wish I could think of a fancy name for them, but I just call them “ham rolls.”

Mix softened cream cheese with finely diced green onions and chopped artichoke hearts. I use the canned artichoke hearts, drained. Buy pre-packaged square ham luncheon meat and roll the cream cheese mixture, as if you were rolling a cigarette. You HAVE to pack the mixture at both ends, to make sure there are no air pockets.

Okay - I normally start with two packages of cream cheese, 2 cans of artichoke hearts, two to three bunches of green onions, and two packages of ham. If you wind up with extra filling, you can always use it as a dip with crackers!

After rolling the ham rolls, refrigerate to harden, then slice before serving. It's best to slice using a serrated or very sharp knife.

I tried this recipe with turkey one time, and I just missed the salty flavor of the ham. I have substituted hearts of palm for the artichokes, and that’s a nice change too.

Good luck if you make this for a holiday party! Let me know if you make any revisions that improve my recipe!

Lori Cain is a residential Realtor with Chinowth & Cohen Realtors serving the greater Tulsa Oklahoma area, including midtown Tulsa, Owasso, Broken Arrow, Bixby, Sand Springs and Jenks. Please visit Lori's web site, or call 918-852-5036.

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 11, 2009

More Good News For Tulsa

Forbes puts Tulsa on Bang-for-Buck list
The magazine ranks Tulsa No. 19 and Oklahoma City No. 26 overall in real estate.
By ROBERT EVATT World Staff Writer
Published: 12/9/2009 2:26

Forbes Magazine has ranked the Tulsa area No. 19 on its Best Bang-for-the-Buck Cities list. The list, posted on Forbes' Web site, ranked the real estate markets in the nation's 100 largest cities by their affordability in areas such as home prices, property taxes and travel times to work.

Forbes also took into account factors such as vacancies, foreclosures and job market forecasts through 2012.

In October, the last month for which data is available, the Greater Tulsa Association of Realtors reported the average sales price of a home in Tulsa was $145,922, down from $161,767 in October 2008.

In subcategories, Forbes ranked the city at 33rd in housing affordability, 14 in property taxes, 13 in unemployment, 45th in vacancies and 80th in the job forecast.

Oklahoma City ranked 26th overall, 28th in home affordability, fourth in unemployment and 100th in the job forecast.

The article noted that several cities across the Great Plains made the list, as the recession has not hit the region as hard as some other parts of the country.

"This swath of prairie in the center of the country was somewhat buffered from the disastrous effect on coastal markets of the housing crisis, enabling it to emerge solidly from the recession," the Forbes story says. "Housing sales here kept a steady, if slow, pace during the boom."

The top city on Forbes' list was Omaha-Council Bluffs, Neb., and Iowa; followed by Little Rock-North Little Rock- Conway, Ark.; Jackson, Miss.; Des Moines-West Des Moines, Iowa; Augusta-Richmond County, Ga., and S.C.; and Wichita at No. 6.

Robert Evatt 581-8447
By ROBERT EVATT World Staff Writer

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

One Warm Coat . . . or REALTORS nag clients to clean out your closet!

Realtors nag our clients about cleaning out closets before they put their home on the market, but this time, THIS Realtor is asking you to clean out your closet as a charitable act.

"One Warm Coat" is a national effort meeting local needs: their goal is to provide any person in need with a warm coat, free of charge. Providing this simple yet vital need helps people live productive lives year round. You can organize a coat drive, or clean out your closet and donate a coat or TWO!

Thankfully, in Tulsa, we have a long tradition of donating coats, started by Jim Giles, deceased anchorman for Channel Six News. You can take your new or gently-used coats to any Yale Cleaner location, and they will mend and clean your coats. The coats are then given to Catholic Charities for distribution.

I just inventoried my coat closet. Three short coats, two full-length coats, one red coat, one black coat - I don't possibly NEED all of these! I think I might feel just a little bit warmer in my red coat if I knew that my black coat was keeping someone else warm.

Please visit this web site for more information about Tulsa's and Giles' Coats for Kids program and for addresses of the many Yale Cleaners drop off locations. (Don't forget that adults need coats too!)

If you need a coat, call Catholic Charities at 949-HOPE or visit the Giles' Coats for Kids Distribution Center at the NEW Catholic Charities location, 2450 N. Harvard. Please bring a form of ID for each family member who needs a coat.

If you live outside of Tulsa and wish to start a similar program, visit the "One Warm Coat" web site for guidelines and suggestion of how to start a drive in your home town.

Sorry to be a nagging REALTOR, but do just one thing this week for me, and clean out your coat closet! You'll feel warmer, I promise!

Lori Cain is a residential Realtor with Chinowth & Cohen Realtors serving the greater Tulsa Oklahoma area, including midtown Tulsa, Owasso, Broken Arrow, Bixby, Sand Springs and Jenks. Please visit Lori's web site, or call 918-852-5036.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Golden Rule

I came across this in my emails today and thought I would share. It has a great message.....

Excerpted from The Power of Attitude

I grew up in Trenton, a west Tennessee town of five thousand people. I have wonderful memories of those first eighteen years, and many people in Trenton influenced my life in very positive ways. My football coach, Walter Kilzer, taught me the importance of hard work, discipline, and believing in myself. My history teacher, Fred Culp, is still the funniest person I’ve ever met. He taught me that a sense of humor, and especially laughing at yourself, can be one of life’s greatest blessings.

But my father was my hero. He taught me many things, but at the top of the list, he taught me to treat people with love and respect…to live the Golden Rule. I remember one particular instance of him teaching this “life lesson” as if it were yesterday. Dad owned a furniture store, and I used to dust the furniture every Wednesday after school to earn my allowance. One afternoon I observed my Dad talking to all the customers as they came in…the hardware store owner, the banker, a farmer, a doctor. At the end of the day, just as Dad was closing, the garbage collector came in. I was ready to go home, and I thought that surely Dad wouldn’t spend too much time with him.

But I was wrong. Dad greeted him at the door with a big hug and talked with him about his wife and son who had been in a car accident the month before. He empathized, he asked questions, he listened, and he listened some more. I kept looking at the clock, and when the man finally left, I asked, “Dad, why did you spend so much time with him? He’s just the garbage collector.” Dad then looked at me, locked the front door to the store, and said, “Son, let’s talk.”

He said, “I’m your father and I tell you lots of stuff as all fathers should, but if you remember nothing else I ever tell you, remember this…treat every human being just the way that you would want to be treated.” He said, “I know this is not the first time you’ve heard it, but I want to make sure it’s the first time you truly understand it, because if you had understood, you would never have said what you said.” We sat there and talked for another hour about the meaning and the power of the Golden Rule. Dad said, “If you live the Golden Rule everything else in life will usually work itself out, but if you don’t your life probably will be very unhappy and without meaning.”

I recently heard someone say, “If you teach your child the Golden Rule, you will have left them an estate of incalculable value.” Truer words were never spoken.

Copyright Simple Truths, LLC, all rights reserved and reprinted with permission.

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