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Beware of the Many Types of Distracted Driving

by Vicki Graham, #1 Properties, Vicki@GrahamHouse.com

Beware of the Many Types of Distracted Driving

Drivers should be aware that there are many other types of distracted driving - not just using a mobile device. Drivers should understand the various types of distractions and be sure these bad habits are avoided when driving a car.

Driving a vehicle requires a driver’s full attention. When drivers take their eyes off the road for more than two seconds, their accident risk can double and cause serious damage to themselves and other people. Distracted driving can harm not only yourself, but others as well. It’s the driver’s responsibility to be alert and drive safely.

Here are some quick facts:

• One study showed that nearly 80% of crashes involve some form of driver inattention within three seconds before the event.
• Driver distraction is estimated to be a contributing factor in eight out of every 10 police-reported crashes.
• The average driver needs to keep track of 3,000 items during rush hour. (This includes signs, traffic lights, other vehicles, passengers and pedestrians, road and weather conditions, and more).
• Talking on cell phones (hand-held or hands-free) while driving makes drivers 4 times more likely to crash.

Types of distracted driving to avoid

• Using a mobile device – cell phone or GPS
• Reading maps
• Grooming – applying make-up
• Eating or drinking
• Programming the radio or changing CDs
• Carrying on a conversation with passengers
• Tending to children or pets
• Looking at billboard signs

If you are caught using a mobile device, police may issue a ticket for the offence that will vary in cost. Your ticket will be put on your driving record and may cause your car insurance rate to increase.

Tips to stay safe while driving

• Turn off cell phone while driving; only use cell phones when the vehicle is parked or be sure to purchase a Bluetooth device.
• Attend to personal grooming prior to driving.
• Eat or drink before entering the vehicle.
• Preset GPS device before getting on the road.
• Be well rested.

It is crucial for driver and passenger safety to remain alert at all times while driving. Make sure to stay focused and pay attention to the road. Everything else can wait – the main concern is to arrive safely. Don’t forget that causing an at-fault accident will likely impact insurance premiums significantly.

Source: InsuranceHotline.com

 

Painting Kids' Rooms: Tips and Tricks to Get It Right

by Vicki Graham, #1 Properties, Vicki@GrahamHouse.com

Painting Kids' Rooms: Tips and Tricks to Get It Right

Looking to set up a nursery or revamp the color of your tweens bedroom? Painting is an easy and cost-effective way to create just the right atmosphere. But knowing how to get started can feel overwhelming. These tips will help you choose the best type and color of paint, while keeping the process quick and stress-free.

Sheen Savvy -Sheen determines how shiny your paint looks when it's dry. Choosing the right sheen adds the perfect finishing touch on a room, and it can make a big difference when it comes to cleaning up.

Semi-Gloss - Brings a soft shine to the room without being overpowering. It's good for kids' rooms because it's durable and easy to clean. You can wipe off crayon and pencil marks with common non-abrasive cleaners.

Eggshell/Satin - Has a smooth finish with a subtle sheen, and is washable and scrubbable.
Flat - A beautiful matte coating with no shine. It is ideal for low-traffic areas and hides minor dents or nicks best.

Choosing Colors
For many DIYers, choosing paint colors can be a tricky and time-intensive process. There are so many options and many people worry about making a big color mistake.

Get inspired - Look through magazines, websites such as Pinterest®, an online pinboard, and even at friends' homes to get some ideas.

Try them out - Once you've narrowed down your color choices, try out your top picks to see how they will look in the room with your specific lighting conditions.


Painting Tips
• Consider using a combination paint and primer -- it can save you time and money by eliminating the need to use two painting products.
• Work from the ceiling down to the baseboards. Do one entire wall or area at a time.
• Use wide masking tape to mask off areas you don't want to paint, such as window panes or trim.
• Use a roller to paint in blocks of roughly 4 x 4 feet. Paint adjacent blocks before each previous block dries to help blend the edges.
• Paint molding and woodwork with a brush, in the direction of the wood grain. Use short strokes to coat the surface, then use longer, smoother strokes for an even and finished surface.
• Make sure the room is well ventilated as you paint.
• Pick a paint that dries quickly and has low odor, so your child can move into the newly painted space sooner.

