Money From Home Without a JOB

Who knew when we were celebrating New Years 2020 that it would turn our whole life on it’s head?  Now, I can tell you I was DREADING the political stuff that we’re inintated with come Presidental election year but I never in my wildest dreams (or nightmares),  saw 2020 to be this crazy.  I’ve lived a long time and seen many things but this takes the cake!!!  Can we do a reboot???

Our world will never be the same.  I see cars in the driveways now because people are working from home.  Many kids are home doing virtual learning.  This is a whole new way of living and I don’t see it changing any time soon.  The sad thing is that so many small businesses haven’t survived due to no traffic or all the destruction happening.  What do these people do?  I know back in the day when I was a single mother, I would have been hurting big time!!!

People are now looking for alternate ways to generate income.  Even as I was preparing for retirement, I knew that I would eventually need a part time job.  I have an expensive craft habit (scrapbooking is the main one but painting and sewing are a close second).  I also love to travel and experience new things.  So, I started looking online for something I could do from home.  While you’re criteria may be less restrictive, I could afford to have it my way (just like Burger King). 

My criteria:

  • I did NOT want a long commute anymore
  • Wanted to work part time
  • Wanted it to be flexible (work around MY time)
  • Something I could do from home (I was tired of suits)

Yeah, I know – that’s a lot but hey, shot for the moon right!

Surprisingly, there are many things that fit that order:  

  • Take surveys (tried – much time, little return)
  • Write e books (still a possibility)
  • Be a transcriptionist (they wanted typing of 60-70 wpm – oops)
  • Be an online customer service rep (didn’t want to hear complaints all day)
  • Teach students online mostly from other countries (didn’t think I’d be good)
  • Sell products on Etsy (still on table)
  • Be an Influencer (ummmmm, no)
  • Sell Products for a company as in Multi Level Marketing (MLM) ie Mary Kay, Avon, DoTerra, Young Living Oils, Damsel in Defense, Close to My Heart etc (doing)
  • Affiliate Marketing (doing)

I’ve worked for each of the MLM companies above and more.  In some, I did pretty well.  However, I don’t like to SELL NOR grow teams.  I got into these because I loved the product and received a discount on my purchases.  I still do Close to My Heart because I’m a scrapbooker and paper crafter. 

So, how does a MLM generally work? 

  • You sign on as a consultant
  • You sell products to your family, friends and referrals / You also try to grow a team of people under you
  • When you sell a product, part of the proceeds go to the person who recruited you and to the person who recruited them on up the line
  • If you recruit and have a team, you get proceeds from those who are on your team

Perhaps you’ve had family or friends that are involved in a MLM program and you feel obligated to help them.  They post frequently on FB (although sometimes the FB posts are helpful).  This CAN be a good way to earn extra money AND is legitimate.  Some people make really good money selling but more importantly growing a team.  If this is for you, that’s GREAT!  I love every one of the products I’ve listed above and will continue with Close to My Heart for a long time.  I’m just not good at selling but many are.  Thankfully we’re all different. 

The last option listed is Affiliate Marketing. 

How does Affiliate Marketing work?

  • You promote a companies products and/or services with a link on your website
  •  A customer clicks on the link and purchases
  • Company tracks purchases from a special ID given to you
  • You earn commission

When I first saw this, my thought was “Huh? I have NO idea how to do this”.  I stumbled onto a program called Wealthy Affiliate (WA).  I joined in 2011 but didn’t really get into it until 2013 when I retired.  I can tell you, without a doubt, it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done.  Why?

  • It fit every one of my hard to match criteria
  • Training is AWESOME.  It’s more relevant than all my years in college!
  • The community is fantastic, I’ve made friends all over the world
  • The founders (Kyle & Carson) are hands on
  • The support is beyond anything I’ve ever seen in my years of employment
  • It keeps my brain active – we have MANY seniors are members

Honestly though, this is NOT for everyone.  It’s definitely not a get rich quick scam.  It takes work and dedication but it can be on YOUR time.  Someone is online 24/7.   Could I make more money than I do?  Yes, you get OUT what you put IN.  Your earning potential is limited only by your efforts.  The sky is the limit though! 

Ask yourself: 

          -Do I have knowledge/hobbies I’d love to share?

          -Would I like to work from anywhere? (Have laptop will travel!)

          -Do I enjoy meeting people all over the world?

          -Do I enjoy learning new things? (Keep your brain sharp)

Wealthy Affiliate opened my eyes to the idea of maybe doing an e book or give Etsy a shot.  I love that I’ve learned so much in a short period of time not only from the training but by interacting with other people from around the globe! 

We’re ALL in the 2020 quarantine situation and more people are coming online not only looking for income but to shop.  So, to me, this is an ideal situation.  It might be right for you too.  Surprisingly there are many seniors here.  Click HERE to check it out here for FREE!

NO CREDIT CARD is required and no one will bug you!

Full Disclosure: I WILL get a small commission if you decide to join us but I would NEVER lead you here simply for a commission.  However, I don’t like to be conned and I wouldn’t do that to anyone else! I’ve been here since 2011 and love it!

If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know.

Comments and Thoughts are welcomed and encouraged!!!

My next blog will talk about my knee replacement. Whooo Hoooo! How fun is that?!?! LOL

Until then………….Hugs

~Debbi

Founder of Scrapbooking For Anyone and Not Your Mamas Senior

Scam Protection

Scams and Identity Theft are on the rise and guess who they often target??  US!!!!!! Can I be Queen for a day and hurt some of these people??? If you missed the last blog, I listed some potential scams to be aware of. https://notyourmamassenior.com/beware-seniors-scams

So, once again, this maybe redundant to some of you yet enlightening to others.  Pick and choose what helps you. 

Safeguard Online

     – Passwords are the first line of defense.  Obviously do NOT use “password” for your real password.  Don’t laugh.  I know people that do.  Ideally, they should be long with a mix of UPPER/lower case, Numbers and Symbols.  So, how do you remember them?  I know I can forget where I parked my car within 30 minutes of entering a store.  Use a phrase such as:  “ILove2WalkmyDog!!”  To be honest though, I have a notebook that I use for my passwords. Just don’t leave it out for roaming eyes.

