Love

Love is not an easy thing to live without. It’s not something I would choose to live without. Nor would I encourage anyone to do so.

Love gives things money and success never can grant you in life. That nagging sense of incompleteness gone. The deep sense of life continuance and blessing over goes.

I am alone and I fear I will always be alone. But that does not mean I do not hope one day someone will endeavour to be beside me. I doubt that I can find someone strong enough to accept me for me. But hope lives on.

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How I love

When I was asked by someone I care very deeply about possibly moving on to find someone who can live their lifestyle more than I can, (Let’s be honest even its current state RSD limits me in a few ways. Long term my treatment isn’t a cure, it’s a repair to a scarred wound that the right movement will rip it back open. So I know life with me long term is not an easy challenge to face.) I could have had a hard question to answer.

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But in thinking of how I feel about him, about our situation, about his opportunity for happiness. This is all I could say.

I love you. I love my son’s dad. I love several of my ex’s. Love for me is not a matter of ownership. It’s a matter of standing by someone regardless of if they fall in love with someone else. Because real love doesn’t die, just changes into respect for that someone else’s happiness.

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I meant it. Love, life, it’s all gone in a moment if something goes horribly wrong. You can’t force someone to love you. Can’t force them to stay. Nor SHOULD YOU!

It’s like Mommy Fortuna and her home made shop of horrors. (Yes, I really referenced it.) You can trap an immortal, but once it gets lose, it will never forget. And if you try to run, you’ll attract its attention… And wrath.

Don’t force a creature you deem beautiful, to be what you see it to be. That’s why you noticed it in the first place. It was different and beautiful. If it’s love, it will come back. And if not, then you loved it enough to let it be what you loved.

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Feeling Amazing

Being Amazing

Feeling Amazing
Feeling Amazing

Sometimes the simplest things can bring the greatest joys in life. Doing something for others has always been so rewarding for me. Not because I get some sort of benefit, like with being staff at Quakecon, but because SEEING something amazing happen, for others. Seeing someone gain great memories that they can share with their families, their friends. That is such a life long gift, life long pay back that I did something to make their lives better. THAT helps make me feel amazing.

How Today was Amazing

With that in mind, I did a case study interview tonight, clarifying I know I’m exceptionally lucky. Knowing others who have had it as long as I have, have already been driven to suicide. Knowing I’m still working 5 times longer than most who have it. And it was amazing.

I hope that with my words, with my knowledge the other medical students in her class will learn something so vital for the future pain siblings.

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Political/Social Rant

Flags of Memorial Court

Ranting so this is your warning and chance to ignore me if you don’t see what I’m talking about:

I have come to realize that we live in a country that now cares more about what color you are, what language you speak, and what your faith is to decide your value as a human being.

But I rarely hear anyone calling out to people with these tirades who are calling for seperation to say to STOP AND THINK. Not because it’s the wise thing to do (stop and think) but because UNITED WE, STAND DIVIDED WE FALL! Stop attacking each other, stop being suspicious of each other, stop blaming each other for petty stuff that being an adult will allow you to GROW PAST IT…

Or we will not see the enemy at our doorsteps and we won’t see it until they have already destroyed us from within… Maybe they already are here.

So start standing with your brothers and sisters. Start treating each other as equals. Start excepting people screw up and you need to just live life without them. But don’t fight them, don’t shoot each other, don’t take the law in your own hands.

Stop letting them divide and conquer. The only way our country can stand this test of time, is to not let petty things erode us at the core of who we are.

End of Rant

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Credit – A Curse of all Young Adults

It is possible to overcome credit challenges

When I was little, credit cards were still plastic cards passed over by a carbon copy machine for submittals that took weeks at a time to be processed. Almost as long as writing a check for processing, versus the near instant ramifications of today.

Why I know what I do about credit:

Credit cards can be hard
Credit cards can be hard

It took me years of research and trial and error to not only clean-up 10 days’ worth ($40,000) of medical bills but to final make headway towards a score that would allow me to buy a house.

If you happen to fall on this post, may these tips help you as much as they have me.