Source: www.Glidden.com. 

Cheyenne, Wyoming, Ranked Family-Friendly

by Vicki Graham, #1 Properties, Vicki@GrahamHouse.com

Cheyenne ranked family-friendly

City chosen 5th best in America to raise a family by Parenting magazine

By James Chilton
jchilton@wyomingnews.com

CHEYENNE -- The city of Cheyenne has been ranked as the fifth-best city in the nation in which to raise a family by Parenting magazine.

The list, which was published on the magazine’s website Tuesday, lists the 100 best cities for growing families, based on metrics that include education, employment opportunities, crime rate and access to health care.

Cheyenne ranked ahead of many major metropolitan areas, including Chicago, Phoenix, New York and Los Angeles.

This is the first time Cheyenne has appeared on the list, which was first published in 2010.

The Capital City shared the top 10 with several other smaller rural communities, including Burlington, Vt.; Portland, Maine; and Sioux Falls, S.D. Several larger cities also topped the list, including Boston, Minneapolis and Arlington, Va.

“Each year we listen to comments from our readers, determining which factors they find to be most important,” said Julie Christie, Parenting magazine’s digital executive editor.

“This year we placed a greater emphasis on education, based on reader feedback. That helped Cheyenne’s ranking on the list

due to the city’s great education score.”

In fact, in a separate listing of the top 10 best cities for education, Cheyenne ranked second only to Burlington.

Christie said that is owing to small class sizes, high per-student spending and access to alternative education outlets.

Mark Stock, superintendent for Laramie County School District 1, said he appreciated the factors the magazine considered in placing Cheyenne as high as it did.

“Occasionally, Laramie County (District) 1 has been criticized for having large class sizes, but what people fail to realize is that we’re lower than many cities,” Stock said.

“Next year in grades K-3 we should be at (a student-to-teacher ratio of) 17.5:1 And if we open Prairie Wind, a new school that’s supposed to open in 2014, we should be close to 16:1.”

Stock also pointed to several local elementary schools n Jessup and Gilchrist n that have been recognized as “Blue Ribbon” schools in recent years.

Blue Ribbon is a national designation given to schools that show high levels of student achievement or significant improvements in achievement gaps.

Stock also pointed to several local schools that have been recognized as outstanding Title I schools where students perform well despite coming from disadvantaged economic backgrounds.

He added that the Measures of Academic Progress standardized test results also have been reaching higher levels as well.

“We’ve done very well in terms of our growth in the last two years,” he said. “Our K-6 and 9-10 test scores are at record levels for us. We’ve given this test three years in a row and we’ve got the best results we’ve had in three years.”

But Christie said there are many other factors that worked in Cheyenne’s favor, particularly this year, as the magazine began looking at some of the “softer” factors that affect quality of living.

“In 2010, we focused heavily on ‘harder’ factors like jobs, safety, etc. to determine the best cities rankings,” she said. “And then last year we added the ‘charm and culture index’ because we felt it was a very relevant factor for families when choosing a city.”

The charm and culture index was based on factors such as the number of farmers markets, co-ops, libraries, museums, zoos and aquariums in a city. Christie pointed to the Cheyenne Greenway as one of the big factors that boosted the city’s ratings in that area.

“In addition to a low unemployment rate and access to the outdoors, we also love the Greenway because it provides a safe place to push a stroller or for kids to ride their bikes,” she said.

“As a community gathering place and a safe way to get active, the Greenway exemplifies the city’s dedication to providing a healthy city to raise kids.”

Cheyenne Mayor Rick Kaysen said the Greenway illustrates just one of the many ways the city has been investing in its residents’ quality of life.

“Linking the Greenway to our various communities, neighborhoods and parks, it’s a great alternative to jumping in a vehicle,” he said.

“We also look at our Botanical Gardens, which are continuing to grow. And part of that, too, is our Children’s Village, which is a huge, huge asset, not only for children but adults as well.”

