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Business Spotlight: Jim’s Diamond Shop 1. This month we are here with Jim Bridwell of Jim’s Diamond Shop, Jim How long have you lived in Borger? Well, I have lived in Borger since 2003, I moved here from Pampa. 2. When did you open for business? I opened Jim’s Diamond Shop in October of 1994 3. What are some of your best sellers? Pandora Jewelry, Oved Diamonds, Seiko- Pulsar watches and our biggest sales are in wedding rings. We have one of the best selections in the area. 4. What are the advantages to buying from you and not going to Amarillo? Being in the IJO master jewelry organizations has opened many doors for my store, we offer alot of the same products and brand names, that the big stores in Amarillo carry, at a lower cost, because the over head (rent, utilities, advertizing) in the larger town is more than in a small town, and you know your tax dollars stay local. Also, if you support local business then they can support your kids in school functions and organizations. 5. What are all the different services that you offer? We offer in-store jewelry repairs and we also offer a watch repair service. I feel that my staff, Gloria, Terri and Lida, do a great job of customer service. I offer over 28 years experience in the jewelry business since 1981. 6. What are some of the goals for the future? I would like to grow with the needs of my customers and always be able to take care of all their jewelry needs. If by some chance, we don’t have what you’re looking for, we can always order it.

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And Spring is here! I am ready for the warm up too. Over Spring Break, we were among the many that enjoyed the warm weather and beautiful days. We went to Huber Park, along with every other parent and child, drove out to the lake, enjoyed some ice cream sundaes, and played in the yard. We were also able to do some painting, and building while enjoying some time off. Just a reminder, HutchCo Living can now be viewed by

visiting So, if you have family or friends that live away from home, send them to the web and they can read along just as if they were here.

Also, keep the letters and story ideas coming, we want to hear from you. P.O. box 3382 borger 79008 3

The Easter Miracle Before The Court When it was morning, the religious leaders of the people and the high priests and scholars all got together and brought him before their High Council. They said, “Are you the Messiah?” He answered, “If I said yes, you wouldn’t believe me. If I asked what you meant by your question, you wouldn’t answer me. So here’s what I have to say: From here on the Son of Man takes his place at God’s right hand, the place of power.” They all said, “So you admit your claim to be the Son of God?” “You’re the ones who keep saying it,” he said. But they had made up their minds, “Why do we need any more evidence? We’ve all heard him as good as say it himself.” Then they all took Jesus to Pilate and began to bring up charges against him. They said, “We found this man undermining our law and order, forbidding taxes to be paid to Caesar, setting himself up as Messiah-King.” Pilate asked him, “Is this true that you’re ‘King of the Jews’?” “Those are your words, not mine,” Jesus replied. Pilate told the high priests and the accompanying crowd, “I find nothing wrong here. He seems harmless enough to me.” But they were vehement. “He’s stirring up unrest among the people with his teaching, disturbing the peace everywhere, starting in Galilee and now all through Judea. He’s a dangerous man, endangering the peace.” When Pilate heard that, he asked, “So, he’s a Galilean?” Realizing that he properly came under Herod’s jurisdiction, he passed the buck to Herod, who just happened to be in Jerusalem for a few days. Herod was delighted when Jesus showed up. He had wanted for a long time to see him, he’d heard so much about him. He hoped to see him do something spectacular. He peppered him with questions. Jesus didn’t answer—not one word. But the high priests and religion scholars were right there, saying their piece, strident and shrill in their accusations. Mightily offended, Herod turned on Jesus. His soldiers joined in, taunting and jeering. Then they dressed him up in an elaborate king costume and sent him back to Pilate. That day Herod and Pilate became thick as thieves. Always before they had kept their distance. Then Pilate called in the high priests, rulers, and the others and said, “You brought this man to me as a disturber of the peace. I examined him in front of all of you and found there was nothing to your charge. And neither did Herod, for he has sent him back here with a clean bill of health. It’s clear that he’s done nothing wrong, let alone anything deserving death. I’m going to warn him to watch his step and let him go.” At that, the crowd went wild: “Kill him! Give us Barabbas!” (Barabbas had been thrown in prison for starting a riot in the city and for murder.) Pilate still wanted to let Jesus go, and so spoke out again. But they kept shouting back, “Crucify! Crucify him!” He tried a third time. “But for what crime? I’ve found nothing in him deserving death. I’m going to warn him to watch his step and let him go.” But they kept at it, a shouting mob, demanding that he be crucified. And finally they shouted him down. Pilate caved in and gave them what they wanted. He released the man thrown in prison for rioting and murder, and gave them Jesus to do whatever they wanted. Skull Hill As they led him off, they made Simon, a man from Cyrene who happened to be coming in from the countryside, carry the cross behind Jesus. A huge crowd of people followed, along with women weeping and carrying on. At one point Jesus turned to the women and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, don’t cry for me. Cry for yourselves and for your children. The time is coming when they’ll say, ‘Lucky the women who never conceived! Lucky the wombs that never gave birth! Lucky the breasts that never gave milk!’ Then they’ll start calling to the mountains, ‘Fall down on us!’ calling to the hills, ‘Cover us up!’ If people do these things to a live, green tree, can you imagine what they’ll do with deadwood?” Two others, both criminals, were taken along with him for executionWhen they got to the place called Skull Hill, they crucified him, along with the criminals, one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them; they don’t know what they’re doing.” Dividing up his clothes, they threw dice for them. The people stood there staring at Jesus, and the ringleaders made faces, taunting, “He saved others. Let’s see him save himself! The Messiah of God—ha! The Chosen—ha!” The soldiers also came up and poked fun at him, making a game of it.