  1. Fico score is a mixture of three credit scores and your consistent bills such as your insurance payments
    1. Experian
    2. Equifax
    3. Transunion
  2. You can annually get a copy of all of your credit scores for free.
  3. Identity theft sucks and the process to request a change a social security number involves so many steps it’s wiser to learn how to protect yourself then to gamble someone getting a hold of it.
    1. Shred all offers for pre-approved credit cards. Not something leaving whole in the garbage can that I’d recommend.
    2. Pay attention to your statements and transactions for signs of hijacked information. Some credit card companies will notify you via SMS of any transaction over an amount you set. I recommended $20 it’s not high enough that a quick snack will set it off, but anything more than one tank of gas will flag.
    3. Understand you need to sign your credit card (see id is not legally binding and can null and void your fraud coverage) to ensure you meet liability requirements of a credit card company
    4. Slow credit machines/machines unable to print receipts could be a sign of an infected machine. So if there’s a posted note or the guy before you had problems, be vigilant of your transactions fire a while.

THIS is a critical reason using credit cards over debit is vital. Most credit card companies have fraud detection. With debit cards, once the money is out if your account, recovery is near impossible and if successful takes a while. Don’t use debit unless you have to!

Behaviors that can help make a difference:

  1. For years I’ve tracked my bills on mint.com to ensure I wasn’t behind. But this is only a fraction of the factors involved to create your credit score. A large fraction but a fraction of the formula, none the less.
  2. And let’s face it there is general crap that happens to everyone, divorce, medical, all kinds of this. But there are web sites and service providers that can help you overcome these events and the damage they do to your credit. In October of 2014 I was directed to Quizzle.com to pursue more ideas of how to deal with my issues with getting a mortgage/refinancing (doing a rent to own situation). And it was there that I found creditrepair.com could be employed to contact my creditors on my behalf and address inconsistencies and errors on my credit record. (If you do decide to use this company and they ask who referred you, please give them my name, Flora DeKock. They had a referral program when I started that gave discounts for those who you refer, but I haven’t seen anything lately. If not ok, but if so, that would be kind you.)
  3. Now for example, in 6 months, this company has gotten 37% of the negative items that were apparently significantly weighing down my score, removed. The services aren’t cheap, as enrollment for their services is ~$90 a month. And to ensure you get any form of results, you need to plan for at least 2 months of enrollment as legally businesses have a 45 day window to respond. From the beginning, my rule has been when I stop getting at least 1 removal two months in a row, then I’ll terminate services. That has yet to happen. So I’m about to pay for another month.
  4. Pay attention to website’s you’re doing purchases/tracking money on. Make sure the web address starts with https://, as the “S” means secured. This encrypts the information you’re providing, minimizing the success of hackers stealing your identity/payment information. Without that “S”, almost any 14 year old could between you and the website and get all your information.

Can it really make that much of a difference?

As a side effect, since I’m constantly watching my accounts and paying bills on time, my scores have gone up 10-50 points dependent on the credit bureau. For someone who’s been fighting an uphill battle, this was the reading the mountain top and now things are progressing and ferrying better monthly.

Another huge issue I had to overcome I was always under the wrong impression, as I was told that paying off your credit card is not something credit card companies like. But on the contrary, they love it. Two years ago when I learned this, I paid off ALL my credit cards starting with the highest interest rate first to maximize the money usage. (Higher interest rates mean each month any balance left will be exponentially greater the higher the balance.) Since then, my one credit card with Merrick bank had it’s available balance went from 750 to nearly 4 times that just by paying as much as I can, every month.

How did I do this?

  1. By moving every bill possible to my credit cards. Because with the fact I’m already allotting that money from my budget to pay them, and stagnant credit cards do NOTHING to help your credit, I combined the two. Pay bills with the credit card, and then pay the cards off. It’s a constant winning formula.
    It is possible to overcome credit challenges
    It is possible to overcome credit challenges
    1. Lastly, some providers like Capital one offer daily balances or prompts when you exceed a certain balance you set. Now one of the factors that hurts/helps your credit is exceeding 30% of the funds available to you. So a card with a $300 available should never go over $100. And trust me that I know it is not easy to pay bills with that little amount of money, but to me it’s worth making it happen. So if this option is available set it up to notify you at a point BEFORE you get to the 30% mark so you can make payments. Credit bureaus check your records more than once a month.