Kaysen added that while the city’s low crime and unemployment are the “spokes in the wheel” of Cheyenne’s quality of living, it is the city’s ability to foster public-private partnerships for improvement projects that have helped to solidify the city’s sense of community.

“One of the things I think is absolutely great about Cheyenne is the partnerships that are developed,” he said.

“We made improvements at Holliday Park earlier this summer, and we worked with the Coca Cola-Sprite beverage people here in town to do it. Again, that’s just an example of the public-private partnership that helps build a positive community.”

Top 10 cities:

Boston, Mass.
Burlington, Vt.
Portland, Maine
Austin, Texas
CHEYENNE
Arlington, Va./Washington, D.C.
Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn.
Madison, Wis.
Omaha, Neb.
Sioux Falls, S.D.


 

Morning Coffee

by Vicki Graham, #1 Properties, Vicki@GrahamHouse.com

 Monday Morning Coffee

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:

"Plan for gradual improvement, not spectacular leaps. A slow and steady stream of water will, in time, erode the hardest rock."

~ John Campbell, Ph.D. 

BATTER UP!

It's exciting to attend a baseball game in any league and see the batter swing into a major home run. It really ramps up the fans, and pumps up the score. Hoorah for the home team! What batter wouldn't be excited running around the bases?

In most baseball seasons, however, there are many more base hits, more runs batted in, and more games won on singles and doubles. Oh sure, the crowd is more subdued, the accolades lower key, and the base-hit batters not as widely recognized. Nevertheless, at the end of the season it's the base hits that win the pennant.

Yet, as youngsters, we've all heard our parents and relatives talk about the day "their ship will come in." This is the mythical tale, beloved by grown-ups, that attributes wealth and financial independence to a single event - the sudden and unexpected arrival of a ship laden with gold and silver.

While awaiting the ship, many others are quietly hitting singles and doubles - getting an excellent education, saving and investing modest sums, quietly improving their service to employers and customers. They understand that each step forward, no matter the size of the step, will pay larger and larger dividends in the form of promotions, added income, and independence later on.

Solid growth in all areas of life is most often the result of carefully laid foundations on solid bedrock, rather than sudden, whimsical actions carried out without consistency, careful forethought, or vision. Before any ship can come in, it must first leave the harbor. It must have a destination, enough fuel, an excellent navigator, food and water, a map and compass, and a captain passionate about reaching the destination.

If you want to leave the harbor, repeat to yourself the words of William Earnest Henley from "Invictus" - "I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul." Land ahoy!

Marketing Strategies: 5 Steps to Becoming a Success Magnet

by Vicki Graham, #1 Properties, Vicki@GrahamHouse.com

Marketing Strategies: 5 Steps to Becoming a Success Magnet

By Maya Bailey


What would it mean for you to manifest the success you desire and the success you deserve? The following “5 Steps to becoming a Success Magnet” will give you a formula to manifest the success you desire and the success you deserve.

This five step formula comes from my direct experience of having been a psychologist for 20 years and a business coach for real estate agents for 15 years.

Step 1 - Getting Clear About What You Don't Want

This is a very important step, because when you're clear on what you don't want, you have contrast, or a springboard to jump off into deciding what you do want.

It's so easy to come up with the list of what you don't want; it's all those things you've been complaining about. Let's get them out of your head and onto paper shall we?

Get out a piece of paper and about a half an inch from the top draw a horizontal line. Then down the center of the page draw a vertical line. You now have two columns.

For the heading of the left-hand column write, “What I Don't Want.” Jot them down in your left hand column the things you don't want. If you are like most of my clients, then your list would look something like this:

I Don't Want:
• Flaky, difficult clients
• Transactions that fall through
• Inconsistent income
• Working long hours
• Having to generate leads
• Not being well received on the phone
• Negativity


The problem with having these "don't wants" circulate around in your mind day after day is that they build a negative vortex and before you know it you end up attracting what you don't want.

Step 2 - Notice What You Do Want

Now that you've made your list of "don't wants," it will be very easy to make your list of do wants. In the right-hand column, write down all the things that you do want.