     – Unknown Email messages will frequently go to a spam file automatically where you can look review them as sometimes it’s a mistake.  If you see a message from someone you don’t recognize, hover your cursor over the from address.  If it’s a bunch of letters, it’s spam – DELETE immediately.

     – Links or Attachments should NOT be opened in and email or text message if you were not expecting them.

     – Generic Greetings such as “Dear Customer”, misspellings or poor grammar are also signs of scams

     – Protection is always recommended.  Check out this link from PC Magazine:  https://www.pcmag.com/picks/the-best-security-suites    I see Norton has teamed with Lifelock which would give you computer AND ID Theft Protection which is another option.   Here’s the link to that information:   https://www.nortonsecurityonline.com/ 

Safeguard Offline

     – Unsecure Data found in cars, laptops, and bills.  Remove all papers from your car or glove compartment before you leave it at a garage or even in your driveway.  We’ve had a few issues where kids have gotten into our cars in the neighborhood.  Lock your car, shred your bills, blacken out your name/address on junk mail.   Shredders are fairly cheap these days. 

        Do not keep your Social Security card or Passport in your purse.  

    –  Protection from Identity Theft is a good idea.  Check out this link for options: https://www.identityprotectionreview.com/

If you think you’ve been a Victim

Check your bank account or credit card transactions

Report discrepancies to your bank or credit card company

Freeze you credit card.  I’ve done this when I thought I lost my card.  It’s easy to do/undo.

Contact one of the 3 credit bureaushttps://www.equifax.com/, https://www.experian.com/  or https://www.transunion.com/.  Fraud alerts are free and you only need to contact ONE of these – the bureau you choose will contact the other two.

I hope this helps someone. 

Comments/Thoughts welcomed and encouraged. 

~Debbi

Not Your Mama’s Senior

BEWARE Seniors: SCAMS

If there is anything that makes me mad, it’s people that try to take advantage of others simply because they feel like they CAN.  As seniors, we are most at risk. Senior Scams are the worst!

Back when we were growing up, we played outside and even created our own games.  As long as we were back before dark (or dinner) all was good.  Today, so many kids are addicted to the TV and if not that, then their laptops/IPads or other computer device.  In the majority of families, both parents work so the devices are babysitters of sorts.  The schools are getting kids started on computers earlier and earlier.  Schools expect them to know in Kindergarden the things we learned in 1st grade.  There’s pros and cons to that.

It blows my mind how much technical knowledge many kids have at a young age.  Scamming is not only easy money but it’s lucrative if they find the right people – elderly, retired people who aren’t as tech savy and supposedly have money to burn.  That’s not me but I can see how they might think that. 

Scammers capitalize on current events.  The timing now is RIPE.  We’re dealing with COVID-19, Census, Tax Season and the Election!!!! 

With COVID-19, a whole new set of scams has erupted.  Some of these you might have seen but just in case, these are the ones I’ve heard about.  BEWARE!!!!!!

COVID-19 Scams

COVID-19 Text  You receive a text message like this 

SCAM Text

You’re already in a state of fear and you want to know who it is and what you need to do – but DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK!!!!  It is not a legitimate text, it’s a gateway into your information.  Police say it’s a phishing scam to get your personal information.

COVID-19 Test  You get a call, email or someone coming to your door offering DNA swab tests for the virus.  In order to get this though, you need to provide your Medicare numbers.  DO NOT give your Medicare number to anyone except a medical provider that you know and trust. 

COVID-19 Vaccine  You get an email or call offering a COVID-19 vaccine.  You are already living in fear and are anxious to finally get out so this may be your saving grace.  They might ask for your credit card information or even your Medicare card number.  As of yet, there IS no vaccine.  Keep checking legitimate government agencies for updates (websites that end in .gov)

COVID-19 Donations Requests for donations are common during a crisis, HOWEVER, check to make sure that the business is legitimate or they are not posing as a non profit that you’re familiar with.  Go to their website and donate. 

If COVID-19 isn’t bad enough, this is the year for the Census.  You should have received a survey in the mail that you could respond to.  If you have NOT responded to that, a census taker MAY come to your door.

Then there’s the Census

Census Survey  An impostor comes to your door or you get a call.  They might ask for your Social Security Number.  NEVER give that number to even a REAL census taker.  (As a side note, I don’t even give mine to the doctor’s office).   A legitimate census taker  will also immediately identify themselves with a GOVERNMENT ID.  They will ask you questions about people in your household NOT any of  your personal numbers/accounts.  When I first moved in, someone did come to my door.  They are very professional.   If you have any questions or concerns, visit https://2020census.gov/en/avoiding-fraud.html

Some of the other common scams: 

AETNA Insurance A friend just posted that if you have AETNA Insurance, you get a call asking you to call a given 800 number and enter the code that person gives you.  Then provide the additonal information that the “insurance company” needs “to better serve you”.   DO NOT fall for it!

Amazon/Companies If you’re like me, you order a lot from Amazon.  This one is a common one that has happened to people I know.  You might get an email that looks like it’s from Amazon.  It has a link for you to click on to “confirm your credit card number”  DO NOT CLICK on the link.  There is a very high risk that it will place malware on your computer. 

Actually, if you get an email from ANYONE requesting something as confidential as your credit card number and asking you to click a link, do not do it!  Go to the company site directly.  Some of these people are VERY good at graphics that look just like a legitimate company logo.

Jail/Overseas/Spoofing You get a call from someone that says he’s your grandson or she’s your grandaughter and they’re in jail or have an emergecy.  Of course, you’re in a panic.  They ask you to send them money.  This is what my mother did and I thought it was brilliant.  She asked how (made up name) was.  When they responded like they knew the made up person, she hung up.  Now granted, some of those calls are LEGIT but you need to check it out before sending anyone funds.  BEWARE: sometimes they will use a fake number that uses the same area code as you use so that you believe that it’s local. 

