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Remember the Beatles song, “When I’m Sixty Four”? I never thought I’d get to that age, but here I am. Still alive!

In my working years, I had jobs I hated that didn’t pay me enough to support my kids – and I had jobs I loved that didn’t pay me enough to support myself, let alone my kids. Still, though I lived at, and sometimes below, the poverty level, I made it through, longing always for retirement.

Ah, retirement. How nice it would be to sit on a front porch overlooking a lake. How inspired I would feel as I looked out upon my lake, sipping a cup of coffee while I wrote and crocheted all day long. How lovely I would feel to melt into relaxation mode and, whenever I felt sleepy, napped in the luxurious comfort of a warm soft blanket.

Um, no! Not there yet. I can’t nap – ever, unless my day brings me to the brink of exhaustion. I still have too much energy to slow down. I don’t want to sit on a front porch gazing across the lake all day long, at least not every day. I don’t have a lake outside my yard anyway. And I still don’t have enough money to support myself. Yes, in that respect, I’m like a lot of other 64-year-olds.

But my youngest daughter pays me to care for a few of my grandkids, and I sell a couple of things now and then at her consignment boutique, so I’m getting by.

Getting by. Wow! Could I be more complacent? No! You know why? Something shook me to my core about a week and a half ago. Something woke me out of my well-I’m-getting-closer-to-death-anyway numbness, and prompted me to get out of myself and try again to make some money, And, because it would be MY business, a business I would enjoy running, I felt renewed energy!

So what was it that prompted me to begin the business I had earlier tried, but that had failed to work for me? POTATOES! Yes, potatoes. I caught the last few minutes of the September 24th Steve Harvey show that showed an entrepreneur who came up with the idea of sending potatoes with anonymous messages. The kid who came up with the idea said he made $20,000 last month SENDING POTATOES WITH MESSAGES WRITTEN ON THEM!

Sorry if I seem infuriated, but I was. Why did HIS idea work and mine failed? 

Time to reassess my current situation (lack of money). Sitting on my laptop are messages I wrote back in the 70s when I wanted to start my own greeting card company. I sent those message to a hundred different greeting card companies and NOBODY wanted them. The reason, they stated (those who responded with more than a rejection post card, that is), was that no market existed for what I was writing.

“I KNOW!” I wanted to scream, “I’M CREATING THE MARKET!” Back in the 70s, all that existed on shelves were lovey-dovey sweet messages. You wouldn’t find sarcastic cards anywhere.

A couple of years later I discovered that two girls from New York (ironically, where I was living when I sent my ideas to those 100 companies) came up with the idea for Bittersweet Cards (no longer in existence from what I can tell). Their cards were similar to mine, and People Magazine showcased the two women. I remembered thinking that if I had had the money to invest in my cards, I, too, might be successful, but I didn’t and I wasn’t. As you know, those types of cards are now in existence everywhere.

Feeling like a failure, I tucked my messages away and brought them out again in the 90s.  At that time, I thought, why not roll them up, tie them up, and put them inside a bottle? But I had no marketing skills whatsoever and I had no clue about how to let anyone know about them, so I put them away again.

BottleDSCN2105

THEN came the potato guy! Well, in my garage sit two bins of bottles I’ve been carrying with me from home to home wherever I move. In my cabinet I have the paper I bought to write the messages. And I thought, why not try it again? If people are willing to pay $10 for a messaged potato AND pay more for postage, I should be able to ask $14.95, offer messages that nobody will find anywhere else, and include shipping and handling in the cost.

So, at 64, I’m reinventing myself as an entrepreneur. Not all messages are sarcastic in nature, and I’ve come up with new categories for messages I haven’t found anywhere else. Interested? Please check out Crystal Butterfly Message In a Bottle.

Cowspiracy

The documentary, Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret (2014), hurt me. I mean it really hurt me – in the gut – where it matters. I hate documentaries that make so much sense I feel the need to change my life. OK, maybe I don’t HATE this documentary. Maybe it was one of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen.

