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Mom’s Scalloped Au Gratin Potatoes 🤤

Here’s another of Mom’s great recipes.

Scalloped Au Gratin Potatoes from Gwen Bellomo

Ingredients:

  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 C. milk
  • 4 C. thin sliced potatoes
  • 1/2 C. (I use more) onions
  • 1 C. shredded sharp cheese (orange colored)
  • 1 Tbsp. of butter
  • Pepper
  • Paprika

Blend soup, milk, and pepper. In buttered 1½ quart casserole, arrange alternate layers of potatoes, onions, soup mixture, and cheese. Dot top with butter, sprinkle with paprika. Cover, bake at 375º for 1 hour. Uncover, bake 15 more minutes, or until done.

If you make them, let us know what you think!

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Whose Opinion Matters Most?

How many of us know that person who doesn’t seem to have a clue what they’re even talking about, yet continues to open their mouth…

Obnoxious, right?!

Everybody seems to have an opinion, but whose opinion really matters when you’re the one who has to make a decision?

Sometimes it’s nice to hear that someone else is on the same page as us. It helps us to feel like everything’s okay and can confirm our own beliefs when we’re on the fence. But what are we supposed to think when people’s opinions make us feel conflicted?

Well, what advice would you give a friend in your situation? Answering that can often get you grounded back to what you really think is right. So, don’t doubt yourself if people have different views than you. They always will. In the end, just trust your gut. It knows you best.

Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life. “

People’s opinions are reflections of themselves – and because of that, your own opinion is probably best for you, and other people’s opinions are probably best for just them. You don’t need anyone’s permission to feel what you feel or to think what you think. You are entitled to your opinions just as much as anyone else is entitled to theirs.

What do you do when you totally don’t agree with someone’s advice?

Sometimes people who try to help us just miss the mark. However, whether you choose to take the advice or not, it may help you to just listen first, process next, and act last. You don’t have to follow through with what someone else says, but there IS an advantage to gaining new perspectives in life. We’re all different in our own ways, and the diversity makes the world go round.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” Steve Jobs.

Listen to others. Value everyone’s advice, but follow your instincts – they are rarely wrong.

Parts of this article first appeared in HappierDaily.com.

Workshop registration information: https://bellomoassociates.com/workshops/

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What Those Symbols on the Dollar Bill Actually Mean

You probably see the dollar bill every day, but do you know the meaning behind the dollar bill’s design?

The pyramid on the dollar bill represents strength and duration. Some interpret the missing top as a sign that the country wasn’t finished yet. Similarly, the western face of the pyramid is in a shadow while the front is lighted, which some say indicates that the nation hadn’t explored the West or figured out what it would do for Western civilization yet.

When Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams gathered to design the seal (they were the first of three committees to make suggestions), they didn’t suggest a pyramid, but they did discuss an eye. They wanted the seal to have a symbol of divine providence, and the all-seeing eye shaped like the top of the pyramid is an ancient symbol of divinity.

Across the bottom bricks of the pyramid are the letters “MDCCLXXVI.” These letters aren’t random gibberish – they’re the Roman numerals for 1776, the year America declared its independence.

In front of the eagle – a uniquely American bird – is a shield, which is unsupported, to signify Americans should rely on their own virtue. The horizontal top bar of the shield symbolizes the federal government, and it holds together yet is supported by vertical bars that represent individual states (13 at the time it was designed).

It’s no surprise that the stars over the eagle represent the 13 colonies. But what’s surrounding them? The official description says it’s glory “breaking through a cloud” above the eagle, but current versions have a cloud surrounding the rays.

The eagle on the back of the dollar bill holds an olive branch (representing peace) in its right talon and arrows (symbolizing war) in its left talon. But on silver coins from 1801 to 1807, the eagle held them in opposite talons. European diplomats and journalists claimed putting the arrows in the eagle’s dominant talon was a symbol of aggression, and called it a reason to start a war, so America decided to switch the peaceful symbol to the dominant side on the dollar.

Unsurprisingly, the number 13 – the original number of American states – appears on the dollar bill. But you might be surprised by how many times the number shows up. There are 13 arrows, 13 olive branch leaves, 13 olive fruits, 13 stars above the eagle, 13 steps of the pyramid, and 13 bars on the shield. Plus, although this is probably a coincidence, “Annuit Coeptis” and “E Pluribus Unum” both have 13 letters.

The balancing scales on the Department of Treasury seal don’t represent a balanced budget (that’s handled by Congress), but are actually a symbol of justice. Under the scales are 13 stars, one for each of the original colonies. The key on the bottom signifies official authority.

Latin phrases appear a few times on the dollar bill. Above the pyramid reads “Annuit Coeptis”, which means “God has favored our undertaking”. Under the pyramid is the phrase “Novus Ordo Seclorum”, which is interpreted as “a new order of the ages.” On the banner the eagle holds is “E Pluribus Unum”, which also appears on almost all U.S. coins, which means “Out of many, one.”

On the front of the dollar bill, a one- or two-digit number appears four times. This number refers to the Federal Reserve Bank that printed the bill. A “1,” for instance, would mean it was made in Boston, while “2” refers to New York.

By the top left of the “1”s on the front of the bill, you’ll see a letter (A to H) and number (1 to 4). The combination refers to the position the note laid on the plate when it was printed. For example, A1 is the top left position, and H4 is the bottom right.

So there you have it. The next time you reach for a dollar bill, you may want to study it before you buy that coffee (assuming a dollar can buy a coffee any more).

Sources: philadelphiafed.org, kids.niehs.nih.gov, snopes.com, onedollarbill.org, greatseal.com

By Marissa Laliberte in rd.com (with modifications)

We host regular workshops on estate planning and elder law.  If you’re interested in getting your estate planning taken care of and protecting your well earned dollars, just click here to pick the day and time that work best.

Jeff Bellomo, Esq.