Sunday, March 18, 2007

Extreme Makeover Reveal

Ok, so today was the big reveal for the Extreme Makeover and my mom and I thought we'd go and check it out! The only thing I could find online was that the reveal would be "about noon." So at 11:00am this morning when I saw that, I called mom and told her to come right over- and she did! I hadn't even showered yet! :O) So, I hurried and got ready and we ran right over to the shuttle sight! They shuttled us right up to the crowds and we rushed right in and pushed our way through and stood on tippy toes and inched our way just as far as we could. I, of course, inched my way further and further, nearly to the barracades on the sidelines and we were down just about as far as they were letting the common folk get... I finally found a little slope that I could just barely peek through and if I held the camera up over the heads and zoomed in just right, you could even see the house! We stood there and waited and cheered and chanted as they keyed up the crowd and filmed and taped and recorded some footage. They practiced bringing their new cars in, a new convertible black Mustang, a new black Excursion (I think) and another new big 'ol black Ford truck, we cheered. They brought down the bus, we cheered and chanted. They did takes of the limo pulling up to the house (empty), we cheered... After about 3 hours, it got old. I was hungry and thirsty more than anything- I hadn't had my Diet Coke yet! So, we high taled it out of there! It was a pretty amazing experience and I'm glad we went. I think we left just in time though, as we were shuttling back, we saw the limo with the family in it on their way for the true reveal! I can only imagine how many takes they were going to have to do... I think our timing was perfect really, as I'm sure we beat the crowds leaving too.

It's truly amazing though, how much they can accomplish in less than a week! So many volunteers put countless numbers of hours into making this possible. They've collected money through various events, local participation and the St. Patty's Day Parade! They've transformed a 912 square foot house into a 5200+ square foot home, with 6 bedrooms and 6.5 baths, given them 3 brand new cars, had college funds donated to each child and collected enough money to allow them to go on! I can't wait to see this all when it airs in May. Till then, here's a sneak peek of my glimpse into todays madness:



Menu Foods said it's recalling dog food sold under 48 brands and cat food sold under 40 brands, including Iams, Nutro and Eukanuba.
The Canadian-based manufacturer is recalling all its "cuts and gravy" style dog and cat food produced between Dec. 3 and March 6. The company distributes the products to numerous retailers in the form of cans and pouches and under different brand names.The products are sold at stores including Wal-Mart, PetSmart, Pet Valu and Kroger.Officials are warning pet owners to immediately stop feeding the contaminated foods to their pets and said owners should see their pets' veterinarians if they develop signs of kidney failure, including loss of appetite, vomiting or lethargy. The company said they have conducted tests, but are so far unable to locate the source of the contamination.

A complete list of the recalled products along with product codes, descriptions and production dates is available from the Menu Foods Web site at

Meanwhile, two other companies — Nestle Purina PetCare Co. and Hill’s Pet Nutrition Inc. — announced Saturday night that as a precaution they were voluntary recalling some products made by Menu Foods.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The 34th Annual Kansas City St. Patrick's Day Parade

Information from

Saturday, March 17th, 2007 (St. Patrick's Day!)
Time: 11:00am - 1:00pm

Downtown Kansas City
The Parade starts at the corner of Pershing Rd. and Main Street. It proceeds east on Pershing to Grand Blvd. and continues north on Grand Blvd. to Truman Road.

Plan ahead when arriving...
With the large amount of construction Downtown, plan on arriving plenty early to minimize traffic congestion and leave yourself time to find parking. Please be considerate of the area businesses- without their continued support this Parade would not be possible.

The History of the Parade:
The 19th century Kansas City St. Patrick's Day Parades were pageants of great pomp and circumstance. The Irish Benevolent Society would lead the processions composed of bands, police and fire department personnel and dignitaries of all description from church to church in day long extravaganzas often ending with grand balls.

The festivities were always well reported in the Kansas City newspapers.

The 1875 Kansas City Times declared the Parade to be "the noblest Pageant of the Year".

The first parade in 1873 flowed from the first St. Patrick's Church at Seventh and Cherry from a HIgh Mass celebrated by Irish-born paster Father James A. Dunn, with the assistance of four other Irish priests.

The steadily growing parade crawled through the steep streets of what is now Downtown, stoping at old St. Teresa's Academy. The bands passed therought hte campus's iron gates and were greeted by young ladies who bestowed upon them wreaths of white flowers and shamrocks.

The procession then spilled down the bluff to the newly established Annunciation Church and School ot 14th and Wyoming, where Father Donnelly washed, anointed and blessed a new church bell.

For years uninterrupted, the Irish continued to stage bigger and grander parades. More groups joined in - the police department, the Hibernian Knights, Father Dalton's Temperance Cadets, Select Knights of A.O.U.W., German Catholic societies, the Knights of St. Patrick, labor unions, city and county officials, more divisions of the AOH from Kansas City, Kansas, and other surrounding communities.

The resurrection of the parade:

On Friday March 15, 1974 Daniel Thomas Hogerty led a St. Patrick's Day parade of secretaries, businessmen and shoppers on what would again become a Kansas City Tradition.