Because it made me think. And because it made me examine my life. Ever since the time in the late 80s when I tried to serve duck to my kids and my youngest daughter, who was 4 at the time, asked, “You want me to eat a little duck?” I’ve been haunted by eating meat and poultry.

But I kept eating it. Why? Because I wanted to eat, and I had always learned that meat was protein and that protein was necessary for a healthy lifestyle. Plus (you can’t see me right now, but I’m hanging my head in shame) I love BBQ chicken.

I tried – I really tried to eat tofu, because I’d read online that if you cooked tofu a certain way, it would taste like chicken. Not only did it not taste like chicken, it did not have anywhere near the consistency of chicken – well, unless you’re talking about rubber chickens.

Still all these years have gone by and I still want to change – not only because I believe that becoming a vegan – or at least a vegetarian – would be the right thing to do, but also because of all my health issues. Maybe if I’d been eating the right foods all along, I’d have never had asthma or allergies or arthritis or cancer.

So I’ve been researching alternatives to meat, and I came across a blog that mentioned eating nuts as a substitute. It recommended soaking the nuts for at least 2-8 hours and then placing them in a food processor. Well, I didn’t want to spend $8 on a can or bag of nuts, so I found some nuts at Dollar General and paid $4 for them, thinking that if I didn’t like the results, a $4 loss was better than an $8 loss.

In my cabinet I already had taco seasoning. In my refrigerator I had taco shells. Why not give meatless tacos a try! So I soaked the mixed nuts for several hours, threw them in the food processor, placed them on a warmed taco shell, covered them with lettuce and salsa, and, because I can’t become a vegan so quickly, I added cheese and sour cream, and you know what? I liked it better than meat tacos! Really! I loved the crunch AND the taste! Though the website recommended macadamia nuts or another type of nut (can’t remember now what kind), I decided to try the mixture, because the macadamias were too expensive.

After using the nut mixture for the tacos, since I had some left over, I thought I’d try using it in spaghetti sauce. Yum again! Hmm, maybe this vegetarian lifestyle is attainable after all!

You should know something about me before you say, oh, what a martyr she is, giving up meat! To be honest, I’ve never been fond of beef. I love(d) the taste of chicken, but I can’t chew beef well, so I usually avoid eating it anyway, unless I’m at someone’s house and that’s all they have. But now I can’t wait to try new dishes that don’t involve meat.

One drawback to the nut mixture is that I’m allergic to peanuts, but not highly allergic to them. I can still eat them without experiencing an asthma or allergy attack, so maybe now that I know I like the crunchy texture, I’ll give other nuts a try.

Now if only I can figure out a way to make some kind of vegetable taste like and have the consistency of BBQ chicken! Can anybody help?

By the way, Netflix is currently running Cowspiracy. I highly recommend that you watch the documentary, but be prepared to learn something you might never have known, and be prepared to feel – minimally, at least – guilty for contributing to the future death of our planet. Yes, anyone with a working brain will understand the common sense facts and figures spelled out in this documentary, and you’ll never look at meat the same way.

For more information about Cowspiracy, please see the following sources:

Facts on Cowspiracy: Rosenlake

How to eat foods that contain no meat: Less Meat More Plants; Beyond Meat

Drugs

Remember the, “Just Say No!” campaign? Were those words strong enough to stop vulnerable young teens, or even pre-teens, from succumbing to pressure from peers who implored them to, “Just try it!”

We sometimes think we’re doing our part by enrolling our children in school programs, like D.A.R.E., that teach our kids the dangers of drug abuse. And then we tell them, ““Don’t Use Drugs! Drugs Are Bad!”

Have we done our part? Have we done enough?

Many parents drink alcohol in front of their children – nothing wrong with that – if parents drink responsibly. But have you explained to your children that you’ve built up a tolerance to alcohol and that the amount of alcohol you consume would be toxic to them?

And if you don’t drink “responsibly,” can you admit you’re an alcoholic and get help for yourself before you set up an atmosphere where your children will feel so comfortable in a drinking environment that you risk them becoming alcoholics too?

