Amazing Wealth Systems Workshop

20171111_123706.jpgWeeks ago, a friend asked me if I wanted to attend a seminar with her about creating a business through Amazon.  I was very skeptical and asked her if someone was going to try to sell us a timeshare or something, but she believed it was a legitimate thing endorsed by Amazon because these people were using Amazon’s logo on the “tickets”.

These people suck.

I agreed to go with her because I wanted to see her anyway, but I also like to expose scams, so why not?  We walked in and they located her on the guest list.  They asked for my name and phone number.  I’m definitely looking forward to talking to them soon.

The first photo is what we saw walking in. Gag.  Then next to the door was this.

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She realized very quickly that this wasn’t a seminar or workshop at all, but a sales pitch.  It’s funny how they act like they’re doing you a favor by allowing you to come hear their 2 hour sales pitch.  Gee, thanks!  Exactly what I want to do smack in the middle of a Saturday.  The fact that it’s in a hotel conference room probably adds a dash of credibility, but anytime I hear a bunch of smarmy guys in suits promoting get rich quick schemes, I immediately roll my eyes in disgust.

Dear hotels:  Maybe you should consider not allowing financial predators to use your rooms to rip people off?  I mean, I realize you make money off of it, but come on.

This is pretty typical.  The guy whose name I don’t remember (and don’t care) talked about how he started in the military and like most government employees, they don’t make that much.  But then later he got into doing business on eBay, became a great success there, moved on to Amazon, etc.  Blah blah blah.

He had asked that we write down any questions we had and save it for the end.  Of course, what this meant was that he didn’t want to be challenged with anyone’s critical thinking skills.  Dude, if you find this, screw you.  Seriously.  There’s a special place in Hell for those who prey upon the poor/vulnerable/disabled.

Obviously you’re not THAT rich and successful if you have to depend on selling a money making “system” TO A BUNCH OF POOR PEOPLE!

I’m pretty sure some of the people there were planted too.  The ones who were immediately nodding their heads in agreement.  “Yeah!  Mmm hmm!”  That’s designed to convince others that this must be a really good idea.

Either you are an entrepreneur or you’re not.  Some people are talented at that kind of thing.  Others not at all.  Let’s stop implying that poor people “don’t want to put in the work”.  Many, many poor people bust their butts doing some of the hardest jobs around, so don’t you dare imply that there’s something wrong with them!  Every job is needed.  Do you know what the world would look like if there were no garbage men?

You then stated that what was standing in their way was fear.  Or maybe common sense?  Should a person pay $995 for a “system” that teaches them things they can learn on YouTube and blogs?

You have to have money to make money.  Poor people don’t have money.  They have crippling debt and their desperation causes them to make horrible decisions like purchasing things that will not only help them, but hurt them.

Next, you said that you can’t just show up at the three day seminar and pay because everything needs to be planned out in advance – the renting of the ballroom, how many teachers there are, etc.  You are so full of crap.  Seriously.  I knew what was coming next.  You were going to pressure everyone to pay today.  Meanwhile, after you asked everyone to silence their cell phones, I sat there Googling on my tablet because screw you, vulture. Sure enough, there were a bunch of stories about you guys ripping people off and surprise, your “free gift” isn’t ever received and your website is conveniently down.

If you care about helping the poor, teach them for free.  If I ever find out the secret to making butt loads of money (in a 100% honest way), I will certainly share it for free all over the place.  With no catch.  And I won’t have to rent a conference room and dish out flattering comments I don’t mean (like you did with my friend today) to win people over.  I’m writing this blog for free right now, jackass! It’s 1:46am. I have to get up early for church, but I’m sitting there writing this and working hard just for the purpose of saving people from the likes of you.  And yes, I’m pretty poor, but I do have a YouTube channel with over 6,000 subscribers and that might eventually really pay off through my hard work. Don’t worry, I will make a video about you!

Let me tell you about my friend.  She has worked hard her whole life.  She faced a lot of hardships as an African American woman, had to start over in her career after an accident, and then got her masters degree.  Unfortunately, she was laid off after a 3 month medical leave, searched for work for many years, lost her home, finally got a job, and found out three days later that she has cancer.  She is so sick, she can’t work and she was denied disability two times.  She is trying her darnedest to find a legitimate way to make money in between vomiting sessions and was thinking maybe she could sell jewelry through Amazon, but I’m sure she can find a way without paying $995!