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They toasted him with sour wine: “So you’re King of the Jews! Save yourself!” Printed over him was a sign: this is the king of the jews. One of the criminals hanging alongside cursed him: “Some Messiah you are! Save yourself! Save us!” But the other one made him shut up: “Have you no fear of God? You’re getting the same as him. We deserve this, but not him—he did nothing to deserve this.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you enter your kingdom.” He said, “Don’t worry, I will. Today you will join me in paradise.” By now it was noon. The whole earth became dark, the darkness lasting three hours—a total blackout. The Temple curtain split right down the middle. Jesus called loudly, “Father, I place my life in your hands!” Then he breathed his last. When the captain there saw what happened, he honored God: “This man was innocent! A good man, and innocent!” All who had come around as spectators to watch the show, when they saw what actually happened, were overcome with grief and headed home. Those who knew Jesus well, along with the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a respectful distance and kept vigil. There was a man by the name of Joseph, a member of the Jewish High Council, a man of good heart and good character. He had not gone along with the plans and actions of the council. His hometown was the Jewish village of Arimathea. He lived in alert expectation of the kingdom of God. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Taking him down, he wrapped him in a linen shroud and placed him in a tomb chiseled into the rock, a tomb never yet used. It was the day before Sabbath, the Sabbath just about to begin. The women who had been companions of Jesus from Galilee followed along. They saw the tomb where Jesus’ body was placed. Then they went back to prepare burial spices and perfumes. They rested quietly on the Sabbath, as commanded. At the crack of dawn on Sunday, the women came to the tomb carrying the burial spices they had prepared. They found the entrance stone rolled back from the tomb, so they walked in. But once inside, they couldn’t find the body of the Master Jesus. They were puzzled, wondering what to make of this. Then, out of nowhere it seemed, two men, light cascading over them, stood there. The women were awestruck and bowed down in worship. The men said, “Why are you looking for the Living One in a cemetery? He is not