Many parents also use drugs – and can recite a litany of reasons to explain why they take drugs. While some drugs are medically necessary, parents who won’t admit they use drugs recreationally confuse kids who’ve been told, drugs are bad! Don’t take drugs!

When a child comes home from school and Mom is drooling on the couch, that child knows Mom is drunk or high. Parents can lie to their kids all they want, but kids know – or will eventually know – the signs of alcohol abuse, because they see it every day. At some point they will visit other families whose parents don’t imbibe and their definition of “normal” will change dramatically.

And don’t kid yourself about what you’ve told them about that “skunk smell.” They’ll figure out that you’ve been smoking marijuana all day and when someone offers them that familiar odor, they’ll partake, because the scent will feel comfortable to them.

But let’s talk about what happens when your child tries drugs. First they think – what a lie – drugs aren’t bad for me! They’re good! Drugs make me FEEL GREAT! I want to take them again. I want to feel this way forever!

And THAT is what we are need to address with our kids. THAT is what we are NOT telling our kids – that they will feel good – initially – when they take drugs. We tend to ignore discussing the PROCESS of drug addiction with our kids. We tell them only what could happen to them if they take drugs. We tell them only not to take them. We allow them to believe that everything about drugs is bad, but we neglect to tell them how good they will feel when they take them – the first and maybe even the second and third time – and that’s where we need to focus our attention.

Because once they’re hooked, there’s no turning back. Like renting a room at the Hotel California, “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.” Now these kids don’t just WANT to take drugs – they NEED to take them.

And these kids need to know, that yes, drugs will feel great – at first – but those feelings will become harder and harder to maintain, because they’ll need to use more and more drugs to achieve the same high. Pretty soon, they’ll rob from their family and friends, and after that, they won’t care about anything or anybody – including themselves. Of course, they won’t believe they’ll ever be in that position to feel that way about their families and friends, so we, as responsible adults, need to provide examples.

But even examples might not work, because kids think they’re invincible. They won’t be that kid who steals from family members. They won’t be that kid who doesn’t care about anybody. They won’t be that kid who dies from an overdose. So we need to protect our kids from themselves. We need to tell them the truth about how drugs will make them feel the first time they take them.

We need to tell our kids that drugs will entice them and excite them. Drugs will make them feel so great, they’ll want to maintain that high. But they won’t have any relevant past experiences upon which to compare their euphoric feelings, so they will attempt to replicate that high every chance they get.

And then, after they realize they can’t achieve the same high from their previous drug use, they’ll get angry, because the high will wear off, and they’ll want it – again and again and again and again. They will do everything in their power to achieve that same feeling, and they’ll be disappointed that their next high won’t be nearly as good as their first.

So they’ll take more drugs and more drugs and more dangerous drugs and even more dangerous drugs to feel high again. And pretty soon, they’ll find themselves selling their souls and their bodies to feel even slightly normal.

And you, as their parents, will watch their decline. You, as their parents, will knowingly or unknowingly, contribute to their deaths. If your kids are teenagers, you may think, when they first begin using drugs or drinking alcohol, that they are experiencing common teenage rebellion, but you need to recognize the difference between normal teenage rebellion and not-so-normal aggression that results from drug usage. (See the section linked below on Behavioral signs of drug abuse from NCADD.)

We will need to tell our kids that they don’t have to be addicted to drugs to abuse drugs. Addiction could occur immediately or it might take several doses to affect the chemistry in YOUR child’s brain. Like Russian Roulette, kids take their chances every time they use. One dose could do nothing – or it could kill them.

We need to teach our kids about tolerance, withdrawal, and loss of control. We need to explain to them that they will reach a point where they will want to stop, but they won’t be able to stop, because they won’t know how.

Kids need to know that they will begin to neglect all of their other activities, even and maybe especially those that are important to them now and that drugs will take up more of their time, energy, and focus. They need to know that though they think addiction will never happen to them, they will continue to use, despite knowing the consequences, because they think consequences don’t apply to them.