Wal Mart I noticed the other day that Wal Mart now has a sign in their customer service area warning people of scams where victims are solicited for gift cards, wire transfers, money orders or cashiers checks, VENMO, PayPal, etc to pay for fines, taxes, lottery winnings or whatever they can convince you of.  The form of payment is a RED FLAG itself.  Remember, you will get a letter from the IRS or court if you owe them money NOT a threatening phone call. 

As I said, you may have heard of some of these but I wanted to cover all I knew about. Better safe than sorry.  I despise scammers. 

Have you been scammed?  If so, how?  Is there something that you know about that wasn’t covered and can help the rest of us?

In my next blog, I post ways I know to PROTECT against scams. https://notyourmamassenior.com/scam-protection

Let’s help each other!! Comments/Thoughts are welcome and encouraged.

~Debbi

Not Your Mama’s Senior

Favorite Comfort Food

So, we’re all stuck inside and what are we wanting to eat?  Lettuce?  Ummmm, NO!  WHO craves lettuce and really, if you think about it — have you ever seen a skinny rabbit?  Yeah, me neither. So, why do we eat lettuce to lose weight?  Go ahead…think….I’ll wait.  I have time!

This is going to be ME!!!!!

MY answer to the question….we want Comfort Food.  So, I saw this cute quiz titled Comfort Food IQ!  Who knew we had one of these but while we’re stuck inside, we might as well exercise our brains: 

1. Which of these comfort foods does not have an emoji?

  • A. Hot Dog
  • B. Burrito
  • C. Pancakes
  • D. Potato Chips

2. What’s another name for Chicken and Dumplings?

  • A. Parchment chicken
  • B. Chicken and slicks
  • C. Saucy chicken
  • D. Noodle bird

3. Why does lava cake have a gooey center?

  • A. Hot fudge is piped into it after baking
  • B. A center of chopped chocolate melts after baking
  • C. Cake is underbaked so the middle is still runny
  • D. Center is made of pudding

4. Which of these creamy pasta dishes does NOT typically have milk?

  • A. Carbonara
  • B. Alfredo
  • C. Penne alla vodka
  • D. Mac and cheese

5. What meats are in the “meatloaf mix” sold at supermarkets?

  • A. Beef and veal
  • B. Pork and veal
  • C. Beef (with herbs and spices)
  • D. Beef, pork and veal

6. Match the type of gravy to the food it’s commonly served with: Redeye, Sausage, Cream, Giblet

  • A. Ham
  • B. Chicken or turkey
  • C. Cream
  • D. Chicken-fried steak

7. Which combo of veggies are you most likely to find in chicken pot pie?

  • A. Peas, potatoes, broccoli
  • B. Peas, carrots, onions
  • C. Corn and peas
  • D. Corn, red and green peppers

8. Chicken-fried steak is typically made with what?

  • A. Chicken
  • B. Pork
  • C. Beef
  • D. Veal

9. Which of these ingredients is not found in a traditional Texas chili?

  • A. Beans
  • B. Tomatoes
  • C. Ground beef
  • D. A, B & C

10. Why are grilled cheese sandwiches often served with tomato soup?

  • A. Traditional pairing in England where both were invented
  • B. School kids loved the 2 served together
  • C. NYC Waldorf Astoria hotel offered the duo in the 1940s & it stuck
  • D. During WWII, soldiers cobbled the meal together from their ration kits

11. Which cut of beef is used to make pot roast?

  • A. Chuck
  • B. Sirloin
  • C. Tenderloin
  • D. Brisket

12. What is the name of the white sauce frequently used in mac & cheese?

  • A. Veloute
  • B. Hollandaise
  • C. Consomme
  • D. Bechamel

13. Which of these pies is made with chocolate?

  • A. Hoosier
  • B. French silk
  • C. Chess
  • D. Shoofly

14. Cincinnati chili is traditionally served over which starch?

  • A. Mashed potatoes
  • B. Spaghetti
  • C. Rice
  • D. Cornbread

15. Which of these dishes is a casserole?

  • A. Chicken tetrazzini
  • B. Beef stroganoff
  • C. Chicken Kiev
  • D. Steak Diane

16. T__F__ Grits and polenta are the same

17.  T__F__ When making biscuits, you should melt butter before adding into dough

18. T__F__  Spaghetti and meatballs originated in America

19. T__F__  Chowder is the same as bisque

20. T__F__  Traditional green bean casserole is made with cream of chicken soup

Answers:  (give yourself a point for each correct)

  1. D
  2. B
  3. C (yuk?)
  4. A (creaminess comes from eggs)
  5. D
  6. A Redeye, B Giblet, C Sausage, D Cream
  7. B
  8. C (breaded and fried like chicken)
  9. D
  10. B
  11. A (one of my FAVS with mashed potatoes!)
  12. D (equal parts butter and flour and whisk)
  13. B
  14. B (invented in 1920s at Empress Chili Parlor in Cincinnati)
  15. A
  16. F (different types of corn)
  17. F (work cold butter in until size of peas)
  18. T (really? how many Italians beg to differ on this?)
  19. F (bisque is smoother than chowder)
  20. F (estimated 40% of mushroom soup sold used for this dish)

So—-how’d you do?  I pretty much flunked but y’all expected that.   

0-7 points:  Total Discomfort.  You need a crash course in comfort food

8-17 points:  Getting Warmer.  You’re no stranger but you need more of it.

18 and above points:  Comfort Zone.  Celebrate but not a lot.  Comfort food has a LOT of calories unless you’re working them off. 

If any of you awesome cooks have an issue with an answer, please argue with the Food Network Magazine, March 2019 issue.  I have NO idea how I came to possess this magazine but I thought the quiz was fun. 

I could really go for some chicken and dumplings right now though ……………my crash course I guess. 

SO, what was YOUR score and what is YOUR favorite comfort food?