If you're like most of my clients your list will look something like this:

• I want motivated decisive qualified clients
• I want transactions that flow easily and effortlessly
• I want to magnetize my ideal clients
• I want (fill in the blank) amount of income each month
• I want to have fun and work reasonable hours


Not only is this a "wish list" but also this is a notice to the universe of your intentions.

Step 3 - Visualize and Feel

Visualizing is utilizing this body mind connection. We often think that it's not good to daydream or that it's a waste of time. But if it's a directed daydream in which you are focusing your attention and imagining that you've achieved that result, you are really stepping into that visualization and experiencing what that feels like; then you are magnetizing that to you.

There is more to the process, obviously because action is always needed. It's really a matter of balancing a success mindset with inspired action.

Step 4 - Clear Your Mind of Self-Limiting Beliefs

What if you wanted more money but had beliefs that were anti-money, such as, "there's never enough money”? If we hold the belief "there's never enough money" in our subconscious mind then that will become our experience.

You need to clear that belief.

If you have self-limiting beliefs, you can replace them with the empowered belief, “I have a valuable service to offer, and people are happy to hear from me.” I don't want to imply that this is a quick fix, but I want to let you know that when you've done the reprogramming work on yourself that is what you will want to focus on.

Remember, when you're radiating a positive attitude, you are magnetizing what you desire and what you deserve.

Step 5 - Take Inspired Action.

What does this mean? Take action that comes from your heart; take action that inspires you, take action that comes from your intuition. This is the difference between simply going through the motions, or really putting your heart into it.

I was working with a client the other day who was feeling a lot of resistance about prospecting. Even though she wanted to do it to build her business, she kept feeling bored with routine, and lacked the spark that was really on authentic part of her.

I guided her into a process to help her to get clear about what she needed to bring the spark back into her lead generation activities. It turns out that she needed three things:

1. Flexibility: she wanted to start her prospecting at different times in the morning, instead of a set “I have to start prospecting at 8:30 AM.”
2. Variety: she didn't want to call the same categories of people day after day. She wanted to mix it up, to work with different categories until she could feel some excitement about calling these people.
3. A day off. For her to take inspired action, she found that it was necessary to give yourself permission to take a day off from prospecting each week.

When you got clear on what you need to take inspired action, your resistance will disappear.

Dr. Maya Bailey, Multiple 6 Figure Income Business Coach for Real Estate Professionals, integrates her 20 years of experience as a psychologist with 15 years of expertise in marketing.

For more information, visit http://www.90daystomoreclients.com.

Summer Styles: Make the Most of Your Porch

by Vicki Graham, #1 Properties, Vicki@GrahamHouse.com

Summer Styles: Make the Most of Your Porch

By John Voket, RISMedia Consumer Confidant


After all your summertime fun and festivities are over, I know there's nothing like a relaxing break on the porch. And making the best of your porch large or small can really enhance the look and marketability of your property, as well as providing an oasis to chill on those breezy summer evenings.

I found plenty of bright ideas for enhancing your porch at delbeneinteriors.blogspot.com. A favorite project involved painting the ceiling blue in a gesture toward traditional Southern style.

According to the blog, there are many stories as to why homeowners, in the south, painted porch ceilings blue. One Carolina low country legend states that the pale blue paint wards off spirits of the dead, called Haints, which cannot cross water.

Therefore, "Haint Blue" was applied to surfaces like porch ceilings, shutters, doors and window trims. It is also believed that the pale blue keeps away pesky insects by tricking them to believe it's the sky and therefore thinking they cannot build their nests there.

(Actually, the reason was that blue paint, during the time, contained lye—a known bug repellent.)

Adding a ceiling fan can provide a gentle breeze to cool you on warm summer days or nights, and curtains not only add a touch of elegance, but can provide shade and privacy when closed.

Also consider rolling out an area rug to help define the space. And don't forget that lighting is the most important element to good design. Without it you won't be able to see your space or even function in it.

Finally, maybe go all out and hang a hammock, porch swing, or rocker - more on that option in our next segment. And if you're thinking about adding furniture, remember fads may come and go - but wicker never goes out of style.