The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD) addresses all of these issues in their article about knowing the Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol and Drug Abuse. Click the link to learn more.

Let’s admit that we haven’t been forthcoming with our kids. Let’s open the lines of communication with them. If you’ve indulged in drugs, admit it. Be honest. The chances of your child becoming an addict greatly increase if you, too, have been one. By confessing your own addiction or abuse, you will connect with your child in ways you might never thought were possible.

If your attempts to connect with your child are met with resistance, your child might already be deeply involved with drugs and you may have to investigate drug rehabilitation programs. Find one that follows up with its residents and has proven to be successful.

More than anything, though, let’s stop lying to our children. We have to remember how children think. Though they believe themselves to be adults and to be smarter than their parents are, teenage brains aren’t fully developed. Taking drugs at their age greatly impedes the growth of brain cells. They’ll fight with you, but you have to care enough about them to be strong. If you can’t be strong because you, too, are addicted, get help NOW!

So let’s admit that drugs feel good – at first – and then let’s show our kids how devastating drugs can be with continued use.  You can start by showing them before and after photos of individuals who abused drugs, found on this Rehabs site.

Help your kids find themselves by recognizing their talents and by developing their skills. Children who are engaged in their lives and who enjoy their activities, who feel a sense of accomplishment and who feel worthy of living are less likely to try drugs than those kids who feel like failures. Help your kids realize their worth. Contribute to their sense of accomplishment. Guide them down the path they were meant to travel – toward the people they were meant to be. And be honest about what will happen to them if they decide to drink or abuse drugs. Be a good role model.

WARNNG for PayPal Account Holders! PayPal SCAM!

Posted: September 19, 2015 in Uncategorized

Update: Here’s what to do with suspicious emails from “PayPal,” or in the scam noted in this post, “paycyal,”

Theresa Wiza's Blog

I just received this email today. I have received others like it in the past. The sender is a thief and a scammer and if you’re not attentive, you might think you are saving your PayPal account. YOU ARE NOT!

If you have received this email, or ones similar to it, DO NOT RESPOND–DO NOT LOG IN:

PayPal SCAM

Just because it carries the PayPal logo does NOT mean that it comes from PayPal and IF YOU RESPOND, YOUR PAYPAL ACCOUNT WILL GET HACKED! You could lose more money than you have in your account!

The email comes from this bogus address – serviice@paycyal.onmicrosoft.com

It could come from another address. These scammers will note this warning and they will come up with other email addresses that ARE NOT AFFILIATED WITH PAYPAL.

The email you see above DOES NOT come from a legitimate PayPal source! ALWAYS CHECK THE RECIPIENT’S ADDRESS.

Please alert all…

View original post 90 more words

I just received this email today. I have received others like it in the past. The sender is a thief and a scammer and if you’re not attentive, you might think you are saving your PayPal account. YOU ARE NOT!

If you have received this email, or ones similar to it, DO NOT RESPOND–DO NOT LOG IN:

PayPal SCAM

Just because it carries the PayPal logo does NOT mean that it comes from PayPal and IF YOU RESPOND, YOUR PAYPAL ACCOUNT WILL GET HACKED! You could lose more money than you have in your account!

The email comes from this bogus address – serviice@paycyal.onmicrosoft.com

It could come from another address. These scammers will note this warning and they will come up with other email addresses that ARE NOT AFFILIATED WITH PAYPAL.

The email you see above DOES NOT come from a legitimate PayPal source! ALWAYS CHECK THE RECIPIENT’S ADDRESS.

Please alert all of your friends and everyone in your family, paying special attention to young teens and the elderly. Don’t allow this type of scam to go on. Educate yourself. ALSO, read, How to Report Internet Crimes! for more information on how to protect yourself from Cyber Crimes.

UPDATE – from the LEGITIMATE PayPal site regarding what to do if you get a suspicious email:

  • Forward the entire email to spoof@paypal.com.
  • Do not alter the subject line or forward the message as an attachment.
  • Delete the suspicious email from your inbox.