Don’t you dare tell one of the bravest women I know that fear is stopping her!  I wrote her a note during your lame pitch that I wanted to get gyros because I wasn’t sitting through two hours of that nonsense.  She was hoping there would be a mini break so we could leave.  Hahaha!  Like you were going to make it easier for people to leave!  I told her I would have a coughing fit, leave the room, and she could follow.  But really, I should have yelled that this was a scam.  Next time.

Now do me a favor and do some split leaps on a picket fence.

 

 

 

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The Loss of My Grandma

This is definitely a blog post instead of a video.  I have a policy against (real) crying on YouTube.  Plus YouTube has had issues with their advertisers and will send me a message that it’s not approved for monetization, I think because I used the keyword “death”, which gives their automated flagging system concern that I’ve made a death video maybe?  I made a brief video mentioning that I was still alive, but my grandma passed away.  I can write this without receiving an annoying message that it’s defective in some way.

Anyway, I am struggling with grief right now, but it’s different this time.  She lived for 92 long years and sometimes people think it’s less sad when a person is old when they die.  OK, it’s not a huge tragedy and unexpected, but our loved ones can’t ever be replaced, even when they did or said things on a regular basis that maybe hurt or annoyed us.

The difference is, we lost her a little bit at a time, so by the time she was gone, there wasn’t the sense of shock, like jumping into ice cold water.  The visits with her were less and less.  She lost her ability to drive.  She couldn’t handle being at our house for very long anymore.  Outings were later out of the question and she didn’t even come over on Christmas Day. She stopped writing.  She stopped reading. We were eased into a life without Grandma.  She understood everything until the very end, but it was very hard for her to talk.  It’s not that I ever would have wished for her to pass away, but I didn’t want her to suffer anymore, lying in her hospital bed alone for countless hours.  She wanted to move on.  She asked my uncle why he was crying and he said, “I’m going to miss you.”  She said, “Just think of all of the hellos I get to say!”  She longed to be reunited with the three children she lost and my grandpa.

She told my cousin, “Don’t be sad.  I’m happy.”

I’m trying to be happy for her now, but the waves of sadness keep coming.  She was the only grandparent I ever truly knew.  My other grandma has been missing for over 40 years and disappeared before I was born. One grandpa had major strokes that made it impossible to talk for the most part and my other grandpa damaged his brain with alcohol to the point that he couldn’t really carry on a conversation.  He literally drank himself to death.  When he was in a home, he used to go for walks and some bartender felt sorry for him and gave him free drinks.  He drank himself into a coma.  I was a teenager and I watched him have seizures in the hospital, which he did every ten minutes for a week before he finally passed away.  I was devastated simply because we didn’t get to have a relationship.  He wasted his life on alcohol.

I’m left with this overwhelming feeling now that my parents are next and I don’t want to face it.  I couldn’t wait to grow up when I was young, but didn’t consider that that meant my parents aging.  I wanted certain benefits of being older and then I wanted time to freeze.

There’s so much focus on living as long as humanly possible, but I no longer have that wish.  I want to live a decent amount of time, but not long enough to be forgotten.  Not long enough to be put into a home where I will most likely be neglected.  Not long enough to realize all of my friends are gone or to lose control of bodily functions.  Yes, it is a blessing to be with our loved ones, but I want to do the things I love.  I would rather serve in some way on the other side than wait in bed for my death day after day.

Sorry if this is depressing, but that’s how I feel right now.  One day my grandma complained, “My doctor said I could live another fifteen years.”  I joked that I wanted her to live to be 100 so she could be on the Smuckers jar on The Today Show.  They always feature people turn age 100 or above.

I’m OK with being on the jam jar as song as I can still walk, make people laugh, play the piano, etc.

I’m alternating between the stages of grief, but it seems like denial and acceptance kind of feel the same.  I was laughing hysterically at a party last night and then today while I was working on chores around the house, I felt waves of sadness and emptiness. I thought, “I wonder what’s bothering me?”  Duh!  My grandma passed away less than three weeks ago.

