Veterans Land Board Increases Loan Amounts

PRESS RELEASE: VLB now offering $417,000 for home purchases, $100,000 for land

Benefits for Texas veterans continue to grow with unanimous vote by board

VLB now offering $417,000 for home purchases, $100,000 for land

Benefits for Texas veterans continue to grow with unanimous vote by board

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 26, 2012 AUSTIN – Texas veterans can now take advantage of the VLB’s low-interest rate loans to borrow as much as $417,000 to buy a home and $100,000 to buy land.

The Texas Veterans Land Board voted unanimously today to increase the home and land loan limits in the latest expansion of benefits under the leadership of Chairman Jerry Patterson.

“Texas veterans have more than earned this increased VLB benefit,” Patterson said. “Increasing these loan limits gives Texas veterans additional purchasing power to buy the home of their dreams or a find a little piece of Texas to call their own.”

Since taking office in 2003, Patterson has raised the amount Texas veterans may borrow for a home from $150,000 up to $417,000. Buying land throughout the VLB has gotten easier, too. Under Patterson’s direction, the VLB has reduced the minimum acreage that could be bought with a VLB land loan from five acres to one acre, making it easier for veterans to buy lots closer to urban areas. A Texas veteran can simultaneously have a VLB land loan, a VLB home loan and a VLB home improvement loan.

The Texas Veterans Land Board was created in 1946 to help veterans returning from World War II buy land for agricultural purposes. The program has changed over the years as land prices rose sharply and VLB land loan amounts have increased from the original $7,500.

“No other state can match what the VLB offers: low-cost home, land and home improvement loans; skilled nursing facilities and cemeteries – all exclusively for Texas veterans or their spouses,” Patterson said. “And all of our programs are self-funding, which is good news for Texas taxpayers.”

For more information on Texas Veterans Land Board home, land and home improvement loans, Texas State Veterans Homes, or Texas State Veterans Cemeteries, call 1-800-252-VETS (1-800-252-8387), or visit the Veterans Land Board Web site at

Filled with Junk

“For Sale – Charming San Antonio 3 Bedroom Filled with Junk”


Woman screaming about the mess in the room. Things are scattered on the carpet.

While curb appeal is certainly important when it comes to selling a house, a cluttered home filled with junk is not going to sell very well, if at all. Decluttering a home significantly increases the chance it sells fast, and it offers you the best chance to get top dollar in the San Antonio real estate market.

Effective decluttering strategies include donating unused items, recycling, hiring a junk removal service or renting a roll off dumpster. Any real estate agent will tell you that a clean, well-organized home is far more appealing to potential buyers than one with junk occupying every nook and cranny.

Rent a Dumpster

Renting a roll off dumpster is the perfect way to offload building materials, scrap and other junk. The process is easy. Simply call a local dumpster rental company in San Antonio, and they’ll deliver the dumpster straight to your home. When you’re finished decluttering your home, the dumpster rental company comes and picks up the container.

Renting a dumpster offers the advantage of allowing you to cleanup at your leisure – there’s no rush to complete the job in one day. The standard length of time most dumpster rental companies leave the roll off container at your home is seven days, but most dumpster service providers offer flexibility if you would like the container picked up sooner or kept longer.

Let Someone Else Do the Junk Removal for You

One of the quickest and certainly easiest methods for decluttering a messy home is hiring a junk removal service. Junk removal companies do all the work from start to finish, including the dumpster drop off, cleanup and container pickup. The only work you do is picking up the phone to schedule a date. Find a reputable junk removal service in San Antonio today to clear out the junk fast for your upcoming open house.

Give to Charity Donating to local charitable organizations helps out those less fortunate and also offers a tax benefit. Of course, it also helps declutter your home. You can use The Salvation Army’s Valuation Guide to determine the approximate value of your charitable donations for tax purposes. Building materials and furniture can be donated to places like Habitat for Humanity. Just bring in any building materials or furniture that’s in decent shape to any one of several Habitat for Humanity ReStores locations across the state of Texas. These charitable donations offer a tax benefit as well.

Sell or Scrap Your Junk You can make money off your junk by selling or scrapping out certain household goods, metals or building materials. Thanks to the Internet, it’s a breeze to offload any item of value. Try listing your items online at websites like eBay or the San Antonio Craigslist page to find local buyers. A yard or garage sale can also help declutter your home over a weekend.

