Who Doesn’t Want Free Money!


Glad I got your attention. This is a public service announcement. 16 years after my mom passed away, I found a lockbox key in some of her things. If you know me, you know I’m not one to assume the box was closed and time to throw the key away. Besides, everyone loves a good mystery, right? I started researching the key. The original bank was absorbed by Wells Fargo and I have no idea which branch to contact. However, enough years have passed that the box would have been emptied due to unpaid rent and the contents sent to the State. Mom only lived in 2 states in the last 30 years, so that narrows the search. So far I haven’t found anything from a lockbox, but I found money for my sister, brother, cousin, nephew, and stepsister. You, too, could have money waiting for you to claim it. And claiming is free. Don’t go to one of those websites from a private company, they will charge you for helping you claim your own money.

Here’s what you do. Each state has a website for ‘Unclaimed Property’. Find your state’s website and enter your last name in the Last Name box and click SEARCH.  Peruse the entire list because it’s not always in alphabetical order and sometimes your name or address can be misspelled. Look for yourself, family members, and any business names you’ve used and claim everything that’s yours. You will have to produce specific documents if you are claiming property of a deceased relative. Even if it’s not much money, think of it this way: the less stuff the State has to keep track of, the less accountants the State needs, the less taxes you have to pay.

You may be thinking there’s nothing for you so why bother. Everyone thinks that and yet there are probably billions of dollars being held in this country. How does this happen? It’s money that a company tried to send you or your family and the company couldn’t reach you. Maybe because of misspelling your name and address or you moved or your family member passed away. There are a number of reasons a company can’t get money to its rightful owner, so you have to help them out and look for your family. The money can be royalties, utility deposits, insurance payouts, vendor refunds, legal settlements, forgotten bank accounts and lockboxes, final paychecks, or even child support. What if the lockbox contained your Grandma’s wedding picture? You’d want that back. So take a few minutes and do some searching. Get what’s coming to you.


Gorge the Gourd!


Isn’t it a little backwards that we gorge on pumpkin before Halloween? Shouldn’t we be gutting all of our carved pumpkins on November 1st and baking those wonderful pumpkin pies? Well maybe that’s the logical way, but honestly we just can’t wait any longer. The cool Fall air kindles that pumpkin craving. Just look around. We have pumpkin pie, pumpkin coffee, pumpkin shakes, pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cake, pumpkin pancakes… pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin.

I have some terrific pumpkin recipes in my cookbook. If you love pumpkin, you will love every one of those recipes. Today, I’m sharing a simple snack for that pumpkin fix. I know you will enjoy it.

Fall Dip

  • 1 – 3.5 ounce box butterscotch pudding mix
  • ⅛ – teaspoon allspice
  • 1 – 5.1 ounce box instant vanilla pudding mix
  • ⅛ – teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ – teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 – 15 ounce can 100% pure pumpkin
  • ¼ – teaspoon ginger
  • 1 – 16 ounce tub Cool Whip, thawed

In a large mixing bowl, combine the pudding mixes with the cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and nutmeg. Blend in the pumpkin with a mixer on low speed. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat in the Cool Whip until the dip starts to thicken. Put the dip in a nice bowl and refrigerate at least 3 hours. Serve the dip with animal crackers or graham crackers.