    And, to ensure your credit card is always reflecting the lowest balance, don’t use any credit card for 10 days AFTER the due date. Ideally, having two cards, due approximately 15 days apart for a sure will allow you to juggle payments and optimize how your credit record looks.

There are probably more things I’m not thinking about at the moment, but these are the key things I’ve learned that come time mind right now.

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Time Management is Productivity

Naanad
productivity, Google, calendar, time, management
Google Calendar increases my productivity and provides better time management just by helping me organize my days and sleep schedules

I’m a self diagnosed workaholic, so time management and productivity are vital for me. My workaholic attitude comes from years of watching people around me dump themselves into their work, be it helping family after work and on the weekends, or having multiple jobs. It just seems like a natural behavior to get ahead in life.

But I’ve found in having more than one job, one must have the ability to manipulate your time effectively so you can balance home life, bill paying, maintenance of that place you see rarely, feeding and spending time with your family/pets, and getting those hours in without costing yourself sleep and health.

How to Manage Time:

So to do that, I use Google calendars. And I have to stress that I use multiple calendars.  I layer them to give me the ability to do time management in blocks based on what I am doing and what type of work it is.

As my calendar display shows above, I have calendars for just about everything, such as housework (Cleaning Schedule), devoting one day a month/week to tasks/high traffic rooms that need tender care. When using it for example, I marked the every other weekend that my son is home, those Saturday’s are the days all the bed sheets get washed. (Yes I make my teenage son help with the laundry, I’m a mean mom.) Because it’s a routine day that fits the needs of what can be done to share the load, no pun intended, making the schedule more balanced and the work load easier to manage.

Then there’s the “Bill Schedule”. This lists the amount, the name, and if it’s an auto withdrawing item, a multiple day time window of the days preceding when it can no longer be canceled/changed for that months payment. That way I know when it is going to come out ahead of time and can visually plan out when my pay checks are coming in versus what is going out. (Another reason I like Google calendars is the color coding options within the individual calendars is also a nice feature for seeing “red” and “green”.)

Then there is the individual work calendars, where each company gets their own. These are either propagated by their RSS feed of my scheduled tasks, or by my manual addition if the company does not provide that type of service (such as my full-time third shift hours). Having these turned on and displaying overlaps provides me better time management and displays for me when I might have conflicts and allows me to never over book myself and start pushing into other vital things.

Time with friends and primary calendar use:

Which brings me to the most important thing of all, my social and sleep schedules. These stay on the primary calendar as a “Busy” items at all times along with any friend hang outs, doctors appointments, and day-to-day one time activities. And yes, I did just suggest scheduling sleep on your calendar, because lets face it, you can’t have productivity without sleep and a reason to be working so much, or eventually you WILL GET SICK!

Now, as that I am a mom but work third shift during the week (Sun through Thursday) I have opted to flip to first on the weekends so when my son is home at least one day I get to spend with him. People think I’m crazy, but I’ve been perfecting this art since 2005.

For those who might not know, I work third shift volunteer at a convention but for years I would need to be back to first in 36 hours after it was over for work when we got home. What I learned is when flipping between a first and third sleep schedule, always give yourself more sleep rather than less.

So on weekends when my son is home, Friday afternoon I take a good nap of about 3-4 hours, get up and then drive to pick him up. I spend Friday evening with him and then sleep Friday night. Saturday is a first shift day and then again Saturday night I sleep. On Sunday I take a 4-6 hour nap before work in the afternoon and I’m ready to go 10:30 pm back on third shift.

This process gives me the time and ability that when I want to schedule something, I turn my calendars all on and there you go, conflicts reflect, I can shift some items around for better time management. And then as you need, you can make sure you get it all done, but remember the most important thing, more sleep is better than less.

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What are some cultural differences between Canadians and Americans?

Great a

Answer by Bevan Audstone:

I’ve been waiting for this one

Joke will explain all.
How do you get 100 New Yorkers out of the pool?
Answer: Say “Every one STAY in the pool!
How do you get 100 Californians out of the pool?
Answer: Say "This pool has been CHEMICALLY TREATED for your protection!
How do you get 100 Republicans out of the pool?
Answer: Say "Being in this pool shows your support for the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
How do you get 100 Democrats out of the pool?
Answer: Say "This pool will be FUNDED COMPLETELY by the people in the pool!’