here, but raised up. Remember how he told you when you were still back in Galilee that he had to be handed over to sinners, be killed on a cross, and in three days rise up?” Then they remembered Jesus’ words. They left the tomb and broke the news of all this to the Eleven and the rest. Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them kept telling these things to the apostles, but the apostles didn’t believe a word of it, thought they were making it all up. But Peter jumped to his feet and ran to the tomb. He stooped to look in and saw a few grave clothes, that’s all. He walked away puzzled, shaking his head. The Road to Emmaus That same day two of them were walking to the village Emmaus, about seven miles out of Jerusalem. They were deep in conversation, going over all these things that had happened. In the middle of their talk and questions, Jesus came up and walked along with them. But they were not able to recognize who he was. He asked, “What’s this you’re discussing so intently as you walk along?” They just stood there, long-faced, like they had lost their best friend. Then one of them, his name was Cleopas, said, “Are you the only one in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard what’s happened during the last few days?” He said, “What has happened?” They said, “The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene. He was a man of God, a prophet, dynamic in work and word, blessed by both God and all the people. Then our high priests and leaders betrayed him, got him sentenced to death, and crucified him. And we had our hopes up that he was the One, the One about to deliver Israel. And it is now the third day since it happened. But now some of our women have completely confused us. Early this morning they were at the tomb and couldn’t find his body. They came back with the story that they had seen a vision of angels who said he was alive. Some of our friends went off to the tomb to check and found it empty just as the women said, but they didn’t see Jesus.” Then he said to them, “So thick-headed! So slow-hearted! Why can’t you simply believe all that the prophets said? Don’t you see that these things had to happen, that the Messiah had to suffer and only then enter into his glory?” Then he started at the beginning, with the Books of Moses, and went on through all the Prophets, pointing out every-

thing in the Scriptures that referred to him. They came to the edge of the village where they were headed. He acted as if he were going on but they pressed him: “Stay and have supper with us. It’s nearly evening; the day is done.” So he went in with them. And here is what happened: He sat down at the table with them. Taking the bread, he blessed and broke and gave it to them. At that moment, open-eyed, wide-eyed, they recognized him. And then he disappeared. Back and forth they talked. “Didn’t we feel on fire as he conversed with us on the road, as he opened up the Scriptures for us?” A Ghost Doesn’t Have Muscle and Bone Then he said, “Everything I told you while I was with you comes to this: “You can see now how it is written that the Messiah suffers, rises from the dead on the third day, and then a total life-change through the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed in his name to all nations—starting from here, from Jerusalem! You’re the first to hear and see it. You’re the witnesses. What comes next is very important: I am sending what my Father promised to you, so stay here in the city until he arrives, until you’re equipped with power from on high.” He then led them out of the city over to Bethany. Raising his hands he blessed them, and while blessing them, took his leave, being carried up to heaven.And they were on their knees, worshiping him. They returned to Jerusalem bursting with joy. They spent all their time in the Temple praising God. If you have any questions or would like prayer, please call your local church.

The Message 5

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Planting a Garden


he economy is tanking, grocery bills are climbing and food safety scares are on the rise. For the 43 million Americans planning a vegetable garden this spring, growing your own is a matter of dollars and sense. Food gardening will jump 19 percent this year over last year, according to a new survey by the National Gardening Association (NGA). Homeowners with shrinking household budgets are looking for help in their own backyards. Can planting a veggie patch really save you money? Government agencies and gardening organizations say yes. Every $100 spent on vegetable gardening yields $1,000 to $1,700 worth of produce, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates. That’s a serious hedge against skyrocketing food prices, expected to jump another 5 percent this year. You’ll get a half-pound of edibles from every square foot of ground devoted to backyard crops, NGA experts say. Even a modest garden (15 by 15 feet) can produce more than 100 pounds of garden-fresh tomatoes, salad greens, vegetables and herbs. Better flavor and bragging rights come with the harvest. Planting a vegetable plot and keeping it productive isn’t that hard if you start small, keep the basics in mind and plant reliable varieties. Take it step by step: Lead with Location -- A sunny, well-drained spot close to a water spigot is ideal. Leafy greens tolerate some shade, but other crops want eight hours of sun daily. Suitable Soil -- Adding organic material is the key to an easy-care garden. It loosens stiff soil, helps retain moisture and nourishes important soil organisms. Good “ingredients” include manure, humus and chopped-up leaves. Spread a 4-inch layer of amendments on your plot and till into the top 9 to 12 inches.