PocketPoliticians

Everybody knows one thing about politicians – they can be bought. I don’t know how much they cost, but I know that I alone cannot afford one. I also know one won’t fit in my pocket, but I hear that some people keep politicians there.

I feel kind of sorry for politicians. So many people hate them. Even new aspirants, filled with ideals, ideas, hopes, and dreams, when they first enter the political spectrum, can’t win. Why? Because eventually even the simplest of politicians discovers that special interest groups will work hard to suffocate them, secret societies will devour them, and whatever public agenda they had going in will eventually evaporate like a dream upon awakening.

What a crisis!

But I think I may have a solution. We have been thinking about this whole political problem all wrong. We don’t have to be Democrats, Republicans, Independents, or Whatevers to get our own agendas heard – we just have to buy a politician! But because most of us can’t afford one by ourselves, we need to unite and pool our resources.

All we have to do is find like-minded individuals who agree with us on our own particular platforms – funding for education, health reform, affordable housing, environmental issues, etc., for instance, and approach political aspirants the way wealthy interest groups approach them – with money – lots and lots and lots of money!

You see, here’s what I predict – the final selection will come down to 3 candidates, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Jeb Bush, and Bernie Sanders.

Jeb Bush is a shoe-in for the Republican party because of his ties to money and because his father and brother were already presidents. A lot of you will be too young to remember the election ballot fiasco that ensured a win for Jeb Bush as governor of Florida – but because the Bush family belongs to the not-so-secret-anymore society, Skull and Bones (Yale University secret society), he will probably win the Republican vote despite what the polls might predict.

Hillary Rodham Clinton is a no-brain winner for the Democrats, simply because she has a brain and she knows how to use it. Republicans will swarm her like mosquitos and, like Republicans who spent hundreds of hours dogging Obama about his birth certificate and even after they discovered he truly was born in Hawaii, will relentlessly stalk her to inflict as much time-consuming idiocy so they can plant doubt into the minds of uneducated individuals who vote only for whomever is being touted on their favorite media source. Or they will vote for whichever political party they’ve been brainwashed into believing will be best for our country.

Does it really matter, though, how the American public votes? We all know ballots can be deceiving, because no matter what 51% of American citizens decide, the electoral college is what determines who actually becomes president.

On a more serious note, if you want to know how these three presidential candidates stand on important issues, such as abortion, civil rights, crime, drugs, education, environment, foreign policy, health care, and more, click any of the following links. And if the presidential candidate you want to know about isn’t included in my predicted top three, just plug your candidate’s name into this url on your browser: http://www.ontheissues.org/Your_Candidate.htm.

Hillary Clinton on the issues

Jeb Bush on the issues

Bernie Sanders on the issues

Put each in a tab, and compare them side by side. Above all, be informed. Don’t blindly follow others who know just as little as you do about what these candidates (and others) intend on doing if they win the presidency. And don’t allow the media (that focus on issues intended to grab the weakest among us) to wipe away your intellect by infiltrating your brain with nonsense, while promoting deception and inciting anger. We sometimes forget that we are a UNITED States of America. We have choices. We have brains. Let’s use them!

Donald Trump – It Was A JOKE!

Posted: September 11, 2015 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

Please, World, accept my apologies for Trump’s decision to run for the President of the United States. I blame myself. You see, I planted a seed in cyberspace back on April 10, 2011, when I suggested that Trump could fix the national debt. I did not mean that he should run for president. (Let Donald Trump Fix Our National Debt).

Oh, Readers, I can hear you taunting me already. “Do you really think you’re soooo important that one blog post would have spurred the ultra-wealthy one to consider running for president? Do you think he, or anybody, for that matter, would consider you to be important enough that anything you said would be taken seriously or inspire somebody to want to be president?

Silly girl!

Well, here’s my thoughts about blog posts and thoughts. Once an idea is “out there,” anybody can grab onto it. Maybe Trump himself didn’t read the blog post, but once the thought generated waves throughout the atmosphere and his hair responded to the electricity, the thought probably transformed from, “fix the deficit,” to, “run for president.” Those words must have sounded eerily similar to him, considering they came from the ether.