Comments/Thoughts are welcome and encouraged as always.

Hugs

~Debbi

Creator of Not Your Mama’s Senior

5 Rules of the Kitchen

I will be the first to admit that I am NOT a cook.  I have a TON of interests but cooking is not one of them.  I have a kitchen because the builder said it came with the house.  I do like to bake – well, in reality, I like to decorate more than bake.  Since I don’t have an assistant though, I thought these tips would be useful:

  • Measure flour accurately

Use a “spoon and sweep” method which means to spoon the flour into your measuring cup rather than scooping your measuring cup into the flour. 

With the back of a knife, level the cup and “sweep” the excess back into the bag/container.  I use a container for mine because when I lived in the south, I had issues with it. 

Scooping the flour directly can pack the flour leading to dry, dense baked goods.

  • Warm eggs to room temperature

Get eggs out before you start to bake so they get to room temperature.  If you don’t have time to wait, put cold eggs into a bowl.  Cover with WARM water.  Let them set 5-7 minutes while you’re preparing other things.

Warm eggs blend more easily and whites whip up with a bigger volume.

  • Test your baking soda and baking powder

I need to do this!!!!  I’ve been burnt before but never learn.  Spoon baking soda and baking powder into separate small bowls.  Pour boiling water into baking powder.  Pour distilled white vinegar into baking soda.  If the fizz, they’re still good. 

If these ingredients aren’t good, your baked goods will not rise or be fluffy.

  • Measure liquid and dry ingredients separately

I’m bad about this one too.  Use clear measuring cups with pour spouts for liquids.  Use flat-bottomed cups for dry ingredients.  Again, use that spoon and sweep method. 

Too much or too little liquid can spoil the recipe.  The clear cups allow you to see exactly how much liquid you’re using and let you pour right up to the fill line without spilling. 

  • Prevent over baking

Use and oven thermometer to check your oven.  Sometimes they don’t heat accurately (above or below what the dial says)

Set your kitchen timer and check for doneness a few minutes early.  You might want to rotate your pan half way through for even baking. 

Watch how your baked goods are browning.  Some spots in your oven may be hotter than others. 

(Most of  this is from Oct 2019 free Giant flyer – you know where I bought my pre cooked chicken)  LOL

Sample cake.
One of my cakes.

Since I bake mostly for other people and on special occasions, I guess I won’t be doing much now that we are in quarantine.  However, the silver lining to having to stay in is that I used my GPS and the builder is right…..I found my kitchen. 

I always thought that eating prepared food or eating out was cheaper (less waste) since I was cooking for one.  I don’t know how to cook for one and I got tired of eating a dish after a couple times.  I know— freeze.  I am eating in more often now AND saving money!!!!!  Go figure.  I might have to keep up this trend!!

So either way, cooking or baking, I hope these tips help. 

Comments/Thoughts welcome and encouraged.

Hugs-

~Debbi

Founder of Not Your Mama’s Senior

10 Good Reads

As previously promised in my last blog   I’m providing some book suggestions.  I’ve always been an avid reader.  If you are too, let’s take a walk down memory lane:

-I had quite the collection of Golden Books that cost cents and are now up to $5.00!!

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

Betsy and Eddie books by Carolyn Haywood (have handwritten letter from her)

-various Mystery books by Mary C Jane (have letter, postcard and signed photo from her)

Trixie Beldon books by Judy Campbell

Nancy Drew books by Carolyn Keene  ( Hardy Boys for boys)

Can you relate to any of these?  I was a library geek and wrote to some of my favorite authors AND their publishing company who sent me book jackets. lol They’re all scrapbooked. 

As an adult, I went through the Danielle Steele phase and still read some of Nora Roberts but both of these authors were sort of getting stale to me.  When I look back, I can see I was always drawn to mystery and got stuck reading a LOT of John Grisham, James Patterson and my all time favorite – David Baldacci.  I did stray somewhat and two books changed my life!

I joined 2 bookclubs to force me to read something different.  Many of those that I’m listing are from one of those bookclubs.  Note:  The italics are MY commentary.

Windows to the World

So, here’s my Top 10:

All time fav: Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill (classic!)

I read this book MANY moons ago and it was one of the two that changed my life.  It made me think different.  It’s truly motivational no matter what you do for a living!

The most famous of all teachers of success spent a fortune and the better part of a lifetime of effort to produce the Law of Success philosophy that forms the basis of his books and that is so powerfully summarized and explained for the general public in this book.

In Think and Grow Rich, Hill draws on stories of Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and other millionaires of his generation to illustrate his principles. This book will teach you the secrets that could bring you a fortune. It will show you not only what to do but how to do it. Once you learn and apply the simple, basic techniques revealed here, you will have mastered the secret of true and lasting success.

Money and material things are essential for freedom of body and mind, but there are some who will feel that the greatest of all riches can be evaluated only in terms of lasting friendships, loving family relationships, understanding between business associates, and introspective harmony which brings one true peace of mind! All who read, understand, and apply this philosophy will be better prepared to attract and enjoy these spiritual values.

I have to say this one scared me for sure!!!!  It gave me a new perspective though. 

After the film in her camera is mysteriously destroyed at a small-town festival, reporter Bernice Kreuger knows she’s found something worth covering up. She brings the investigation to her boss, Marshall Hogan. Along with the local pastor of a struggling church, Hank Busch, they find something much bigger than they expected—a demonic plot to enslave their town and, eventually, the world.

The tiny college town of Ashton becomes the unlikely battleground in a cosmic clash between good and evil. Unseen by the human protagonists, armies of angels and demons wage war against one another in the spiritual realm for the souls of the people of Ashton. Up against supernatural forces, the future of the town seems bleak – but the power of prayer might be able to influence the outcome of the fight.

This fast-paced thriller birthed an entirely new genre, setting the standard for spiritual suspense. It has since sold over 2 million copies worldwide, sparking a renewed interest in the concept of spiritual warfare.