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Fertilize Faithfully -- All edible plants remove some nutrients from the soil, and can quickly exhaust the soil without the help of a fertilizer. Always follow the rates given on the label when deciding how much to use. Water Wisely -- One inch of water weekly is adequate for most vegetables. Soaker hoses or drip systems deliver water efficiently and keep foliage dry, fending off leaf diseases. Patrol for Pests -- Monitor insect damage but try to keep your crops pesticide-free. Hand-pick pests or dislodge them with a jet of water, then let natural predators do the rest. If you must spray, do it late in the day when beneficial insects are less active. Pick the Right Plants -- Flower gardeners gravitate to the newest, showiest varieties, but smart food gardeners appreciate the tried-and-true. Bonnie Plants, available coast to coast, are time-tested varieties selected to suit regional conditions. For best results you’ll need to choose veggie and herb varieties suitable to your geographical location. Because Bonnie’s varieties are distributed regionally, you will automatically have suitable varieties available to you at retail locations in your area. Look for Bonnie Plants in eco-friendly biodegradable pots that not only keep tons of plastic pots from ending up in landfills, but also reduce transplant shock. Just tear off the bottom, set the pot in the ground and water. If you’re ready to try your hand at creating your own backyard grocery garden, here are 10 easy crops to plant: Basil -- Perfect with tomatoes. Choose sweet basil or the compact ”Spicy Globe.” Beans -- Bush beans like “Bush Blue Lake’”are easier to pick, but tall “pole” beans have higher yields. Bell peppers -- Harvest green or red, when vitamin levels are higher. Try “Bonnie Bell” or the new, hot bell pepper “Mexibell.” Chard -- This leafy green tolerates cool temperatures well. Varieties like “Bright Lights” have brilliantly colored stems. Cucumber -- Plant after the weather warms. Choose the mild Japanese cucumber or the old favorite “Burpless Bush Hybrid.” Eggplant -- A much-loved favorite, eggplant thrives in hot weather. Try “Black Beauty” or the white-skinned “Cloud Nine.” Lettuce -- Go for easy “leaf” lettuces like “Buttercrunch,” “Red Sails,” or Romaine. Parsley -- Pick curly types or flat Italian parsley. This herb is rich in vitamins and a breath-sweetener, too. Summer squash -- Squash are very productive plants and easy to grow. Try zucchini “Black Beauty” or yellow crook-necked squash. Tomatoes -- These crimson favorites are the most popular backyard vegetable. Choose disease-resistant “Better Boy,” “Bonnie Original” or the extra-easy cherry tomato “Sweet 100.” 7