Scrapping out construction materials can help you declutter and put a few bucks in your pocket. Local scrap yards will purchase virtually any type of metal. These places also pay you for old appliances, such as washer and dryers, and for cars in any condition. Online scrap trading communities, like, make it easier to find scrap buyers looking for plastic, rubber, metal and paper scrap. You can also check the phone book for local scrap yards and give them a call directly.

Hopefully these simple tips will help get you on the right path for achieving a clutter-free home. It’s one of the first steps in effectively marketing your home to potential buyers, and it will help you sell your home in no time!

Guest Blog Contributor: Joe Eitel is a web content writer for Hometown Dumpster Rental, the leading online resource for finding local dumpster rental and junk removal service providers nationwide. Search Hometown’s extensive dumpster rental database for free and find a reputable roll off dumpster rental companies in your area. Also check out the Hometown Dumpster Rental Blog for additional tips and tricks.

Print and Solve Crosswords Puzzle Number 8 Weighty Matters

SATXBlog Crossword Puzzle 8-“Weighty Matters”

“Weighty Matters?” by Myles Mellor
1. Expert
5. Catch, in a way
10. Center of authority
14. Cuckoos
15. Impede
16. Bridge toll unit
17. Easy to pick up
20. Baffled
21. One of the Simpsons
22. Supply with ammo
23. Marriage, for one?
26. Raw liquors
28. “China Beach” setting
31. Capture
33. Lagerlöf’s “The Wonderful Adventures of
___”34. “Right away!”
36. Applications
38. Hotel posting
41. Ghost whisperer?
44. Money in the bank, say
45. Case
46. Peeved
“How ___ Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and
Got a Life” (Kaavya Viswanathan novel)
49. “My ___!”
51. This moment
52. Bathtub type
55. Jupiter, e.g.
57. Charlotte-to-Raleigh dir.
58. Frozen desserts
60. Karate moves
64. Sadly
68. Fill
69. Cookie Monster cohort
70. Call to a mate
71. 1914 battle line
72. Big Bertha’s birthplace
73. Combine
1. Apple variety
2. Condo, e.g.
3. Fixes, in a way
4. “Confessions” singer
5. Grassland
6. Balaam’s mount
7. Attempt
8. As yet
9. Genetic material
10. Took a load off
11. Extreme fatigue
12. Notify
13. College units
18. Detective, at times
19. Clothing24. Drawn tight
25. Arise
27. Sword lilies, for short
28. Astronaut’s org.
29. Deadly biters
30. Small house, in London
32. End
35. Warms up
37. Turned sideways
39. 100 cents
40. Old World duck
42. Bologna home
43. Bog
48. Chinese fruit tree
50. “That hurt!”
52. Full of gossip
53. Son of Simon the Just
54. Noblemen
56. Bundle
59. Minus
61. Diamond Head locale
62. Some Olympians, nowadays
63. Eye affliction
65. “___ Town Too” (1981 hit)
66. Go for the gold
67. Appetite

Click for the Answer to Today’s Crosswords Puzzle #8. | Press Here to PRINT

Home Canning

Adventures in Home Canning

by Celia Hayes

This latest adventure in home food preparation was my daughter’s notion, upon noting that the aisle in our local HEB set aside for housewares and appliances had a new section for home canning supplies; including a sort of starter kit for novices; a large light-weight enamel lidded kettle, with a rack and some implements to shift around the jars … of which there were also a nice assortment in various sizes. I was certain that we had a huge canning kettle in the garage – a gift from a military friend who was moving to another state – but we couldn’t readily find it, as the garage is stuffed with items that my daughter has bought for that residence of her own which she hopes to have one day. But we might have sold the darned thing at the big clearing-out-of-useless-possessions yard sale that we had last year, anyway.

So, following her last big payday, she purchased the kit, a Ball recipe book and some flats of jars, and ever since, we have been experimenting with certain of the fruit and vegetable recipes. We are anticipating a bounty from our garden, in any case – already some of the cucumbers are monstrous in size, and if all the green tomatoes on the plants that we have come ripe at the same time … send the search party to look for us buried underneath a couple of bushels of tomatoes.