I don’t have to feel less sad because she lived a long life.  There are no grief rules.  I have some friends who were both widowed and later married each other, but they are able to tell each other how much they still mourn their spouses.  I think that’s healthy and wonderful.  We don’t just forget those we love.

I do try to distract myself from being sad and feel a lot better when I’m with people, but it’s like the grief is waiting for me when they’re gone.

I love her for lots of reasons and I miss her even though she took jabs at my weight.  I think that’s mostly a generational thing and sometimes I actually found it kind of amusing. One day I told my aunt, “Watch Grandma when I say I’m starving right after dinner.”  Sure enough, the moment the plates were cleared, I said, “When’s dessert?  I’m STARVING!”  Grandma exclaimed in horror, “SARAH!!!!!”  She had no idea I was joking.  She also loved to talk politics and I seriously preferred that she talk about my weight instead.

I admired her most for the way she took care of her daughter and her children, my grandpa, and her own mother for as long as possible.   She also created family history pages every year as gifts for years, which I am so grateful for.  Writing is one thing we have in common, although I’m not sure if she knew that.

I just needed to get these feelings out and now I will put the lid on the can of his Almond Roca my family brought home from the store.  🙂

Surprising a YouTube Friend

 

 

Steph Cake

Cake made and delivered by Jasmin’s Cakes and More

 

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Today has been a great day!  Almost two months ago, a YouTube friend commented on one of my videos that she was turning 50 on April 4th and had never had a party.  She also said she usually makes her own cake.  We chatted about it a bit and then I decided I was going to remember that date and throw her a surprise birthday party via video.  I really wanted to send her a cake too, but how?

I finally realized if I had a giveaway and made sure Steph won, she would need to give me her address to claim her prize, which would give me the ability to send her a cake!  I did so and after she emailed me, I was able to look her up on Facebook.  I couldn’t believe my luck when I saw she liked a bakery and it was close to her.  I emailed them to inquire about delivery and they said, “Hey!  I know Steph!”  And they were available to deliver.

When the cake was delivered this morning, Steph recognized the woman as someone she worked with over 5 years ago and was confused. “Who is this from?”  She said ,”Go watch YouTube.”  Steph knew there was something coming from me, but wasn’t expecting that.  As soon as I knew it was delivered, I published the video.

I worked many hours this past week or so planning, shopping, decorating, trying to get people to be a part of the video, making the video, editing the video, and changing characters multiple times so there would be more “people” telling fake memories of Steph. I had two friends in particular who came over for the party segment, which involved dancing.  They were such good sports and so much fun!

It turns out Steph told her husband last night that she didn’t want to make her cake, so he bought her one, but so did her daughter.  She ended up with three cakes!  She’s so deserving.  The one I chose is the one in the middle. It’s a “mirror cake”.  ”

I was so relieved that Steph loved the video.  I was pretty sure she would, but was a little nervous she wouldn’t like the attention.  It made her day, which made my day!  I love pulling off a surprise!

I hope you watch and enjoy!  It has really lifted my spirits having something positive to focus on.

 

Multiple Myeloma Strikes Again

I’ve been trying to process the awful news that my dad has multiple myeloma.  We all want to be strong for each other, but this weekend I have been crying quite a bit as my dad gets ready to start chemotherapy.

One of my dearest, closest friends also has multiple myeloma and after seeing what it’s done to her, I just can’t stand this.  Well, she also has other factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, and more, but we have had her over every Christmas for years, including since her diagnosis, and watched her as she suffers.  The cancer itself makes her puke her guts out. Add chemo and it’s even worse.  Right now her cancer is “slumbering”, but it doesn’t go into remission.  She and my dad will never hear the words, “You are cancer free.”  You can stop its progress for a while.

This wasn’t a total surprise because abnormal protein showed up in my dad’s blood just like my friend.  It makes your kidneys work extra hard, which makes one exhausted.  The doctor said it could develop into multiple myeloma, but I didn’t think it would happen so soon.  He has to be on a low sodium/low protein diet and this man loves bacon and eggs for breakfast.  It’s the only thing I’ve ever seen him cook besides BBQing some things and making microwaved vegetables.