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Summer Driving


arm weather, sunshine and lower gas prices may get more motorists on the road this summer. If you’ll be among them, now is a good time to prepare your vehicle -- and especially its tires -- for summer road trips. When was the last time you checked the air pressure in your tires? Most people have never checked it, says Larry Wolf, an automotive technology program instructor at WyoTech in Fremont, Calif. He explains that most drivers are not aware of how often they need to check their tires. “The need for regular oil changes and annual tune-ups is pretty common knowledge. But consumer knowledge about tire safety unfortunately remains low,” Wolf says. The Rubber Manufacturers Association found that 29 million drivers believe that tires require no regular maintenance. Wolf stresses that drivers should check their tire pressure regularly, approximately once a month. “Driving around on under-inflated tires or worn tires can have serious consequences on your ability to control your car, especially in bad weather,” he says. Unfortunately, the RMA also found that only 11 percent of drivers correctly check their tire pressure once a month. “Essentially, under-inflated tires concentrate the weight of the car on the tread under the sidewalls, instead of evenly distributing the car’s weight throughout the tire,” says Wolf. “What that means is that the sidewall is continuously being squished, and becomes very hot, posing additional risks to the car and driver. Eventually, a tire that is significantly under-inflated can blow out from the stress and heat that builds up”. Currently, a tire under-inflated by 30 percent is the government’s minimum safety standard. If a tire is under-inflated by more than that percentage, it’s considered unsafe to drive. Over-inflation can be similarly dangerous, according to Steven Fernandez, an automotive technology program instructor at WyoTech. Fernandez cautions that over-inflated tires prevent the car from maximizing tread contact with the road. He suggests that in addition to a monthly check on tire pressure, you also give your tires a monthly “glance over” to look for other telltale signs of damage. Drivers should look for uneven wear patterns and examine tire sidewalls for cuts or bulging. “Uneven wear patterns could mean you are having alignment problems and may need to realign your steering wheel or replace suspension parts,” Fernandez says. “Bulging or cuts in sidewalls are also potentially dangerous, as they could lead to a tire blowout.” You should check the tread depth of your tires each month. “There are a number of easy ways to check tire tread, including inexpensive gauges or even just a ruler,” says Fernandez. The legal limit is set at 2/32 inches, but automobile experts universally agree that driving around on anything less than 3/32 inches is unsafe, especially in rainy conditions. Aquaplaning, or hydroplaning as it is also called, is many drivers’ worst nightmare and it is a big concern during summer travel months. It happens when a car’s tires lose contact with the road due to pockets of water. Fernandez explains that the chance of hydroplaning is much more likely when tire tread is low. “Tire treads are grooves in the tire that help to disperse water and increase traction on the road. When they wear down, they aren’t able to redirect water nearly as effectively.” Too often, when drivers find themselves at the mercy of slippery weather conditions, it’s because their tires are not up to par. Summer often means long road trips -- with the whole family, pets and lots of gear loaded into the vehicle. Drivers should always check their tire pressure before long trips with fully loaded vehicles. “A little tire maintenance now can help ensure a safe vacation down the road,” says Wolf 9

Been Here?