Vicki Graham Graham
#1 Properties
http://GrahamHouse.com
Vicki@GrahamHouse.com
(307) 631-6884


 

History Lesson in Hammocks

by Vicki Graham, #1 Properties, Vicki@GrahamHouse.com

History Lesson in Hammocks

By John Voket, RISMedia’s Consumer Confidant


Recently I wrote about the idea of adding a hammock to the porch, deck, or anywhere on your property where it might be appropriate to occasionally lean back and enjoy an old-fashioned siesta.

So when we went looking for some fine detail about these little hanging beauties, I found a goldmine of information at kwhammocks.com. According to KW's hammock historians, some people believe that the hammock was first invented in Athens by the statesman Alcibiades (c.450-404 BC), a student of the famous Greek philosopher Socrates.

However, KW says the use of hammocks for sleeping in was not widely adopted by the ancient Greek culture. In fact it was the indigenous tribes of the Caribbean Islands and Central America that were the first to incorporate the Hammock as essential item in their day to day life over 1,000 years ago.

Although the folks at KW are unsure of exactly which tribe or cultural group did invent the hammock history reveals that the device was rapidly adopted by every culture from Southern Mexico all the way down to Northern Brazil and has been an integral part of their life style ever since.

For anyone who has visited this region it quickly became apparent why the hammock is an excellent choice for sleeping during the night and relaxing away the day, being suspended off the ground provides better air circulation keeping the body cool and dry in a hot tropical environment - and it has the added benefit of protection from insects, scorpions, spiders and snakes.

These traditional style hammocks were first introduced to Europeans when Christopher Columbus returned to Spain from a Caribbean voyage in the 1400s. And it did not take long for those early seafaring explorers to discover the benefits of using hammocks on board ships.

Even today it is not unusual to see hammocks hung between the mast and the forestay on recreational sailboats. Most recently the trend in hammocks has been a retreat from hard ropes and a return to the uncompromised comfort of the Caribbean, Mayan, Brazilian, Columbian or Nicaraguan hammocks.

If you have limited space, or just one small shade tree to suspend your new relaxation station, consider a Caribbean hammock chair. These beauties are hand-woven from miles of weather resistant polyester cord that has been soft-spun to provide a softer than cotton feel.

The models at KWHammocks.com even offer a wider 47-inch hardwood spreader bar for more shoulder room. So what are you waiting for? Get swinging!
 

Cheyenne Regional Medical Center (CRMC) Piloting National Alignment Tool

by Vicki Graham, #1 Properties, Vicki@GrahamHouse.com

CRMC piloting national alignment tool
By Mark Wilcox

July 16, 2012 --

CHEYENNE — Cheyenne Regional Medical Center (CRMC) was one of three organizations selected from a national pool to pilot a new tool aimed at improving health care by measuring various metrics as related to patient outcome.

The tool, called the Community Tool to Align Measurement, is basically a spreadsheet prepared by the National Quality Forum (NQF) to see what various outlets find is helpful in measuring health-care performance.

"How are people measuring health care now?" said Diane Stollenwerk, vice president of stakeholder collaboration at NQF in a phone interview. "We add the Good Housekeeping seal of approval, if you will."

But since measurement is difficult and costly to implement, Stollenwerk said she thought NQF would have to encourage people to use the tool. But a lot of different major groups have already started to do so.

"People like smart strategy," Stollenwerk said. "We decided we wanted to go and observe two to three organizations to see what they were interested in doing with it." And then the NQF will be able to learn from the implementation.

"If CRMC finds 'XYZ' issue really important in this process, our bet is other medical centers will find that useful as well," Stollenwerk said. "We want to get this down as practical as possible to make people in the field roll up their sleeves and make measurement happen. The only time health or health care is going to change is when local providers make informed decisions."

So basically, the national organization zeroed in on local needs to figure out what national priorities were, shadowing CRMC as they implement the tool in order to streamline it and make it easier to implement nationally.

"The data we're going to collect is data intended to tell us ... if the health of the patients in those [primary-care] practices is improving by virtue of the relationship-centered [care] that the practices have agreed to develop," said Dr. Phyllis Sherard, executive director for CRMC's Office of Health Improvement.