Her part-time job for Edible Arrangements is a source of certain kinds of fruit or fruit scraps … waste not, want not, you know. Anyway I’ve always loved the descriptions in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House Books of how our pioneer ancestors went through a frenzy of canning, smoking, curing, and otherwise preserving the bounty of their scratched-out gardens, to last through winter and other hard times. I am an epicure when it comes to food, but I am also a tight-wad. I have elevated tastes, but a need to pinch the pennies until a booger comes out from Lincoln’s nose. I think the historical person himself would sympathize. After all, he grew up relatively impoverished and in a milieu where people did for themselves…

Anyway, it was a natural progression from home brewing, to home cheese-making, to home canning – although I don’t think we’ll go as far as getting a high-pressure canning thingy. But if high-end gourmet ready-prepared food items get any more expensive relative to the raw materials for them remaining relatively inexpensive, we might be tempted… even if I am not any more enthused about the joys of botulism than a normally intelligent human being would be…

This is a recipe for a pepper and corn relish which I copied out of a Thanksgiving issue of Gourmet Magazine, lo these many years ago. This relish which can be eaten fresh, or processed in the canning kettle for fifteen minutes. It makes about 5 pint jars.

Combine and simmer for half an hour: 5 ½ cup fresh or frozen corn kernels, 1 finely chopped red bell pepper, 1 finely chopped green bell pepper, one medium onion, 2 carrots, also finely chopped, 1 ½ cup sugar, 1 teasp dry mustard, ½ teasp celery, ¼ teasp turmeric and 1 ½ cup vinegar.

Next weekend, we may be going to Buda for the Annual Wiener Dog Races … and we’re starting another garden project; a raised bed in a relatively unused corner of the yard. Enjoy!

Time for Golf?
Call The Randy Watson Team of Mission Realty at 210-319-4960

Ben Curtis Wins Texas Valero Open

Ben Curtis Wins Texas Valero Open

On Sunday, Ben Curtis finishes victorious in the San Antonio golf world. This Texas Valero Open champion is rewarded with $1,116,000 from this PGA Tour and moves him to 28th in the FedExCup standings.

This was Curtis first start at the Texas Valero Open.

From Daily Wrap: “Holding off Matt Every and John Huh in a tense back-nine finish, Curtis finished with flourish by holing a 12-footer for birdie on the par-5 18th, sealing a two-stroke victory and his fourth PGA TOUR title. His even-par 72 put him at 9 under and triggered a wave of emotions that Curtis said he didn’t know were in him.”

More San Antonio Area Golf Courses

Briggs Ranch Golf Club Dominion Country Club Fair Oaks Ranch Golf Club
Golf Club of Texas at Briggs Ranch Hill Country Golf Retreat and Spa Mission del Lago Golf
Oak Hills Country Club Olympia Hills Golf Course Quary Golf Club
Range at Leon Springs Republic Golf Club San Antonio Country Club
Alamo Golf Club Sonterra Golf Club Alsatian Golf Club-Castroville
Old Brack Golf Course Blossom Golf Center Cedar Creek Golf Course
Canyon Springs Golf Club Flying L Golf Resort and Dude Ranch Canyon Lake Golf Club
TPC San Antonio-Private Palmer Course and La Cantera Course Quail Run Golf-La Vernia
Maverick Golf Club-Floresville Northcliffe Golf and Country Club Northern Hills Golf Club
Olmos Basin Golf Course Riverside Golf Course and Par 3 SilverHorn Golf Club of Texas
The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch Bandit Golf Club - New Braunfels Hawk Golf Club at Rebecca Creek

San Antonio Luxury Golf Homes for Sale

San Antonio Golf Course Homes for Sale

by Randy Watson

Relocating or just looking for a new San Antonio golf course home for sale? Our team of professionals are experts at finding you just the right golf course home, golf course condo or active adult golf community that meets your needs. Stop dreaming of the green fairways and start living the lifestyle with a home on the golf course. No other agents have more up to date San Antonio golf course home information at their finger tips than we do.

Imagine owning a San Antonio golf home located right at the edge of one of San Antonio’s many world-class and historic golf courses. Such luxury golf properties are available now for the discriminating home buyers and savvy investors who recognize value when they see it. From the Hill Country throughout all of San Antonio, we know golf course communities.

Tapatio Springs Resort and Golf Club Community, in Boerne is owned by Country Music superstar George Strait. The Cordillera Ranch Golf Club is an exclusive, master-planned gated community built on 8,700 acres offering the very finest in resort-style include a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course. Old Brack was recently honored as the first golf facility listed in the Texas Registry of Historic Sites. The Dominion Country Club is collocated with the Dominion, San Antonio’s premier luxury residential community. The Club At Sonterra is a 36 hole private golf and tennis country club community in the Stone Oak area in the beautiful North Central Corridor of San Antonio … and this is just a few of the San Antonio golf homes for sale. …and so many more. San Antonio has over 50 golf courses.