This is the sequelPiercing the Darkness and I started it several times but couldn’t finish. I got too scared.

The following are in no particular order.

Interesting historical fiction.  I did not know that such a thing existed.

Between 1854 and 1929, so-called orphan trains ran regularly from the cities of the East Coast to the farmlands of the Midwest, carrying thousands of abandoned children whose fates would be determined by pure luck. Would they be adopted by a kind and loving family, or would they face a childhood and adolescence of hard labor and servitude?

As a young Irish immigrant, Vivian Daly was one such child, sent by rail from New York City to an uncertain future a world away. Returning east later in life, Vivian leads a quiet, peaceful existence on the coast of Maine, the memories of her upbringing rendered a hazy blur. But in her attic, hidden in trunks, are vestiges of a turbulent past.

Seventeen-year-old Molly Ayer knows that a community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping her out of juvenile hall. But as Molly helps Vivian sort through her keepsakes and possessions, she discovers that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they appear. A Penobscot Indian who has spent her youth in and out of foster homes, Molly is also an outsider being raised by strangers, and she, too, has unanswered questions about the past.

Moving between contemporary Maine and Depression-era Minnesota, Orphan Train is a powerful novel of upheaval and resilience, of second chances, and unexpected friendship.

I was able to meet this author.  Aside from being easy on the eyes (lol), he’s very entertaining. 

In 1986, Henry Lee joins a crowd outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle’s Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has discovered the belongings of Japanese families who were sent to internment camps during World War II. As the owner displays and unfurls a Japanese parasol, Henry, a Chinese American, remembers a young Japanese American girl from his childhood in the 1940s—Keiko Okabe, with whom he forged a bond of friendship and innocent love that transcended the prejudices of their Old World ancestors. After Keiko and her family were evacuated to the internment camps, she and Henry could only hope that their promise to each other would be kept. Now, forty years later, Henry explores the hotel’s basement for the Okabe family’s belongings and for a long-lost object whose value he cannot even begin to measure. His search will take him on a journey to revisit the sacrifices he has made for family, for love, for country.

Another of his. It was good but not as good as the above Love and Other Consolation Prizes

Interesting but then I think the Appalachian Trail is too.

After Paul Stutzman lost his wife to breast cancer, he sensed a tug on his heart–the call to a challenge, the call to pursue a dream. With a mixture of dread and determination, Paul left his job, traveled to Georgia, and took his first steps on the Appalachian Trail. What he learned during the next four and a half months changed his life–and can change yours as well.

In Hiking Through, you’ll join Paul on his remarkable 2,176-mile trip through fourteen states in search of peace and a renewed sense of purpose. Along the way, you’ll meet fascinating and funny people, experience trail magic, and discover that every choice we make on the path has consequences for the journey. More than that, you’ll come away with a new understanding of God’s grace and guidance–even in the smallest things.

Another trail book is Grandma Gatewood’s Walk by Ben Montgomery This is ONE GUTSY woman for sure!!!! 

I read this MANY years ago while I was a young military wife actually living in Brooklyn (Fort Hamilton) and it’s still relevant.

From the moment she entered the world, Francie Nolan needed to be made of stern stuff, for the often harsh life of Williamsburg demanded fortitude, precocity, and strength of spirit. Often scorned by neighbors for her family’s erratic and eccentric behavior—such as her father Johnny’s taste for alcohol and Aunt Sissy’s habit of marrying serially without the formality of divorce—no one, least of all Francie, could say that the Nolans’ life lacked drama. By turns overwhelming, sublime, heartbreaking, and uplifting, the Nolans’ daily experiences are tenderly threaded with family connectedness and raw with honesty. Betty Smith has, in the pages of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, captured the joys of humble Williamsburg life-from “junk day” on Saturdays, when the children of Francie’s neighborhood traded their weekly take for pennies, to the special excitement of holidays, bringing cause for celebration and revelry.

A Holocaust story auto biography.  Inspirational to say the least. 

At the age of sixteen, Edith Eger was sent to Auschwitz. Hours after her parents were killed, Nazi officer Dr. Josef Mengele, forced Edie to dance for his amusement and her survival. Edie was pulled from a pile of corpses when the American troops liberated the camps in 1945.

Edie spent decades struggling with flashbacks and survivor’s guilt, determined to stay silent and hide from the past. Thirty-five years after the war ended, she returned to Auschwitz and was finally able to fully heal and forgive the one person she’d been unable to forgive—herself.

Edie weaves her remarkable personal journey with the moving stories of those she has helped heal. She explores how we can be imprisoned in our own minds and shows us how to find the key to freedom. 

I’ve come to really enjoy her writing.  This is another historical fiction.  I had seen Georgia Tann’s story on Investigation Discovery called “Evil Women”. This has a happy ending though.

Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family’s Mississippi River shanty boat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge—until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents—but they quickly realize the dark truth. At the mercy of the facility’s cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together in a world of danger and uncertainty.

Aiken, South Carolina, present day. Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all: a successful career as a federal prosecutor, a handsome fiancé, and a lavish wedding on the horizon. But when Avery returns home to help her father weather a health crisis, a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions and compels her to take a journey through her family’s long-hidden history, on a path that will ultimately lead either to devastation or to redemption.

Based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals—in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country—Lisa Wingate’s riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.

I’ve come to enjoy her works as well.  This is fiction but having lived in Alaska, I can tell you, Kristen hit life in the bush spot on!  Winters are TOUGH especially if you have emotional issues.

Alaska, 1974. Ernt Allbright came home from the Vietnam War a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes the impulsive decision to move his wife and daughter north where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.

Cora will do anything for the man she loves, even if means following him into the unknown. Thirteen-year-old Leni, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, has little choice but to go along, daring to hope this new land promises her family a better future.

In a wild, remote corner of Alaska, the Allbrights find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the newcomers’ lack of preparation and dwindling resources.

But as winter approaches and darkness descends, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own.