Ease-of-use testing should last through October, but CRMC plans to continue using the tool after that. For Cheyenne Regional's part in the pilot project, Sherard said they are most interested in collecting data that shows quality and the way care is administered indeed lead to healthier patients, helping health-care costs come down.

"It's very much about self improvement," Sherard said. "And eventually how the state delivers care."

The NQF partnership came up at the perfect time since CRMC had already been in discussions with the legislature about identifying a group of metrics that physicians and clinic managers could use to serve as a basis for communicating the effects of patient/relationship-centered styles of health-care delivery.

"This just popped up," Sherard said.

The measurement could be valuable.

"Measurement drives quality improvement," she said. "We plan to use this tool to provide a report card to tell us whether we are making a meaningful difference in our efforts to transform primary-care delivery in our community. If the test is successful, we will offer it to health-care communities across the state." 

The practices participating in the test include Babson and Associates, Cheyenne Health and Wellness Center and two Cheyenne Regional Physician Group practices: Cheyenne Family Medicine and the Cheyenne Children's Clinic.

"Piloting the tool is value added for our clinic," said Terry Johnson, practice manager at Babson and Associates in Cheyenne. "Using this data will help us continue to make positive changes in the way we provide access and manage our patients' care."

Aging in Place: Tech Advancements

by Vicki Graham, #1 Properties, Vicki@GrahamHouse.com

Aging in Place: Tech Advancements

By John Voket, RISMedia Consumer Confidant


I haven’t touched on aging in place for a couple of months, and was reminded that as time marches on, so do technological advancements for those hoping to age in place. Thanks to Laurie Orlov who blogs at AgeinPlaceTech.com, I was reminded of several new developments.

If necessity is indeed the mother of invention, than Necessity may be the company to turn to for the latest high-tech invention for aging in place. The Florida company is touting its system of sensors linked with an artificial intelligence algorithm that is able to learn the senior’s habits and detect patterns that could indicate a fall or loss of consciousness, and initiate a personal response protocol if necessary.

Designed specifically for seniors who live alone, the Necessity system solves this problem in a non-intrusive yet effective way, according to a company release. The solution includes a series of infrared, pressure and magnetic sensors which are installed in the older person’s home and are connected wirelessly to a central processing unit.

Thanks to a patented artificial intelligence algorithm, the system silently learns the senior’s daily routines and compares their activity with patterns that could indicate a fall or loss of consciousness. Learn more atnecesity.net.

I also like the Mobile HERO 24-7. Mobile HERO 24-7 is an Android Mobile Phone App which converts an Android Phone into a Mobile Personal Emergency Response Device.
If a fall occurs, an automatic fall detection coded alert goes out to 24-7 emergency call center, along with the GPS location of the incident .

If a medical or police emergency happens, the subscriber touches either the medical or police icons and a coded alert also goes out to a 24-7 emergency call center, along with the GPS location of the incident. The call center operator then ascertains the type of emergency that has occurred and contacts the appropriate emergency response, if needed.

Learn more at www.mobilehero24-7.com.

Cheyenne Frontier Days 2012 Concert Schedule

by Vicki Graham, #1 Properties, Vicki@GrahamHouse.com

2012 Cheyenne Frontier Days Concert Schedule

The Rodeo has been kicking up dust since 1897 with the world's largest outdoor rodeo and Western Celebration.  There will be 0days of rip-roarin' excitement is the world's best PRCA rodeo action and Western entertainment.  It's non-stop activity and hospitality at its Western best!

  • July 20: Zac Brown Band
  • July 21: Brad Paisley with The Band Perry
  • July 22: Merle Haggard with Chancey Williams and the Younger Brother Band
  • July 23 & 24: Championship Bull Riding
  • July 25: Reba McEntire with Rodney Atkins and Hunter Hayes
  • July 26: Journey with Loverboy and Pat Benatar
  • July 27: Hank Williams Jr. with Chris Young 
  • July 28: Blake Shelton

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 13

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Photo of Vicki Graham, Broker Associate Real Estate
Vicki Graham, Broker Associate
#1 Properties
6106 Yellowstone Rd.
Cheyenne WY 82009
(307) 631-6884
307-773-8454