We invite you to experience the Texas lifestyle, where you can live and play against a dramatic backdrop of the Hill Country or enjoy the conveniences with the city views overlooking the lush green fairways. Let us find you the San Antonio golf home for sale. We also know about build-able homesites in golf course communities.

Or heck, we know where the full on 10,000 square foot ultra-luxury ranch estates are with substantial acreage where you could just put your very own private golf course on! Get started with us! Have San Antonio real estate that you need to sell? We can help you with all your San Antonio real estate needs!

Start your very own online San Antonio golf course homes search.



Print and Solve Crosswords Puzzle Number 7 Part of a Straight

SATXBlog Crossword Puzzle 7-“Part of a Straight?”

“Part of a Straight?” by Myles Mellor
1. Book part
5. “Cut it out!”
10. Five-time U.S. Open champ
14. Almond
15. Auspices
16. All-night party
17. Gardening guy?
20. Boreal forest
21. Old Germans
22. ___ and aahs
25. Dentist’s direction
26. “Blue ___”
30. Opens
33. Brilliance
34. Denials
35. Eerie gift
38. Romantic guy?
42. Haw partner
43. Ricelike pasta
44. Diminished by
45. More lively
47. Sportscaster Musburger
48. Ski trail
51. “Get ___!”
53. Profound
56. Contradict
60. 1991 Tinka Menkes film
64. Took advantage of
65. Zeno, notably
66. Assortment
67. Sea slitherers
68. Old Roman port
69. Don’t believe it
1. Affranchise
2. Genuine
3. Zone
4. Film maker
5. Chocolate source
6. “A rat!”
7. “Give it ___!”
8. Sort carefully
9. To be, to Brutus
10. Free
11. Radioactive element
12. A plant of the rose family
13. Shield figure
18. Rabbitlike rodent
19. Engine sound
23. Driven
24. Big bore
26. “Little Women” woman
27. Yearn
28. Hypothetical form of matter
29. Symbol of strength
31. Earlier
32. Wednesday tree?
35. Coastal raptor
36. Bowl over
37. “Check this out!”
39. “___ any drop to drink.” – Coleridge
40. Insignia
41. Cause of inflation?
45. Mounts
46. ___ Station
48. Arouse
49. Sign on a plane facility
50. Brace
52. Banana variant
54. C-worthy
55. New newts
57. Come into view
58. Deeply
59. Cut, maybe
61. “i” lid
62. “Rocky ___”
63. Scale note

Click for the Answer to Today’s Crosswords Puzzle #7. | Press Here to PRINT

A Weekend of Market Hopping in San Antonio

A Weekend in the Markets

by Celia Hayes

Several markets, actually – beginning with the super-gigantic NEISD – PTA book sale, which is held every year in April at the Blossom Athletic center basketball stadium. This is the nirvana of book sales to a serious aficionado of same, both because of the flat rate involved: 50 cents for softbound, one dollar for hard-bound, no matter what the size or original value of the book involved, and because … well, there is nearly half an acre of books, and all of them roughly organized by category, and I have been able to replace many of the books that my parents had in their house when it burned to the ground in 2003; books and serious publications like Horizon and American Heritage, which I consumed as if they were Godiva chocolates from the time that I could read words of three syllables and more.

Very likely that is where my affection for excellent writing, far corners of the earth and exciting history came from. This time, I scored twenty-two books, half of them being copies of the American Heritage magazine when it was published in hardback and without advertisements. I recognized every one of the covers, since they were from 1964-1966. This made a full and heavy box full of books, for which I requested the services of a sturdy youth to carry them out to the Montero. These events are fully staffed by adult, teenage and grade-school age volunteers, it benefits the PTA of the Northside Independent School District here in San Antonio, the range of books on offer is incredible and the prices for them cannot be beaten with a stick. Look for next year’s sale sometime in April, 2013. NEISD is one of the largest school districts in San Antonio. Search for NEISD homes for sale online.

From there, my daughter and I headed north to Boerne, for Market Days and a pleasant afternoon going up Main Street and dipping into those variously tempting establishments with goods affordable to the likes of us – especially those antique stores which have pressed glass among the goods. My daughter collects this … but from antique stores is not so much fun as scoring it at yard and estate sales. We went to support a neighbor of ours who makes hanging bird-feeders from plates, and curious ornamented lamps made from bottles filled with glass pebbles … he’s another retiree like me, with an all-consuming interest and a certain degree of skill.