The unknown is scary.  Maybe he’ll surprise us and the chemo won’t be as bad as we fear?

He’s going to lose his trademark mustache.  I think the last time he shaved it off was when I was 4.  I said, “Daddy!  You took your mustache off!  Put if back on.  Right now!”  His 70th birthday was mustache themed.

There are worse things than losing hair though.  It could cause tingling in his hands, which would affect his guitar playing.  That is his passion.  My dad has a lot of life left in him.  He has kept himself healthy and pretty active.  He has been taking care of his mother multiple times per week and she was recently put on a hospice program. I don’t know when he’ll be able to go over there again, but I’m planning on making weekly visits if possible.

My mom has health problems aggravated by stress. I worry about her just as much as I do my dad.

My parents have done so much for us and gave me and my siblings a pretty wonderful childhood even when they were worried at times about how to make ends meet.  I’m so grateful for them and I need to take care of my health too so I can help them as much as possible.  I have to somehow not become sick with worry myself, which I am prone to.

Humor is my coping mechanism.  I will continue to use it, but it doesn’t mean everything is OK. I just have to stay well and I’ve been trying to get well since around September.  I have mostly recovered from a flare-up, but not quite.

I know I am not alone.  So many families have gone through this.  Please share your thoughts with me.  Also, if you have any good ideas for low sodium/low protein recipes that taste good, I would be grateful to have them.

 

A Birthday Confession

kissing-soldier

Ok, it’s not my birthday yet, but I figure as I get closer to my birthday, I’ll be busy opening all the expensive presents everyone got me and attending one surprise party after another.

When my husband was about to graduate from Basic Training, he was very upset to have to tell me in a letter that he was informed there was no PDA allowed in uniform because it’s “a disgrace to the uniform”.  He wouldn’t be allowed to kiss me, hold my hand, hug me, etc.  This was beyond ridiculous as every happy military homecoming I’ve ever seen involves lots of all of the above and this was the moment I started to despise my experience as a military wife.  The way I felt was, “Excuse me.  I never signed anything saying I wouldn’t kiss my husband.”

We had been married for two months when he joined and because he had to wear his uniform all the time, we weren’t going to be allowed to kiss?  Graduation week was coming up and the Air Force laid out what was allowed throughout the week when family was visiting.  Graduation week started on a Monday and then the graduation itself was on Valentine’s Day.

It’s a free country, therefore I went there with a friend a day early and attended church with my husband.  It was hilarious because they are all issued the same glasses and have the same everything, so I stood on the church steps watching for my husband, smiling at every guy with glasses in the distance.  Finally one of them smiled back.

His friend suggested we quickly go around the corner to kiss, which we did.  I was then delighted to learn no one had any say over anything in the chapel, so we held hands all we wanted during the service.  That’s right.  We disgraced the uniform in church!

After the graduation ceremony, we were told we could either attend the Spurs game or the guys could go back to the dorms and do nothing.

It was Valentine’s Day and we weren’t allowed to kiss or hold hands!  Because we wanted to be together, we went to the game, but we spent most of the time trying to find a place to make-out.  Darn elevator attendant!  It’s not PDA if you’re in private, right?

Saturday was their day pass and they were told with a wink that they weren’t allowed to go to hotels.  Of course, we went to a hotel where we held hands and read scriptures.  We said goodbye about 5pm and then it was time to head to the base for his tech school.  He would then go through “phases” and it would be weeks before he was allowed to dress in civilian clothes or leave the base.

My birthday came and he wasn’t allowed to leave base or take off his uniform.  I was also not allowed to take off his uniform.  Hahahahaha.  There was NOTHING to do.  Really.  There was a food court.  I remember one of his friends suggesting we climb in through a dorm window where I wasn’t allowed.

We just sat in the food court listening to one annoying song after another and all I could hear was the booming bass.  Every song sounded the same.  I finally decided I was going to put $10 in the jukebox and buy an entire U2 album as a birthday gift to myself.  It was the best part of my day and as I watched one person after another purchase a song, they looked around in confusion when their song never came on.  I stared straight ahead, opting not to claim responsibility for all of the U2 music.   I think I even managed not to smile mischievously.