Last but not least-

This was a REAL eye opener.  Jessica is a journalist and I can tell you that you will never think about Amazon the same way.  All I can say is you have to love seniors!!!  We’re resilient!!

From the beet fields of North Dakota to the campgrounds of California to Amazon’s Camper Force program in Texas, employers have discovered a new, low-cost labor pool, made up largely of transient older adults. These invisible casualties of the Great Recession have taken to the road by the tens of thousands in RVs and modified vans, forming a growing community of nomads.

Nomadland tells a revelatory tale of the dark underbelly of the American economy—one which foreshadows the precarious future that may await many more of us. At the same time, it celebrates the exceptional resilience and creativity of these Americans who have given up ordinary rootedness to survive, but have not given up hope.

I hope these help get you started. I have a ton more. I’m ALWAYS reading something. If you have any suggestions for MY reading list, let me know.

Whatever you do, stay safe. Amazon delivers!!!!! Happy Reading!

Comments/Thoughts are welcome and encouraged!

Hugs–

~Debbi

Survive Social Distancing

Have you heard of the terms introvert and extrovert?  They are terms used in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.  This is based on C.G. Jung’s ideas about how different ways of perceiving and judging, in combination with different attitudes, describe different types of people. 

Two of the indicators are Introversion and Extroversion.  They merely indicate how you interact with the world and renew.

Introverts – focus on the inner world.  They can work with people but often need moments alone to renew their energy.

Extroverts – focus more on the outer world and gain energy by interacting with other people.

There is nothing right or wrong with either.  When I worked for the government, I administered this test to all employees.  It helped create a better work environment by helping coworkers understand each other better. 

As it turns out, studies show that the majority of people are extraverts.  Perhaps it’s because this style is encouraged by a society that values one’s ability to be sociable. 

So, in these trying times, it’s difficult for many extroverts who are asked to stay home and not be closer than 6 ft from another person or not to engage with more than 10 people.

However, these things are necessary to help prevent the spread of this Corona virus.  We, as seniors, are more vulnerable so we have to be really careful especially if we have:

  • -compromised immune systems
  • -chronic lung disease or asthma
  • -serious heart conditions
  • -other underlying medical conditions like diabetes or liver damage
  • I know they listed pregnancy as well, but I can only hope that no one our age is pregnant.  lol

My brother, who is older than me, is just one of those folks that’s really having a hard time not being able to interact with people on a regular basis.  This is causing him to be depressed.  So, I thought I’d share some of the things with you that I suggested to him. You can:    

Read.  That could be a physical book or one on your Kindle.  It could be a magazine or even something on the internet.  I’ll have another blog with some book suggestions. 

Learn a new skill.  It could be a new language, how to knit/crochet or even scrapbooking (https://scrapbookingforanyone.com/).  Maybe you’ve always wanted to paint or learn photography.  Start a garden.  You Tube is great and there’s a video showing you how to do anything you can think of.  The magic of technology!!!

Take Virtual Tours.  Again, technology rules.  This will eat up HOURS in day especially if you follow all the little side trails like I end up doing.  Here’s some links to start:

DC Capital:  https://scholasticatravel.com/2014/02/24/washington-dc-virtual-tour/

Smithsonian:https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/how-virtually-explore-smithsonian-your-living-room-180974436/

The World: https://www.techradar.com/best/virtual-tours-museums-national-parks-around-the-world

-Now that you’re back home from your tours, clean out the clutter that you’ve been meaning to do forever.  I bought this book by Marie Kondo

Her idea is to hold something in your hand and if doesn’t bring you joy, toss it.  I have to admit, I didn’t find joy in that book so I tossed IT!!!  Sorry, Marie.  You may find it helpful though.  Most likely there are things in your house that can be cleared out. Even I was able to do that.  Look under your bathroom sink.  That’s where I found most of my toss stuff.  So, keep it, gift it, recyle it or toss it!!!

Do a puzzle.  This can be a jigsaw puzzle, a crossword puzzle, sudokoo or any number of puzzles out now.  Anything that keeps your mind sharp. 

Play a game.  Ok, I know the whole purpose of hibernation is to stay away from people but there are plenty of online games that you can play alone or compete with others online.  My 92 year old mother in law plays on a site called Club Pogo https://earlyaccess.pogo.com/club-pogo  all the time.  There’s a fee but there are TONS of games.  It keeps your brain sharp – scam prevention brain I call it.  One of my favorites (and it’s an oldie) is Bejewled.  I love hearing those jewels explode.  Is that warped?????  LOL

Go for a walk.  The sun and the vitamin D it produces is good for your immune system. Exercise is good for the joints as well.  We have to keep moving if at all possible.  Just remember to stay away from others.

Start a journal.  Sometimes when you’re depressed, it’s helpful to write your thoughts in a journal. Just acknowledging how you feel sometimes helps.  I’ve had one for years and it’s fun to look back periodically to see how far I’ve come.

-Last but not least and one of my personal favorites that takes up most of my time is Wealthy Affiliate.  I joined in 2011 and will never leave.  I did a blog about working from home. I love writing blogs although I do get sidetracked when life calls but hey—I’m retired.  When I first joined, I had NO clue how to create a website but the training is fantastic and so is the helpful, diverse, fun community.  There are surprisingly MANY people our age that are now doing blogs.  Check it out

Above all, stay home, wash your hands a LOT, be safe and do NOT panic. While there IS a real danger, the media sometimes simply likes to keep us in a frenzy. It’s what makes money. Good news doesn’t. Sad.

I hope this helps. We’re all in this together but we’re not all alike. Don’t let this get you down. This too shall pass!!!!!!

Comments Please.

~Debbi

Snow Tubing Gone Wild

I am from UPSTATE NY NOT to be confused with NYC please!!!  I will have some do/don’t for that in another blog.  In any case, when I was a kid, I used to lie in bed and PRAY for 12 inches of snow so that the schools would close.  Two reasons, I hated to get up and more than likely I hadn’t done my homework.  I was NOT a child who loved school obviously.  Alas, schools normally opened so I’d have to go to Plan B.  When my dad called me to get ready, I’d tell him I was sick.  He’d say “oh, feel better” and that was it.  Then my mother would come get me and basically say “suck it up, buttercup!”.  She knew when I was faking!