The difference between Canadians and Americans?
HOW DO YOU GET 100 CANADIANS OUT OF THE POOL?
ANSWER: SAY "Please get out of the pool.”

What are some cultural differences between Canadians and Americans?

The Elephant in the Room called Bullying

People are talking about how to stop bullying. But the obvious elephant in the room is how to help those children who are driven to such desperate measures that taking the lives of others feels like the only option. As adults we cannot really communicate with the kids directly as it’s often considered adults just being condescending to them. So the reality is, we NEED TO SPEND MORE TIME COMMUNICATING WITH OUR KIDS. Not just about asking if they are bullied, but if they know if others are.

It’s not just a matter of our own kids and what they do that we should be concerned about. The Native Americans’ believed that raising a child was a community effort. And even though you might not think it’s your responsibility to take care of others’ kids, it is important to stop and think about those others kids and their capability to feel safe. Because those children not feeling safe leads to these desperate non-logical thinking events in an attempt to eliminate threats to themselves and that safety they need, including your child. So that means we as parents really have to be concerned as much about the happiness and well being of those children around our child, as of our own.

For example, when my son was being bullied in the 1st grade, instead of approaching the parent to address the issue, (being a former bullied child myself) I knew a few of the reasons that might drive a bully to do what he does, which includes feeling unsafe or wanted. So I invited the child to my son’s birthday party, despite my son’s asking why because the kid didn’t like him. Not only did the bullying END, but they became friends after that. Bullying issue all but ceased after that. My son told me just today says he regrets asking why I wanted to do that, and is grateful I taught him this important lesson. He now applies this thinking of how others might be feeling to those around him at his new school.

Obviously dependent on the age, the options of what a parent can do to address bullies changes. Before 4th grade the group play dates is an option, but after that, it becomes more a matter of helping bullied kids feel less alone. Because as a bullied child, it’s when they feel completely alone and the only way to protect themselves is to FIGHT BACK is when issues like lately occur. The easiest way to help your child be safe, is encourage them to get to know the “odd ball” kid who might not seem to have a lot of friends.

Now there is two trains of thought here. First off this encouragement helps that bullied kid (formerly me) feel less alone and safer in their environment, so at least they know someone cares if they live or die. Secondly, this getting to know others different from them helps your child learn to accept and welcome others that are different than their usual group of friends.

But as parents, ultimately we can’t do this for our kids, we need to teach them to do it for themselves. So stop and think the next time you are riding in the car talking about bullying and how wrong it is. However wrong the act of bullying might be, the best way to fix the problem is to help not only your child but the other children, by helping them feel less alone. So encourage your child to talk to the “odd ball” kid. Maybe suggesting they start a conversation about how bullying sucks/is stupid. Give them an easy starting message to get the ball rolling. Because it’s important to help ALL children, not just ours be happy and feel safe in their schools.

Another one of Life’s Secret But Still Abridge Manual’s tips

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A student blows up at a teacher, drops the F-bomb. The usual approach at Lincoln – and, safe to say, at most high schools in this country – is automatic suspension. Instead, Sporleder sits the kid down and says quietly: “Wow. Are you OK? This doesn’t sound like you. What’s going on?”

He gets even more specific: “You really looked stressed. On a scale of 1-10, where are you with your anger?” The kid was ready. Ready, man! For an anger blast to his face….”How could you do that?” “What’s wrong with you?”…and for the big boot out of school. But he was NOT ready for kindness.

The armor-plated defenses melt like ice under a blowtorch and the words pour out: “My dad’s an alcoholic. He’s promised me things my whole life and never keeps those promises.” The waterfall of words that go deep into his home life, which is no piece of breeze, end with this sentence: “I shouldn’t have blown up at the teacher.” Whoa.

Lincoln High School in Walla Walla, WA, tries new approach to school discipline — suspensions drop 85% (via mchotdog)

what a radical idea yo

(via matthewdgold)

Bam. Kids “misbehave” for actual, real, valid reasons. And have feelings.

(via amydentata)

Finite Infinity: lunulata: Today I got to witness some pretty extreme and obnoxious…

Finite Infinity: lunulata: Today I got to witness some pretty extreme and obnoxious…