I am a selfish person who let people waste their money and didn’t even have the courtesy to tell them, “Your song won’t come on for an hour.”

I’m pretty sure I ordered War.  I might be wrong.  All I know is that I was saved from an hour of musical Hell.

Also, I love this song.  And Red Rocks looks cool.

Surprising a Boy with a “Lightheaded Bed”

I had the opportunity to surprise my friend’s son with a “Lightheaded Bed” earlier this week.  My inner child is insanely jealous of him.   Here’s the video we made together!

And here’s the review I wrote.

I had so much fun putting this bed together with a friend!  Her son has preschool for 3 hours and we were able to get it done in less time than that so we could surprise him.  I had seen pictures of it online, but the headboard looked even cooler in person.  I even laid on the bed for a while and tested out how the light works for reading.  It’s awesome!  It has different brightness settings and you can set a timer for it to turn off, which is great if you have a child who’s afraid of the dark, but don’t want to waste electricity all night.  Yes, the bed plugs in, so no batteries required. I loved reading in bed as a child and used to do so until the wee hours of the morning.  My own kids would bring their flashlights to bed and fall asleep with them on while reading.  I can only imagine how much we spent on batteries!

The shipment comes in two boxes – one quite long and one rather large and rectangular, plus another one comes in the mail with the image you selected.  I really wish I could buy these for my kids, but their rooms are so small, we can only do bunkbeds because they have to share.  I wonder if there’s any way for them to design a bunkbed version?

I think even cooler would be a king size version that would hold a few wedding photos.  I love that you can upload your own images, even pictures that your kids drew!  There is a compartment at the foot of the bed to hold the images you’re not using, so you can buy extra ones for Christmas, Halloween, etc.  Makes me wish I were a kid again!

Which image would you choose?  Check them out at http://www.lightheadedbeds.com

 

Inspiring People

I can’t stop thinking about what I witnessed a couple nights ago when I made the sudden decision to go to Trader Joe’s while my daughter was at an activity.  I debated whether I had enough time to go there, but I’m so glad I did.

As soon as I pulled into the parking lot, a woman assisted who I assumed to be her mother out of the car and got her situated with her walker.  There’s a chance she was a caregiver.  Whatever their relationship was, there was so much love and patience shown, it made me think about the many ways I need to improve and feel grateful for every blessing I have.

I don’t think the purpose of their shopping trip was to shop, but to help this woman preserve what little strength she had left.  She couldn’t hold her head up at all.  In fact, I couldn’t even see her face. Her legs looked like they were wasting away and I feel pretty certain that she is suffering from ALS.  Some of her fingers gripped the walker from underneath because she couldn’t stand upright enough and I kept wondering if she was going to fall.  Her daughter stood close by, looking as if she wanted her to have as much independence as possible, but was also quite cautious.  I’m sure she must wonder every day, “Will tomorrow be the day she won’t be able to walk anymore?”  I was amazed as the woman managed to use a smart phone in what look like the most uncomfortable position imaginable.  Her daughter smiled.  I realized the woman didn’t seem to speak a word.

They returned to their car and her daughter continued to smile at her like she was her most treasured person on earth.  I’m sure she has no idea what a wonderful example she is to others.

I thought about all of the things I had been putting off that week simply because I didn’t feel like it.  I didn’t want to take my toddler out of the van x amount of times.  It was too cold.  I was tired. The work was too tedious.  Then I imagined what this woman must feel like.  I bet she would do anything to be able to carry a child around, fold laundry, make dinner, and vacuum up that cereal for the third time today.

Years ago my parents witnessed the rapid weight loss and decline of one of our neighbors.  She was diagnosed with ALS.  Her husband walked her down the sidewalk every day and back to their home.  Her legs looked like they were shriveling up.  Eventually the walks stopped.  Then one day my mom got what she thought was a prank call from one of us kids.  She started to joke around until she realized it was our neighbor trying to call for help because her dog ran away and she couldn’t get her back.  My mom hurried over there and they both cried together.  She had lost her ability to talk.

Today I’m doing the things I’ve been putting off with gratitude. We often don’t know all of the blessings we have until they are taken away.  I would love to be able to develop a lifelong habit of being grateful for all of my mundane tasks.

Who has inspired you?