Dejah Quinn


pring has sprung and we are so delighted! Our days are graced with a little more daylight, a warmer disposition, and fresh air! The birds are beginning to sing and the bees are starting to buzz. And while we know you are hankering to get your spring cleaning on…go on and fight that urge and visit the park instead! More specifically…Huber Park in Borger…been here? Okay…I’m not exactly telling you to forgo the spring cleaning all together…. the Martha (as in Stewart) inside me would never tell you that. But I do suggest, perhaps, doing the bigger part of it in the evening once the sun has diffused. Because did you know that scientific studies have proven that sunlight is essential to our bodies…and even has the ability to protect us against a number of internal cancers? It’s true! According to the October 2007 issue of Science Daily our bodies need vitamin D and while the food we eat does provide some, up to 90% comes from sun exposure . Research shows that Vitamin D production in the skin actually decreases the risk of several cancers. * You see, a walk in the park is just what the doctor ordered….oh wait…that’s an apple a day….Oh shoot! I’m so confused now…but you get the point…Get out to the Huber Park…that’s my point here folks! I know that it’s easier said than done Our schedules these days are jammed full of daily activities but let me share this with you, experts recommend a minimum of 1,000 units of vitamin D per day which can easily be met by spending just ten minutes out in the sun with only your face and arms exposed.* I know you can probably spare ten minutes when your health is involved and let me tell you, as the mother of two small children who have no concept of time yet, 10 minutes spent at the park playground burning off loads of stored energy is definitely GOOD for my mental health!! So let me tell you about all the awesome features that Huber Park has to offer. Been Here?? Huber Park has loads of playground equipment including a special “toddler sized” area for the younger ones with smaller slides and specialty swings that are designed to be safer for all the pint sized children. The playground areas are surrounded by beach- like sand which is an activity within itself. We always try and remember to take along our beach pails, shovels and other tools and toys for building sand castles, moats, and for sometimes just covering each other neck deep. The park also has caged basketball courts and several large field-like areas of gorgeous grass for playing frisbee, flying kites, playing tag football, or having soccer practice. Walking trails surround the entire park and are perfect for strolling, jogging, or taking the dog for a walk. The walking trails accommodate bicycles and strollers as well, so load up the little one’s bike and bring them to the park to ride. Dust off that jogging stroller and bring the tots along for your daily run. Huber Park Bird Sanctuary is located at the south end of Huber Park and many birds call this sanctuary home. From it’s pond area to the massive cages it is definitely a wonderful place to get a little bird-watching in. I am told that the bird species changes almost weekly so check back often and be sure to bring along those biscuits left over from breakfast. You’ll likely make a few new feathered friends. On the North end of Huber Park you’ll see the beautiful wooden bridge. Been Here?? While it’s a fairly new structure to the park, it is so aesthetic it looks as though it has always belonged there.. Just next to the bridge is the colorful and vibrant spray park. This area usually opens towards the end of May when the weather turns really hot. Refreshing water sprays shoot up and around offering an invigorating cool down. This area is an extremely popular part of the park in the summer months. The Veteran’s Memorial is also a wonderful addition to the Huber Park and always provides a moving experience when setting under the waving flags and reading the names of local veterans who served our country. So don’t forget to take time to visit this. Another popular feature to the Huber Park is the giant Gazebo. The gazebo is central to the park and offers a covered area full of picnic tables. It is perfect for company events, birthday parties, church picnics, and even family reunions. There are even RV hook-ups available for up to 3 days on the farthest North edge of the park. The Gazebo is available by Reservation by contacting the City of Borger-- Public Works --Parks division. They are located at 801 N. Florida, in Borger. The phone number is (806)273.0975. The Huber park has so many avenues of fun, so….have a feast! Go picnicking! Simply pack up some home-made sandwiches and a few side-dishes and head for the park! You can bask in the sunlight (and get your supply of vitamin D) while your little ones enjoy the playground activities. This little escapade can even be done during your lunch hour, if your days are full. A few tips: - Don’t forget to bring along the sunscreen (you will still absorb all the vitamin D you need with it…no need to burn). - Consider toting along a small first aid kit- Sometimes scrapes and cuts accompany hard play! OH! And…you’ll be glad to know that the park has wheelchair accessibility.

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** Vitamin D research info taken from Feb-Mach issue of Mary Jane’s farm PUBLICATION 11

Easter Egg Hunt


Gray Rollins

you want to have a ball this year then consider throwing an Easter egg hunt. There is no better way to get the whole family together and enjoying the holidays like they should. This type of fun will ensure that all of the kids will have more fun than they have ever had before. If you want to plan the best possible Easter egg hunt you should consider getting everyone that you know involved. Talk to your family members, especially the ones who have kids, along with all of your friends. Try to arrange it so that you can all get your kids to participate in the Easter egg hunt. This will make it a thousand times more fun. For generations children have been playing and having fun in Easter egg hunts and there is no reason why your family cannot do the same thing. This is one of the finest of all family Easter traditions. Your Easter egg hunt can have real eggs or candy eggs; it does not matter.

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Many people choose to spend the night before Easter dying and decorating all kind of Easter eggs with the kids. This makes for a wonderful holiday craft that everyone can enjoy. These eggs can them be placed all around the yard or park, depending on where you choose to have the Easter egg hunt. What we do in my family is hide real eggs outside for the kids to hunt for and at the end of the Easter egg hunt these eggs get traded for candy. This way no candy gets dirty or wasted and if some eggs get left behind it is not a big deal. The best part though is coloring the eggs together the night before. This is a fantastic together time that you just would not have if you used candy eggs for the Easter egg hunt. After the Easter egg hunt you can arrange for a wonderful brunch for all of the participants - kids and adults alike. Everyone can then discuss what a great time they had during the hunt and how to make it even better the next year. Easter egg hunts are something that everyone can enjoy and no one will ever regret having. It is a fun and easy idea that will be remembered for years. Just remember to take your camera!

