Archive for November, 2008

Housing Market In Santa Cruz County

Santa Cruz County, while far from immune to the sluggish economy, likely will fare better than many parts of California, and the nation, during the current down-turn.

The report’s economic assessment, as expected, shows Santa Cruz County taking hits from both the nation’s housing crisis and weakening job market.

The number of default notices sent to county residents, a sign of impending home foreclosure, has increased 243 percent between this summer and last, according to the report. And median family income has slipped from $81,300 last year to $79,000 this year.

Still, incomes here remain 15 percent above the state average and 23 percent above he national average, and job growth continued to climb through 2007, the last year measured, according to the report.

It is a great time to purchse a second property for personal use,  or even a rental property in Santa Cruz County.  There is always an abundant quantity of students from UCSC looking for rental properties.  Good luck!

Deb

Thanksgiving History – Is it about the Turkey?

Thanksgiving History
The First Thanksgiving

In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast which is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. This harvest meal has become a symbol of cooperation and interaction between English colonists and Native Americans. Although this feast is considered by many to the very first Thanksgiving celebration, it was actually in keeping with a long tradition of celebrating the harvest and giving thanks for a successful bounty of crops. Native American groups throughout the Americas, including the Pueblo, Cherokee, Creek and many others organized harvest festivals, ceremonial dances, and other celebrations of thanks for centuries before the arrival of Europeans in North America.
More Meat, Less Vegetables
Our modern Thanksgiving repast is centered around the turkey, but that certainly wasn’t the case at the pilgrims’s feasts. Their meals included many different meats. Vegetable dishes, one of the main components of our modern celebration, didn’t really play a large part in the feast mentality of the seventeenth century. Depending on the time of year, many vegetables weren’t available to the colonists.
The pilgrims probably didn’t have pies or anything sweet at the harvest feast. They had brought some sugar with them on the Mayflower but by the time of the feast, the supply had dwindled. Also, they didn’t have an oven so pies and cakes and breads were not possible at all. The food that was eaten at the harvest feast would have seemed fatty by 1990’s standards, but it was probably more healthy for the pilgrims than it would be for people today. The colonists were more active and needed more protein. Heart attack was the least of their worries. They were more concerned about the plague and pox.
Seventeenth Century Table Manners
The pilgrims didn’t use forks; they ate with spoons, knives, and their fingers. They wiped their hands on large cloth napkins which they also used to pick up hot morsels of food. Salt would have been on the table at the harvest feast, and people would have sprinkled it on their food. Pepper, however, was something that they used for cooking but wasn’t available on the table.
In the seventeenth century, a person’s social standing determined what he or she ate. The best food was placed next to the most important people. People didn’t tend to sample everything that was on the table (as we do today), they just ate what was closest to them.
Serving in the seventeenth century was very different from serving today. People weren’t served their meals individually. Foods were served onto the table and then people took the food from the table and ate it. All the servers had to do was move the food from the place where it was cooked onto the table.
Pilgrims didn’t eat in courses as we do today. All of the different types of foods were placed on the table at the same time and people ate in any order they chose. Sometimes there were two courses, but each of them would contain both meat dishes, puddings, and sweets.
Hope you enjoyed the story!
Deb

Green Gift Idea for the Holidays-Eco-Friendly

Try Organic Bath Salts as a gift!
Apparently, Americans spends $300 million annually on conventional women’s bath gift sets.  Even Martha Stewart proposes giving the gift of bath salts which you can proffer in a recycled jar. Even a pickle jar would work.! This gift is green of course because it will introduce your friends and family to the virtues of organic bath products with recycled packaging. No need to spook up the bath with additives and coloring when simply salt and a drop or two of essential oil will do the trick.  Here how it comes together;

Start with about 4 cups of sea salt or kosher salt. Mix in several drops of an oil such as peppermint or tea tree, available at your local natural food’s store or dried fragrant plants, such as lavender or eucalyptus. Voila: Bath salts.

I’ve personally made these as gifts and have received rave reviews – Another tip – make up a personal label and add some pretty ribbon.  You’ll be a rock star!

Best of luck!

Deb