The Parade was threatened with respectability in 1977. The presence of four floats, marching units from local Catholic High Schools, bag pipers and an extended route as well as television coverage lent the Parade a hint of credibility. Murphy vowed "no one would ever bring class to the Parade".

By 1978 the crowd viewing the Parade grew to 35,000. Schools sanctioned their students' entry in the event and the route wound over nine blocks through narrow downtown streets. Once again Dan Hogerty led the Parade. In 1979 the route was moved to the Loose Park, mid-town area and ended in Westport. Organizers, participants and onlookers alike soon realized the Kansas City St. Patrick's Day Parade belongs downtown. Much to everyone's delight, the Parade returned downtown the next year.

In 1981, the route extended from the River Market area (River Quay as it was known then) over 16 blocks to end at 11th and Baltimore. The Parade Committee had now grown larger than the 1974 Parade. The Parade organizers boasted a Grand Prize of two round trip tickets to Ireland for the "best entrant". Over 3000 participated in the Parade itself and the onlookers number over 110,000. For the first time in 1981 the Kansas City St. Patrick's Day Parade was reported to be the third largest St. Patrick's Day Parade in the Nation. The 1982 revelers went back to basics, emulating their 19 th Century counterparts, by beginning the day with a Mass said by Bishop Sullivan (head of the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph). Bishop Sullivan reminded the worshipers of Irish decent that "the Irish are non-conformists and a non-conformist is a non-apathetic person, a responsive person". The route in 1983 moved to where it remains (with the exception of 1995 when it moved a few blocks West when participants marched North along Broadway) to this day. Stepping off at the corner of Pershing and Grand Boulevard, the Parade headed due North along Grand Avenue, a boulevard created for Parades. The two mile Parade (almost 30 blocks) and was viewed by 300,000 onlookers. Monsignor Arthur M. Tighe, Pastor of Visitation Parish, described the Parade as "Kansas City's Mardi Gras". The blossoming of the Parade brought with it "rules" to curb rowdiness and insure the safety of onlookers and participants. The "last entry" in the Parade is now traditionally the street sweepers. In 1999 the Parade crowd was one of the largest ever; reportedly up to 400,000 onlookers lined the Boulevard. Irish Tri-color banners adorned the Boulevard in early March in anticipation of the event. The Parade lasted from 11:30 'til nearly 2:00 p.m. and the clean up continued until dusk.

I don't think any of us ever dreamed our little publicity stunt would turn into a parade two miles long with several hundred thousand spectators," said O'Neill. "We just wanted to drum up a little business for our friend, Danny Hogerty. Today's parade is really a tribute to the popularity and appeal of Mike Murphy, and it's a reflection of the marvelous sense of pride that still exists among the Irish in Kansas City." Jody Watson, the Lone Bagpiper, will, as he has for many years, lead off the march followed by color guards, bands, drill teams, floats of all description and revelers of all sort. During the years the Parade has evolved into the largest single day event in Kansas City and shows no sign of stopping. One thing for sure--Mike Murphy and pals will be present in their garbage truck just to make sure this Parade stays "odd".

Northland Extreme Makeover

Ok, so they're half way through the makeover event in the Northland, but for those of you not from KC, you may not have heard about Ty and his team in the area. So, I thought I'd share a quick tidbit about the family and the "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" even to hit our area (again)!

"Jesus and Michelle Jacobo had four children of their own when they took in Michelle's five nieces and nephews to keep them out of foster care, according to family members. Then Michelle's father moved in to help out. But as the 912-square foot home began to show wear and tear, the nieces and nephews were at risk of being taken into foster care anyway."

"The family - which now includes the Jacobos' children Antonio, 13; Jessica, 11; Joshua, 9; and Gabriel, 4; as well as nieces and nephews Natalie Rodriguez, 18; Brittany McMahan, 16; Tyler Simmons, 11; Angel McMahan, 8; and Miriam McMahan, 6 months - will head off to vacation in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., as crew members and hundreds of volunteers and workers demolish the home and replace it with a more expansive and efficient one so the extended family can stay together."

Prior to this makeover the family was crammed together forcing Jesus and Michelle to sleep in the unheated garage, the 3 boys to live in teh basement hallway and the grandfather to sleep on the living room floor. One bedroom has no heat and has often had ice forming on the walls in the winter. Due to unrepairable clogging in the bathroom sink, the family must brush their teeth in the kitchen sink and take turns eating in shifts or sitting on the floor as the kitchen cannot accommodate everyone.

Demolition began Tuesday morning and will run through Saturday, concluding and participating in the Kansas City Saint Patrick's Day Parade! The family will return for the big "reveal" Sunday afternoon!

Kevin Green Homes Inc. of Parkville that also participated in the "Extreme Makeover" 2 years ago for firefighter Stephen Johnson and his five children will also do the Jacobo home.

