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Posts published in July 2008

Life’s a dance you learn as you go

By Angie Liang

To balance the severity of my course load this past semester, I enrolled in a ballroom dancing class. Now, I’ve danced before, but never like this. Throughout the course I learned to two-step, waltz, jitterbug, foxtrot, and even tango a little. (Let me tell you, what they say is true: it is all about the attitude.) I even found a great dance partner, who I will call AP.

As part of the ongoing dance experience, AP and I decided to take a “Dips and Tricks” class. Unfortunately, we were the least experienced dancers there. Nonetheless, we trudged along as gracefully as we could, leaping and landing, sometimes correctly. We even tried to master a leg wrap that involved a quick weight change, and we giggled like middle-schoolers at our lack of elegance. But after a few attempts, we pulled it off!

So we thought we were doing pretty well, until it came time for the Death Drop. Yes, Death D-r-o-p. Even though he could hold my weight and our hands were locked correctly, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t d-r-o-p all the way down, despite AP’s assurance that he wasn’t going to let me go.

The truth is, AP isn’t the problem. Our connection is solid. The problem is me. I’m afraid to fall. I’m afraid to fail.

Throughout my years of schooling, getting anything below an A was painful. It meant that I wasn’t smart and I needed to study harder. I spent the majority of my life being compared to my peers and never feeling good enough. They were always earning prestigious scholarships, winning awards for math and writing, or running faster than me in track. When we were all applying for colleges, I didn’t even feel adequate enough to try for a certain Ivy League school. Meanwhile they were all discussing which Ivies they would accept or reject.

It wasn’t until I was actually in college that I became comfortable with my intellect. After all those years of worrying about my grades and writing, I began to understand that I am much more than any of that. I have mentored elementary-school children, raised funding for a local hospital, and worked to help make the UT campus more environmentally conscious. And on top of all that, my professors praised the very skills I used to be concerned about.

College was a gradual learning experience that helped me discover and define myself, even if I’m more confused now than I have ever been about what I would like to do. It’s only because I’ve learned that I now have more opportunities than I could have ever imagined. I’ve also realized, I like me. I’m comfortable with who I am. I just need to remember that it’s okay to take risks and make mistakes. Because I will bounce back.

So in that “Dips and Tricks” class, when AP reassured me one more time that he wasn’t going to drop me, I looked at him with a childish smile and let go of my fear, falling towards the floor.

And I came right back up, as good as ever.

Lewis plans upgrades for Motorcross Park

HIGHLANDS – Highlands Motorcross Park at 11545 Crosby Lynchburg Rd. was sold by Keith Coble to Mike Lewis in the last week of June.
Ownership of the local motorcross track changed family ownership as the previous owner regained the #1 Volume Dealer in North America status for the store at 227 North Main Street in Highlands. The Lewis family owners are dedicated to making the track an ideal racing and practicing facility for the motorcross sport enthusiast.
According to Mike Lewis, “My two sons, Jeff and Bryan, will be here working. We know we are going to change the hours slightly, anyone interested in keeping up with those and other changes can check us out on the web, . This weekend [ July 5 ] I have a double header motorcross race coming.”
The new owners lived in Deer Park for the last 25 years he is originally from Pasadena. They have a video production company and video the Miss Highlands Pageant each year.
According to Lewis, “We plan to run this track as a family business and make continuous improvements as we go. We look for the track to be top notch. We want spectators to start coming out and enjoy the nonstop action. Pro-Rider Kyle Williams has a class starting this week here for those that would like to get children most safely into the sport. Kyle teaches technique with technique comes safety. We look forward to a good relationship with all the motorcycle dealerships. There are going to be some unique features at this track and on the website ”

Touring the “Blue Sky Country of Montana”

Truly enjoyed our vacation to the Blue Sky Country of Montana; we are referred to as flatlanders by the folks up there.
Old cousin says the state is being over populated with people moving up there, says lots of them are from California. She didn’t seem too fond of these people for some reason; at least they ain’t Yankees or are they?
It was interesting to sit on the porch and talk with her husband. He’s a retired cowboy who worked on a big ranch; my cousin-in-law said an owner of one of the NFL teams owned the ranch; said the owner had more money than he had sense.
For some reason or other, Ted Turner was not a very popular person either.

I asked my cousin-in-law, ‘You actually did the branding and all that on the calves?”
Said they don’t burn them anymore, they freeze brand the stock. Mix alcohol and dry ice to get a super cold product or use liquid nitrogen to get good results. They also clip the hair from the area that is to be branded.
The ole boy has since had heart problems and was split open thus limiting his climbing the mountains to go berry picking. Huckleberry, that is but we still managed to get two pints to bring back to Texas.
Cousin says the huckleberries grow up high in elevations between 3500 and 7200 feet. You have to watch for bears too.
While in Wyoming, we took a side road to see a lake. On the way up the mountain on this dirt road, we saw a sign that said GRIZZLIES USE THIS AREA. Needless to say, we didn’t stay long.
Later on, we stopped by a fast flowing creek for some pictures. As I was going to get a few pictures, I noticed a pile of what bears do in the woods. I told the girls that we need to get on back to the car and quick. That has to be a nice size bear.
Stopping at a McDonalds in Wyoming one morning, after getting our food, we went to find a table and there were a dozen stools made with saddles for the kids. A neat idea indeed and another photo opportunity.
The folks in that part of the country have their events and festivals but with a different flair indeed. While having breakfast at the McDonalds, I glanced at the newspaper and a photo of the upcoming Eighth Annual Testicle Festival in Woodruff, Utah.
They fry 250 pounds of bull fries during the event, something similar to what the Shriner’s do with the fried oysters but a much smaller scale. They raised $30,000.00 for charity.
That part of the country is something to see and a nice way to visit, especially if you want something different. Don’t think I could handle those harsh below zero winters coupled with that white mud all over the place.

No time like the present to keep your future on track

Just as your life changes over time, the market also sees its fair share of change. And fluctuations in the market can affect your investments. So the best way we know to be confident that you have a current and complete picture of your financial situation is to schedule a regular portfolio review with your Edward Jones financial advisor.
Aside from market fluctuations, new events in your life can also signal that it’s time for a portfolio review. For instance, new tax laws may be taking effect. You might be looking to buy or sell a home. The kids could be headed off to college, or perhaps you’re getting ready for diaper duty. Whatever the situation may be, the changes in your life are probably as unique as the goals you’ve set for your future.

For all of these reasons, its’ important to review your investment portfolio every year. It’s the easiest way to make sure your investments and goals are headed in the same direction. Because like it or not, it doesn’t take much to find them a little off track.
The good news is, even if adjustments to your investment strategy are necessary, a free Edward Jones portfolio review will help find out if your money is working hard for you.
These are just a few topics you may want to discuss:
* Do I have the potential to earn more from investments?
* Do I have the potential to pay less in taxes on my investments*?
* Am I investing enough to reach my financial goals?
And because your situation deserves more than just a cookie-cutter solution, we believe you deserve individual attention. And it’s one of the main reasons why we think it’s important to meet with you face-to-face.
To schedule a free portfolio review, please contact your local financial advisor.
*Edward Jones does not provide tax or legal advice. You should contact your tax or legal advisor regarding your particular situation.