It's A Gift

…some thoughts about gifts and giving and about life in general

Why do YOU give gifts?

by admin - November 23rd, 2014


As we head towards Thanksgiving, the majority of people in the US are at least beginning to think of choosing and buying gifts for their families and friends. Some will subject themselves to the insanity of “Black Friday”, which I personally cannot fathom! No sale was ever good enough to tempt me, no matter how tight my budget might be.

Tweaked Apple Pie

by admin - October 10th, 2014

Apple pie with healthier crust.

It certainly isn’t “health food” — it is dessert, after all. It doesn’t hurt though to make it a little more nutritious without losing the taste.

Tweaked Apple Pie
for filling: 8 med. sized apples (Granny Smith, Cortland, or Empire preferred)
2/3 c. sugar (you may substitute the sweetener of your choice, but I don’t know how it will affect the consistency of the filling).
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp. unbleached white flour (you may substitute cornstarch, instant tapioca or tapioca starch)
1 tsp. vanilla extract, if desired
Pare, core, and slice apples. Mix together remaining filling ingredients and pour over apples. Mix gently and set aside while you make the pastry.

A No-salt Dish That Actually Tastes Good

by admin - September 30th, 2014

Because of a medical condition of one of our family members, I have had to further reduce the amount of salt I use in my cooking. A friend who suffers from heart problems described a dish that she makes and I tried it with a few tweaks of my own. All of us found it quite tasty despite the lack of salt. It’s not exactly a recipe, so I apologize to new cooks who might find this hard to follow.

Dusting off the blog

by admin - August 22nd, 2014

As usual, I haven’t posted anything new for quite some time. I started this blog because I was told that it was a “must do” to help drive traffic to my websites ( and ), but it was never something I liked doing.

At first I thought I would only post things that might be of some help to others, like the tips on gel candle making. I do still intend to post some simple instructions for basic jewelry making at some future time. In general though, that type of post is pretty limited in quantity, at least for me.

Happy Father’s Day

by admin - June 14th, 2014

Here’s wishing all you Dads a great Father’s Day. According to the weather forecasts here in the Northeast, it should be a nice, sunny day. I expect many of you have your grills all ready to fire up.

If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to those burgers and hot dogs, why not try some marinated salmon? We tried this recipe: Grilled Marinated Salmon last year and our guests gave it rave reviews.

The Perils of Perishable Inventory

by admin - April 6th, 2013

As I hope you know, I own and run a gift basket business,Greenbriar Gift Baskets. Although I am no stranger to retail — I owned and ran a retail "brick & mortar" hobby shop for over 27 years — the addition of perishable merchandise 8 years ago for the gift basket business brought along its own set of perils.

Once I moved my gift basket business to my home, I found out the hard way that air conditioning alone wasn’t enough to keep my stock in good shape. I will be purchasing a dehumidifier of some sort before the muggy weather starts this year! Even though all of the food items are packaged, I was lucky in that only the crackers and hard candies were affected and had to be thrown out.

Don’t Go TOO Far With Those New Year’s Resolutions!

by admin - February 2nd, 2013

I picked the title mostly due to the time of year, but am really only trying to make the point that too much of a good thing may not be good at all.

There are currently three people living in my house, but the amount of stuff that’s accumulated is about to push at least one of us onto the street. We have all been making an effort to clear out and give away the useable items and trash the rest, but it’s still pretty overwhelming. Even in this instance though, it’s possible to get carried away.

Hello Comment Spammers and ‘Bots

by admin - November 5th, 2012

It’s pretty obvious that many of the above have found a way around the Capcha, but I thought I’d let you know that you might as well not waste your time.

All potential comments are moderated before they are published. I am no longer wasting my time sifting through all the shit to see if there might be one real comment that was labeled “Spam” by mistake. All of the junk that Akismet catches is summarily dumped.

SEO Revisited

by admin - October 20th, 2012

I’ve seen lots of small businesses moaning about Google updates and saying that their online businesses have gone straight into the toilet after the latest one. I have a tip for you all. Have you actually done a search on your keywords to see what comes up?

I listed an accessory item on one of my sites and was amazed at how many orders I received. As it turns out, there really wasn’t a lot of competition for that keyword at the time. I had been to busy over the summer to give it much thought, but realized a couple of weeks ago that the orders had dried up. I did a search and found that, sure enough, my site had dropped from high up on Google’s first page to the second page (which is pretty much the same as the 50th page in terms of people ever seeing it).

Small Business And Free Speech

by admin - September 26th, 2012

Okay, free speech is an important right, but do you really want to exercise it all the way in the course of your daily business operations?

Anyone who belongs to a networking business group knows that it is important to stay away from the “hot button” topics, particularly religion and politics. Without this restriction, the group would never be able to function.