There are a number of interesting new shops along Main Street now; the one which we liked the best was a The Squirrel’s Nest resale shop, at 255 South Main which benefits the Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation center in Kendalia. This is a place which does an absolutely sterling and very valuable job; that is, they’re the folks you call when you find an injured wild critter or bird. You might not know what to do, but they do. And there were some very nice things in the resale shop… Boerne, TX is in the Texas Hill Country. Search online for Boerne ISD homes for sale.

We love market days in Boerne (pronounced ‘Bernie’) – my daughter says it is one of San Antonio’s bedroom slippers, with Bulverde being the other slipper. Market Days in Boerne are on the second weekend of the month, on the town square, which is adorned by a bandstand and a line of pecan trees around three sides. There is a regular booth offering the very best beef or chicken gorditas, made with fresh-fried corn tortillas and simply stuffed to the brim with juicy goodness. Regulars to the market and townspeople on Main Street know about this … so I’m glad to know the secret is out. They set up at the river end of town square, just across the street from the waterworks building and the public lavatories.

And that was my weekend – yours?

Tom Benson Buys New Orleans Hornets

Benson Buys Hornets for $338 Million

by Randy Watson

Tom Benson, owner of the New Orleans Saints and owner of several San Antonio car dealerships, as well as other businesses in San Antonio… bought the New Orleans Hornets NBA franchise for $338 Million. Benson is now the sole owner of the Hornets.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune says that Benson intends to change the name of the franchise to something referring to New Orleans.


Greek Easter Meal

Greek Easter

by Celia Hayes

My daughter and I lived in Greece for nearly three years, in the early 1980s. This meant that we were there for three Greek Easter celebrations, which were wholly unlike an American Easter, although there was a festive meal involved, and colored eggs.

In Greece, the great Easter feast was served on Sunday afternoon. Traditionally it calls for a whole roasted lamb as the main course – and roasted for most of the morning over a grill built outside in the garden. Even in the cities, this was carried out: the cover of one of the English-language magazines featured a line drawing on the cover one year, of a happy little knot of people on the top of a downtown tower block, roasting their lamb over a fire-pit on the roof, and dancing a traditional Greek line dance. One of the Easters we spent there it was miserable and rainy; but our neighbors were all out in the garden, huddled under tarps and umbrellas, grimly turning the lamb over the smoking fire. On another Easter we went to a joint ecumenical Protestant sunrise service, organized by the base chapel, a Scandinavian seaman’s mission and the Church of England congregation. The service itself took place on the Areopagus Hill, where Saint Paul had preached to the Athenians; and the backdrop was of the Acropolis, temple-crowned in light and glory as the sun came up.

As often as not, my daughter and I have had lamb for Easter dinner ever since, although we’ve never, ever been able to afford a whole lamb, or even a leg of one. Usually we settle for chops, served with a cheese pie and a village salad, which is a standard in Greece like breakfast tacos are in San Antonio. A Greek village salad is made of a fresh tomato or two, sliced or cut into pieces, and an equal amount of cucumber, topped with a few rings of fresh onion and green bell pepper, topped with a small slice of feta cheese (or a couple of tablespoons of feta crumbles) and a drizzle of olive oil, two or three olives, dried thyme and oregano. Cheese pie is a little more complicated to make, but nearly impossible to mess up.

Crumble ½ pound feta cheese to the consistency of coarse cornmeal. Make a béchamel sauce of ¼ c. butter, 3 Tbs. flour, and 1-cup milk, and allow to cool slightly. Mix the sauce with the crumbled cheese and add 3 eggs and ½ tsp dill. Allow half a package of filo dough to thaw thoroughly. (They package it with two individual rolls of filo.) Unroll, and cover with a slightly damp towel. Melt ½ cup butter, and use a little to grease the bottom of a small, square baking dish. Layer sheets of filo in the dish; stagger the layers, draping the half of each sheet over the side of the dish. Brush melted butter after every two layers, in the dish. When all the sheets are used, pour the cheese/béchamel sauce into the center, and begin laying the layers over the cheese mixture, buttering every two layers. Sprinkle a little water on the top of the final layer of filo, and bake in a 350 deg. oven for 45 minutes. Food of the gods – and suitable for any other time than Easter. But I can hardly wait until we have our own fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes and cucumbers for salad, although I’ll probably have to g on buying feta cheese. Unless I can get a good local source for goat milk…