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Friday, April 22, 2016

Fickle Pickles?

YES… they are the bomb! 

Years ago, I stumbled upon this delight when I was given a jar of Fickle Pickles at my job for Christmas.  I was like, sure… okay… whatever… and off I went.  But when I got home and opened them up… it was an experience.  Man, were they good! 

So good, in fact, I asked if I could have another jar.

Hamburger sliced… they are sweet, spicy and oh so crunchy.  They are so good you can just sit there and eat them… I have eaten a half-jar in one sitting… trust me on this one.

Now, they come regular spicy which has some zing to it, and then they come extra spicy which is my favorite. 

Pickles make great gifts!

Having received them for the first time as a gift, I thought I’d carry on the tradition.  I give them away to people as gifts because I want them to enjoy them as much as I did my first time.  But…

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve handed someone a jar of pickles and I get this…What… Huh… followed by the proverbial exclamation… Pickles?

I’ve given Fickle Pickles out to client as gifts and I give them out to anyone I think would enjoy them… including a date.  They are great ice breakers!  Oh, and I love to smile like the Cheshire cat and say… these aren’t any ole’ pickles, they are the best pickles you’ve ever had.  And you can’t get them in any grocery store.

The point is… Be original… give people a gift that makes them say… What… Pickles?  Trust me… They’ll be glad you did!

Besides, you’ll receive a lot of satisfaction once they try them and realize that they truly are something amazing.  And you listen to them rave about them to their friends and co-workers about them. 

Mom & Pop Shop

Everyone loves that “down-home” feel that comes with the personal attention of a mom and pop country store.  Today, so many businesses today lack that personal feel.  But not Fickle Pickles… that’s exactly what you get when you call or visit them. 

Located just outside of San Antonio, Texas, Carousel Antiques & Fickle Pickles was founded in 1987 by Billie A. Shaw in Boerne, Texas. The Antiques soon became a backdrop to Mrs. Shaw’s Fickle Pickles®. Locals and day-trippers from the surrounding Texas Hill Country lovingly dubbed Mrs. Shaw “The Pickle Lady”.

While mom has since passed on in 2008, the quality, care and tradition of creating these delectable delights has been carried on by her daughter, Lisa, who now runs the store.  And Lisa is a great!  I think she still takes phone orders… Now, that’s service! 

But like days gone by… Fickle Pickles still has that same good, old-fashioned mom and pop country feel to it that you love.  From the people to the pickles…Fickle Pickles is a Texas tradition.

Today, Fickle Pickles has three locations with the original store still located in Boerne, Texas. 

So, if you are ever in or around San Antonio, Texas on vacation or just visiting, stop by and see them.  And enjoy a little taste of Texas, too!  But even if you’re not in the neighborhood, you can still order your jar Fickle Pickles, today!  Just ask for Lisa…

Either way… enjoy some homemade pickles… Made in America!


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

How to get PAID to lose weight!

By Jon R. Johnson

For years, I’ve battled my weight, but staring diabetes in the face at 46 years old, I was scared and angry, and I knew something had to change.  It was time to get serious.  Additionally, my cholesterol was high.  I was 5’8” and weighed 251lbs – I wasn’t big boned or stout… I was fat.  You could just have called me… the marsh mellow man!

My glucose level was 129 (normal is 70-99 mg/dl.), and my three month A1C score was 6.5 (Pre-diabetic is 5.7 – 6.4).  I knew I had to do something… quick!  I had to cut carbs. 

So, the first thing I did was to stop drinking beer and soda for 2 months.

Don’t Pay… Get Paid

How do you get paid to work-out?  The Answer: officiate a sport you love!

You know, people pay out the nose to workout.  I mean… today… it has a fancy name… Cross-Fit.  But back in my day… we just called it… Cross Training.  We played basketball, biked, worked-out with weights (We didn’t do yoga as it wasn’t as hip back then).

Besides, I was tired of paying the YMCA for years for a gym membership that I seldom used and that wasn’t doing me any good.  And when my dues went up $50.00 a month… I was like… you know, I’ve had it!  So, I cancelled my membership.

I thought it would be so much better to get PAID to sweat and have fun, too.  I mean… I don’t do it for the money, but it is nice to have.  I call it… chump change!

I had played basketball, and absolutely loved the game, but I was no longer in it, and I wanted to be.  So, I went back to my first love.   And I attended Westside Referee Clinic (a local basketball clinic held for officials) in my local area. 

It did cost me a nominal $120.00 dollars to go to a four (4) night basketball camp in the evenings after work, but in return they gave me the opportunity to earn my money back and then some by working basketball games for them on the weekends.  And, they paid me in cash to boot! 

Besides, officials are a brotherhood.  We get to know each other when we “Call” with one another and learn each other’s styles.  We support each other and help one another become better at our craft.  We talk about situations we encounter and how we could handle the situation better next time.  Many of us become friends over time, and we also develop relationships with many of the coaches, too. 

Nowadays, I’m one of the more of a senior official helping the younger officials learn the craft.  And I now see what others were teaching me… back in the day. 

No minimum wage job!

You say… Well, how much can I make?  Good question!  In basketball, you can make anywhere from $35.00 to $75.00 per game, and I like to run two (2) games, so I get in a couple of hours of cardio and I make anywhere from $70 to $90 dollars that night while running approximately 4 miles. 

I also officiate in Varsity tournament games and those pay $55.00 dollars plus $15.00 for mileage, so if I do two in a night I make $125.00 dollars.  Not bad for a part-time gig, and it beats working retail for $8.00/hr. 

But if you want to know what the really good news is… it’s that basketball is the lowest paying sport out there, so if you like to do baseball, football, volleyball, soccer or la cross, you can make even more money. 

La cross pays upwards of $100.00 per game, and they need officials badly!  Soccer is also in desperate need, and they pay well - in the neighborhood of $70/game I have heard.  The good thing about soccer is that it’s played year around, so you can make good money year round, if you want to, and run for fun!

So, maybe you are like me… you played sports when you were younger, but you are “No longer in the game.”  Well, you can be!  You’re never too old to find your fire, again… and better yet… you get paid to do it!  And you might even have fun and make a few friends, too.

Couch Potato… No Mas!

Whatever your sport, I encourage you to move… 

I hate to jog.   I mean… I might think about jogging.  But run a mile… yeah, right!  But when you put me on the court, and I’ll run up and down the floor. 

So… don’t pay to workout.  Officiate… and get PAID!

It’ll improve your health, help you lose weight and fatten your wallet all at the same time.

So, get moving!  And maybe… I’ll see you on the court!

About the Author,
Jon is a copywriter, a basketball official, a former teacher and a former professional couch potato who loves to teach people how to save and ($) make money and be fit, too.  He believes that sometimes we all just needs a push.