Then I married an Army man (no choice, he was drafted – remember those days?).  Our first duty station was Brooklyn, NY where I was introduced to my first roach.  I had NO idea that they even existed.  I didn’t care WHERE we were transferred as long as there were not bugs.  We moved to Anchorage, Alaska.  Whoa, talk about snow banks taller than me.  Ok, so I’m not that tall but they were taller than my husband and he was over 6 feet! 

My point is, I’m no stranger to snow but given a choice of living in NY or living in VA, I choose VA because they don’t have snow right????  WRONG!  My first winter here we had a HORRIBLE storm.  My friends in NY were laughing at me.  Yet, VA is not prepared for snow like NY was.  If someone says snow on the weather forecast, schools close; shelves in the stores are picked bare of groceries.  We’re not even talking an inch, much less at least 12!!!  Why didn’t I live HERE as a kid?? 

Well, it snowed this weekend.  It was a heavy, wet snow – actually great for snowballs or snowmen.  Not so good on the back when you’re shoveling.  So, what do you do???  You “suck it up, buttercup” and go snow tubing. 

Fun in the snow

The first run down was quite dicey.  No one told me to kind of lean back in the tube a little and hold my legs up.  You’re on your own at the top of the hill.  Well, I spun down the whole way!  By the time I got to the end, I thought I was going to get sick.  That was not an option for me so I got my bearings, talked to some people, learned the trick and did it again.  Once I got the hang of it, it was great.  However, one of the ladies (and I’m not really sure WHAT she did) as she was going down, fell out of the tube and hit her head.  I guess she won’t be tubing again any time in the near future.  She was alright but they took her to the hospital for tests to make sure. 

So, if you’re in a place that has a lot of snow, get out in it!!  I don’t downhill ski – I’d surely break my neck.  I cross country on occasion.  If you snow tube (which is really quite safe), please keep your feet up and lean back a little then enjoy the ride.  Just getting out and walking  (carefully) can be invigorating. 

Until the next adventure (I have another snow tubing date coming up), enjoy Winter. I mean, do we have a choice??

Comments/Thoughts are welcome and encouraged.

~Debbi

Life Reboot 2019

At the beginning of every year (I am kind of OCD and need a new year, new month, new week to start something), I evaluate the previous year to determine where I have grown and what I would like to work on for the coming year. 

The BEST
Let’s DO THIS!!!

Some people have words that they choose for the year.  I tried that one year.  My word was PATIENCE.  Whew, I will never do THAT again.  I was tested from the moment I made that decision.  My patience muscle was exercised to the max!!  I tried breathing IN with the good, OUT with the bad but it kind of turned into hyperventilating.  I gave up.  lol 

The  4 “F”s (or areas of life) to look at when creating goals.  They are:

          Faith – Start the day with devotions, perhaps keep a gratitude journal, find a small group of like minded people that you can be open with and grow spiritually.  Even if you are not a group person (like me), it helps. When trouble comes (and it will), know that there is a higher power at work; trust in that; tap into that power.  Never give up hope or let your joy be stolen.

          Family – Plan time with spouse and (grand)kids.   They remember memories that you make even if you do not have a lot of money to spend.  Time is more important that elaborate events or even money.  Plan a night with your spouse or kids.  Go outdoor (sports, hiking on trails, building a snowman, etc) or inside (board games, restaurant).  The most important part is reconnecting and making memories.  Take time to sincerely talk to one another and I do not mean through texts. 

          Finances – Get out of debt, go on a spending hiatus.  Think carefully about each purchase.  Do you NEED it or WANT it.  If you are able to buy anything you want without going into debt, kudos to you.  Go for it but most of us need a budget.  Perhaps you are planning for retirement or even a trip.  It was on the radio this morning that many people would rather sit in traffic than sit down to evaluate where they are in their finances.  You have to know where you are NOW so you can determine what it will take to get you to where you want to be.   

          Fitness – Do NOT be a couch potato.  Some of us have limitations but our bodies were made to move.  It keeps the joints lubricated.  Some insurance plans cover Silver Sneakers where they will pay for your gym membership.  Check it out! I am loving it!  Swimming is great for sore joints.  Remember eating is part of this plan as well.  I am a junk food person so this is tough for me.  I HATE to cook so I tell everyone if you are what you eat then I must be cheap, easy and fast.  I basically have a kitchen because it came with the house.  I made a plan for this though. 

You may rank the list differently and it is ok.  The objective is to make you the best you can be mind, body and spirit because we are made up of all three parts.  Do any of the above need a reboot?  It is never too late to start but the beginning of a new year always helps with my mindset – starting fresh.  Now that you have determined the area, make SMART goals. 

I did not always do this. In the past, my goals were vague.  “I want to lose weight”   This year, I drew a line in the sand and said 2019 WILL be MY year!  I set SMART GOALS – not resolutions.

What is the difference?  I looked it up.  A resolution is a firm decision to do/not to do something (often unachievable) whereas a goal is the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.  I understand there is a fine line here but, admit it, resolutions get broken quickly.  To me, it sounds like going cold turkey.  In my mind:  resolution:  I will not eat bad food vs. goal:  I can have a cheat day once a week (but only 1).  I can plan, stay motivated and still reach my goal.

Back to SMART GOALS.  It is not a new concept.  I have heard it many times and used it in work but not in life. So, what are SMART goals? 