Information and quotes from; Joyce Smith, The Kansas City Star.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Excellent Link on Short Sales

Ok, so I've been trying to catch up on the latest in Real Estate News and blogging... I came across this excellent blog I think you'll enjoy, but more importantly in their article on short sales that seems too close for comfort. Short sales are what they are and becoming more and more common. I encourage everyone to check this out and become more familiar with them whether you're a seller looking for a way to avoid foreclosure, a buyer looking to save some money or an agent looking to learn more... each transaction is different and every bank seems to have their own set of rules.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

10 Most Common Home Defects

From "House Notes" Newsletter from The Inspection Company, LLC, February 2007, Volume 3 Issue 2.

1. Poor Drainage; Improper drainage can lead to water intrusion in the basement of homes and even severely compromise foundations.
2. Failing or aging heating and cooling systems; Older heating and cooling systems require maintenance and may be energy inefficient. There is also the risk that they can emit dangerous carbon monoxide fumes that are harmful to the family.
3. Environmental hazards; Older homes may contain lead-based paint, high levels of carbon monoxide, radon, toxic molds, and even asbestos.
4. Inadequate ventilation; This occurs when moisture accumulates in homes which damages interior walls and structural elements.
5. Improper Maintenance; Taking poor care of your household appliances can create consequesnces. Simple actions like cleaning out the lint trap in the clothes dryer can help prevent a fire.
6. Plumbing problems; The pipes under your sink can be made of incompatible materials that lead to dripping faucets, leaking fixtures, and slow drains.
7. Roof problems; The roof of your home may contain old or damaged shingles and improper flashing due to rain. The overall structure of the roof may be affected because of improperly installed collar ties and ridge beam supports.
8. No permit; Many homes do not have permits for finished basements, deck additions, hot tub, and pool additions. This can lead to unnecessary fines when putting the house up for sale.
9. Electrical safety issues; A home with an out-of-date or insufficient electrical system can lead to fires and electrical shock. Examples of other electrical safety hazards are ungrounded outlets, lack of Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI), aluminum wiring, and faulty wiring conditions in electrical panels or elsewhere in a building. These are potentially hazardous defects and not to be taken lightly.
10. Rotted wood; Wood placed around areas that are frequently wet can begin to rot. Wood around bathtubs, showers, and toilets are espcially defective. The exterior of the home, including the outside trim of the house, decks, and roof eaves, should also be checked regularly for signs of rotting.

Check these areas of the home often to prevent damage and provide repairs when needed. The above suggestions may require professional assistance to ensure proper installation.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Big Yellow Box by Crayola

Ok, so I added the link to my site, but failed to tell you all about it... I cannot believe that! Things have been crazy, and I've just been out of the blogging loop. I hate to update post after post all in one night- I think you need time to "absorb." Whatever?!

So, about Big Yellow Box, by Crayola. Have you heard of it yet? If so, then you know what all my craze and excitement is all about! If not, then you've got to sit back and be prepared to hear all about the newest and latest division of Crayola and Hallmark! Let me first ask you, what do you think of when you hear the word Crayola? Quality, Fun, Excitement, Creative? That's what Big Yellow Box is all about! Fun and exciting ways to rekindle creativity, to get together and create all inclusive projects with endless possibilities for kids from 3 to 93!

I just discovered Big Yellow Box last month and JUMPED RIGHT IN! I couldn't wait to get started! I received my consultant's starter kit on Valentine's Day and have been opening boxes, creating projects and just having a blast ever since! I really feel that this direct sales business is just on the verge of booming! And what better market to be in at the breaking ground! For more information please feel free to visit them at and of course, keep checking back here as I post more stories and inspirations about the latest and greatest products, offers, specials and sales going on. Feel free to email me anytime for more information too about purchasing any of the products, hosting your own Big Yellow Box party or even becoming a consultant yourself and starting your own Big Yellow Box business!

And just in case you were wondering..... I'm still doing Real Estate full-time 100%, this part is just for fun! And yes, I'm still involved and volunteering for NAWS- Northland Animal Welfare Society and updating the website as well as recruiting sponsors, contributions and donations for our upcoming 1st Annual Ruff Ride Dice Run on June 16th!! As always, your cooperation and support in any and or all of my endeavors is truly and greatly appreciated!

The Big Daylight Savings Scare

Ok, first let me appologize for the forever late announcement... Issues with signing into this darn account!! FINALLY, I've risen above and conquered and I'M BACK!

Now, as for the big Atomic Clock Scare Warnings.... Simply put, this year, some wonder genius has decided to move daylight savings up 3 weeks. Typically it's the first Sunday in April, this year it's THIS WEEKEND- the 10th of MARCH. So, needless to say, the preprogrammed atomic clocks, don't know about this HUMAN change in plans. Will this stop time? No. Will our computers all shut down, never to start up again? Will our digital watches just run on and on in mad chaos? Probably not. The sun will still come up and continue to shine, the rain will still run it's course, flowers will still bloom in the spring... Time will go on. It just might not be accurate without a little manual manipulation or about a three week wait. At least that's my take on it and my opinion. I'll go ahead and "cut" you in on the Washington Post's point of view and let you come to your own conclusions.....