You see, thoughts are energy and once they are thunk (this is my blog post and if I want to make up my own past tenses of verbs, the fact that this is my blog, gives me that right), they vibrate at a certain frequency where they sometimes magically target people who may not be aware that somebody is thinking about them at the time the thought is generated, but their internal radar tunes in to the vibration, and deciphers it based on past deciphering experiences.

Anyway, I’m not here to explain vibrations, deciphering experiences, and sound waves, or even thoughts. I just wanted to apologize – just in case he actually won the presidency and my blog post was even partially responsible.

These days, a lot of people rely on cell phones to access the Internet. They might even read your blog on it! Do you know how your blog looks on a cell phone or other mobile device? Read Is Your Blog Mobile-Friendly?

WC Mobile If you don’t like the way your blog looks, you can make it more mobile-friendly just by following the link provided in the blog.

RelationshipProblems

Relationships can be problematic, but when you’re the one putting forth all the effort, how do you know if the person you love loves you? Read Relationship Problems? Answer This One Question and You’ll Know What To Do! to find out.

Every once in a while – OK, very often – my entire life turns upside down and inside out, and I become the poster child for the, “what-can-go-wrong-does-go-wrong” campaign. In this past month alone I have overcome so many obstacles, I feel as if I’m running some kind of race without ever having signed up for one.

In the beginning of this stretch of craziness, I discovered two lumps at the same time. Finding a lump in and of itself is cause for concern, but when you consider that one of those lumps is on my leg (the other is in the center of my hand) and that one of my grandsons is currently undergoing chemotherapy for Ewing’s Sarcoma (bone cancer), bells of alarm ring, especially when I couldn’t help but look online for possible explanations (Mayo Clinic, Cancer.org – reputable sites) where I discovered that secondary cancers can grow out of primary cancers.

Since just last month I finished my final chemo pill for breast cancer, I jumped on the phone and called a doctor. I say “a” doctor, because every single doctor I’ve ever had has moved or retired. Yes, EVERY SINGLE ONE. I needed to see a doctor anyway, because for over a year, I’ve been experiencing excruciating pain in one of my hips.

During the whole MONTH I had to wait for an appointment, I attended the wedding one of my granddaughters. I also needed to look for several birthday presents. From August 1 to August 16, the following people celebrated birthdays: my son’s fiancé, my son’s fiancé’s daughter, one of my grandsons, my son, and two of my great granddaughters. I still owe my son and his future wife birthday presents, but I think they’ll forgive my lateness.

Birthdays, wedding, and present-buying were (almost) over and I had put aside all thoughts of the more joyous occasions in my life (yes good things cause stress too) so I could concentrate on the doctor’s appointment.

Which wouldn’t happen.

Because on my way to the doctor, I took a wrong turn. No, that’s not the problem. Making a wrong turn turned out to be fortunate. You see my car overheated, and since I was no longer traveling down country roads, I was within a couple of miles of a gas station. I pulled into the gas station where I found a nice man who told me what the problem might be. “It could either be a leak somewhere, a cracked engine block, or a cracked transmission.” He recommended getting some coolant.

So I cancelled my doctor appointment and didn’t make another one because I didn’t know if I would have a car to get there, and I called my son-in-law to see if he could pick me up. Fortunately he knows a lot of people and after filling my car up with coolant, he drove to a repair shop one of his friends managed. The good news is that after running my car for several hours over night with the car filled with antifreeze, the friend of my SIL detected no leaks whatsoever!

However (yes, the success of driving my car is dependent upon a BUT) if my car continues to overheat, my SIL’s friend can run another test using dye, because worst-case-scenario means it could be a cracked head gasket. OH, PLEASE, NO!

Problems temporarily averted, I can now safely (hopefully) make another appointment with the doctor to find out that these lumps are benign and that the hip problem is nothing more than arthritis, which I already have down my spine. I’m thinking positively and I’m praying that only good news occurs from now on!