S=Specific, M=Measurable, A=Achievable, R=Relevant and T=Time-Sensitive  For example: 

  • (S) Instead of saying I want to lose weight (I wish I was the weight I was 20 years ago and thought I was fat), I wrote “I wanted to lose 21 lbs.” 
  • (M) This is certainly measurable (ask my scale – at least it is not one of those talking ones).  I figured out how much I wanted to lose per month and the steps I would take to do it such as go to the gym and eat healthier.
  • (A)  Certainly achievable and realistic.  I mean not even GOD can make me taller now so no matter how much I do, I will still be short – no sense in making THAT goal!
  • (R)  It has to fit with an overall objective that you have for your life.  Yep, it is something that will benefit me overall.  I will feel better, help prevent diabetes (runs in family), help my asthma, have more energy and have less stress on my joints.  …and yeah, I will fit into those jeans!!!  Total win!
  • (T)  You need a finish line.  My time limit is June. 
VICTORY!

What areas do you want to work on?  Do you have a plan? Have you heard that a GOAL without a PLAN is simply a WISH? I am calling 2019 to be the BEST YEAR EVER!  With all the stuff that is going on in our world these days, we HAVE to remain positive.  I believe that staying positive is half the battle.

Comments/Thoughts are Welcome. I would love to hear from you.

~Debbi

Work from Home

So, it is a new year and I am trying to get through all my “put aside for later mail”.  If it was not a bill, Christmas card or something that LOOKED important, it was put aside until such a time as this.  

I am having a nice cup of coffee and what do I see.  In the December 2018 AARP Bulletin, there is an article regarding Website Wolves.  UGH, I mean I am thankful for AARP calling these people out because it makes me MAD when these scammers try to take advantage of us seniors. 

Frauds

They offer to help you set up an internet business.  OK, there are legitimate people who do that.   HOWEVER, you do not just create a website, put it online and expect people to come rushing to buy from you.  These scammers were offering inexpensive web design kits simply to generate leads for telemarketing. 

If I could just be Queen for a day, I would do horrible things to people who bilk money from others simply for their own profit.  There are people, like me, that really need help creating an online business and you cannot assume everyone is honest.  There are pros and cons to living “back in the day” when a hand shake meant something.  So, what is a person to do?  You always have to do your due diligence.  Check them out first and get references. 

Before I retired, I figured out my finances.  I looked at what monthly living expenses and income would be, the savings I had and what I hoped to do in retirement such as travel and enjoy myself while I still could.  I determined that with what I had, I could go “crazy” for 3 years.  Then I would have to find a part time job to cover my deficit. My deficit was small but it existed. I could not wait any longer to get more money.  I was SO over my job and the long commute.  I would  NEED a job.

I started looking for Online or Home based work.  I did not want to deal with a commute and wanted income that fit MY schedule.  I stumbled upon Wealthy Affiliate.  I can tell you with all sincerity, it was the best decision I ever made.  I say this for a few reasons that I have stated below. 

If you check my profile, you will see that I started in 2011 (before retirement) but in reality, I did not engage until a couple years later.  I meant to but work got in the way.  After retirement, I got serious and jumped into the training.  It was exciting!  Let me say upfront, it is NOT A GET RICH QUICK deal.  If you need money right NOW to pay your bills, get a part time job or stay with the job you have.

What it IS is an opportunity to make money legitimately doing affiliate marketing.  What is affiliate marketing?   It is simple.  You promote product(s) or services for companies online.  When one of your readers purchases, you get a commission.  This is the Cliff Notes (loved them) version.  Kyle (co-owner) shows you step by step how to do this. 

Baby boomers have a lot of experience and blogging is one of the ways we can share that experience.  We might as well make money at it.  Let me say right here that you have to have the right mindset.  Do not do this if you want to scam people out of money.  You should truly want to be of assistance.  I take pride in our generation of people.  The majority of us have ethics and treat people right. 

Write about your passion.  My first site is about scrapbooking.  http://scrapbookingforanyone.com/  I love scrapbooking and have been doing it for YEARS.  People would see my books and feel overwhelmed.  So, I created a blog to help them see that it really isn’t that hard.  It is more about your heart than your artistic ability.  I put in some links to products that I use from Amazon and voila, when they use my link and purchase from Amazon, I get a commission.  The beauty with Amazon is that they do not even have to buy scrapbooking supplies.  If they buy a car from that link, I get the commission.   Hey, with the way Amazon is going, they could sell cars in the future. 

You get out of it what you put in.  Honestly, I could make more out of it but I get sidetracked a lot with my family and friends.  This is my choice though and the beauty is, I can come back and pick up where I left off.  I like that.

Why will Wealthy Affiliate have me forever? 

  • From the beginning, Kyle (co-owner/trainer) takes you step by step on HOW to do everything.  I definitely needed this as I did NOT have a clue.  I took 2 computer coding classes (Pascal) back in the day and RAN back to my accounting class.  I could not code my way out of a box!!
  • I have all the flexibility I could want – working when/where I want (have computer will travel)
  • I can make as much or as little as I want (more effort/dedication = more money)
  • There is no “pay this small amount then we will up sell you more……..” (ANNOYING!)
  • The community is huge and diverse (age, country and knowledge wise) so I have met people all over the globe and communicate with them frequently
  • The community is not cut throat (hello workplace).  Everyone actually helps you if they can
  • There is continuous training online and every Fri there is a webinar addressing different issues.  Of course, there is NO additional charge.  Aside from that Jay (the guy who does the webinars) is entertaining
  • I love Kyle and Carson (co-owners) – they are sincere, down to earth guys.  They WANT you to succeed and do everything in their power to help

SO, if you are like me, and overspent on Christmas and waiting for the bills, take a look at this.  I say it may not help you with the Christmas bills but I have known people that make money right away.  However, they were more experienced and focused than I was.  Maybe you are too.  It took me maybe 6 months?  Full disclosure, I do make a commission from you joining but it is NOT a MLM where I want to sign you up so you sign others up under me. 

NEVER too Old

Trust me said the spider to the fly….sorry, could not resist.  Seriously, it costs nothing to look and decide for yourself.   I am passionate about this and tired of all the scams out there.  I was duped a couple times.  This IS a part time job and you have to put time and energy in but it is so worth everything you get out of it. 

Comments and Thoughts are welcomed and encouraged. I am seriously here to help.

~Debbi