will need to combine your budgets as well. Be prudent with your spending. Write down everything each of you spends per month and cut back on non-essentials. Take into account housing, food, utilities and transportation, as well as student loans, credit card balances, car payments, taxes and if applicable, alimony and child support. For further tips on creating a sustainable budget read “Become Your Own Financial Advisor: Tips on Planning a Budget and Sticking to It” at 2) Begin an Emergency Fund An emergency fund helps ensure that you and your partner are secure should something happen, such as a job loss or serious health issue. You should agree on how much you want to save for a “rainy day.” It’s a smart idea to save between 5 and 10 percent of your salary in a joint savings account. To avoid the temptation to spend your savings, consider having the money automatically transferred from your checking accounts. Aim to save 3 to 6 months of living expenses. 3) Purchase Life Insurance According to a study conducted by LIMRA International 48 million Americans either, don’t own life insurance and believe they should, or own life insurance and believe they need more. Purchasing life insurance will give you the peace of mind of knowing your loved ones will have money to help maintain their standard of living should anything happen to you. To access a variety of financial information and tools, as well as to learn more about life insurance and get a free quote, speak with the experts at SBLI USA. 4) Create a Plan for the Future Take the time to create a written financial plan with clear goals. The plan should include specific and realistic steps to achieve your dreams, including buying a home, starting a family, taking vacations and retirement. Decide what additional investments you’d like to make apart from your regular savings such as maximizing your 401(k) or IRA contributions. Using financial planning software, such as Quicken, can help with keeping track of your expenses and investments. Decide what your tax filing status will be for the year. Make sure you consider the difference between married filing separate versus joint filing, based upon your particular circumstances. Consult your tax advisor if you are unsure. 5) Pay Down Debt Credit card debt is the number one obstacle to a secure financial future, and knowing both of your credit scores is essential. You’re allowed one free credit check annually with each of the major credit bureaus: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. Order reports and go through and correct any inaccuracies. This will help you both get a loan at a lower rate when it comes time to borrow money for a house, car or other major purchase. Getting married is an opportunity to get a fresh start on your financial well being. These types of wealth-building efforts are extremely beneficial, and create a solid foundation to a long, happy marriage.

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lanning for a wedding can be tough, especially when money is tight. But as you make your way through the mile-long checklist of things for the big day, have you thought about life after the wedding? Whether this is your first or second wedding, your dream wedding or a spontaneous ceremony, the financial implications of sharing a lifetime with another person last long after the “I do’s.” To ensure happiness and financial security in any economy, you should be thinking about your financial future today. And, the good news is that taking the necessary steps to a sound financial future is not as complicated as you might think. Here are some things to discuss as a couple, as suggested by financial experts at SBLI USA Mutual Life Insurance Company, Inc: 1) Come up with a Budget You may have your own budget, but now you are planning income and expenses for two. If you combine your income and expenses, you

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Believe it or not, these ads actually found their way into print all over the world: 1. Braille dictionary for sale. Must see to appreciate. 2. FOR SALE BY OWNER: Complete set of Encyclopedia Britannica. 45 volumes. Excellent condition. $1,000.00 or best offer. No longer needed. Got married last weekend. Wife knows everything. 3. Help wanted, singer for rock band. Must be female or male. 4. For sale, Hope Chest, brand new, half off, long story. 5. Help wanted, adult or mature teenager to baby-sit. One dollar an hour. 6. Nordic Track $300 hardly used, call Chubby. 7. Joining nudist colony! Must sell washer and dryer $300. 8. Open house body shapers toning salon free coffee and donuts 9. Found: dirty white dog. Looks like a rat... been out while. Better be reward. 10. Free puppies: ½ cocker spaniel, ½ sneaky neighbor’s dog. 11. Free puppies: part German Shepherd, part stupid dog. 12. Snow Blower for sale…only used on snowy days. 13. Bill’s Septic Cleaning: “We Haul American-Made Products.” 14. Tickle-Me-Elmo, still in box, comes with its own 1988 Ford Mustang, 5L, Auto, Excellent condition $6800 15

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